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Photo of Dr. Carlson examining x-ray resultsMammography is an X-ray technique used to study the breasts. It can help doctors find breast cancer at an early stage (when treatment is more likely to succeed). About one in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lives. The risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most cases occur after meno-pause. By age 50, yearly mammography should be a regular part of your health care. 

What Is Mammography?

Mammography is a simple X-ray process. It passes low doses of X-rays through the breasts. No dyes have to be injected or swallowed and no instruments will be put in your body.

Mammography can be done in a doctor's office, a clinic, a mobile screening van or a hospital. It is done by an X-ray technician trained in mammography. The results then are read by a specially trained doctor (radiologist).

Who Should Have Mammography?

Women aged 40-49 years should have mammography done every one to two years. Women aged 50 years and older should have it done every year.

You also may need mammography if you have any of these signs:

  • Unexplained lump or thickening in the breast or in the armpit
Puckers or dimples in the skin of the breast 

  • Discharge or bleeding that comes from the nipple
A recent change in the nipple, such as a retracted nipple (a nipple that has pulled inward)
A change in the skin of the breast 

Mammography is vital for all women, especially older women. The size of your breasts does not matter. 

What To Expect

Photo of our staff at workThe day you have the test done, you should not wear powders, lotions or deodorants. This is because most of these products have substances that can show on the X-ray films.

To get ready for the test, you'll need to undress from the waist up and put on a gown. You'll be asked to stand or sit in front of the X-ray machine. Two smooth, flat plastic or glass plates will be placed around one of your breasts. The plates will flatten your breast so that the most tissue can be viewed with the least radiation.

The pressure of the plates may make the breasts ache.

Are There Any Risks?

Mammography exposes a woman to a very low dose of X-rays. The dose is much lower than the natural level of radiation received from the environment during one year. Some cancers cannot be seen on a mammogram. Even lumps that can be felt may not show up. The combination of mammography, regular visits to your doctor, and self-exam may give the best results.

What If the Test Result Is Positive?

Most lumps found in the breast are benign — not cancer. To confirm the results of mammography, special X-ray views or other tests, such as ultrasonography, may be useful. Other tests can tell your doctor more about the type of lump. They include:

  • Needle aspiration

Mammography is 
Preventative Health Care

Combined with regular checkups and breast self-exams, mammography is a good way to find cancer at an early and more curable stage. It has large benefits and small risks. For women aged 40 years and older, mammography should be part of your routine health care.

At Bestcare Family Medical Center in Garland Texas we're committed to providing you and your family with the best family care, urgent care, and emergency care available. Our medical practice is conveniently located in Garland Tx, we also serve Dallas, Mesquite, Richardson, Rowlett, Rockwall, Wylie, Sachse and surrounding communities. Call BestCare at 972-240-1789 to schedule an appointment today.

But the most important ears
belong to the doctor.


A doctor's eyes can tell him a lot. His ears can tell him more. Because listening and healing go hand in hand.

(972) 240-1789

Josanne Howard, PA


Educated in Texas and Pennsylvania, Josanne Howard, PA (left) brings warmth, a positive attitude and and broad knowledge as a seasoned veteran of emergency and urgent care. 

Sometimes listening reveals
more than an x-ray.


At Bestcare, our mission is healing. Not just treatment. Healing begins with the ability to listen. That's why having a family doctor is a lot like having a doctor in the family.

(972) 240-1789

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We are dedicated to providing truly professional medical care in a clean, germ-free space.  More...


Having a family doctor is like having a doctor in the family


It's no accident D Magazine named us the "Best Doctors in Dallas" for Family Medicine. For more than 20 years, we've been healing, mending and making Texans well in a meticulously clean facility. When you come to BestCare you'll see the friendly face of a doctor you know. BestCare Family Medical Center is easy to get to and offers two choices: Our Urgent Care Center takes walk-ins—no appointment necessary. Or set an appointment online or by phone for Primary Care. Have a daytime job? We'll see you over lunch, after work or on weekends. Our in-house X-rays and lab work are less expensive, too!   Learn more...

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