Mobile Diagnostics

(513) 584-PINK (7465)

Education & FAQ’s




Find answers to frequently asked questions about mammography screening and our state-of-the- art 3D technology.



Screening Mammograms – Should I Get One?

What is a screening mammogram?

A screening mammogram is a simple exam where X-ray images are taken of your breast. It is the single most effective way to discover breast cancer early, before symptoms are present and while the cancer is still treatable.

Are mammograms covered under insurance?

Mammograms are covered under most insurance plans. Please check with your insurance carrier to make sure UC Health is an accepted provider. UC Health Mobile Diagnostics also has financial assistance available for those who are uninsured that meet the eligibility criteria. Please call (513) 584-PINK (7465) for more information about our financial assistance opportunities.

Are mammograms painful?

You may experience some discomfort during a mammogram because of the compression. Compression is a necessary part of the exam because it spreads the tissue out for optimal view of the structures inside the breast. The discomfort will not last more than 20 seconds. Talk with your technologist if you are nervous or have extremely tender breasts.

How do I prepare for the exam?

Try not to schedule your mammogram one week before menstruation. On the day of your appointment: Do not wear any deodorants, powders or lotions under the arms or around the breast; wear a two-piece outfit with a top that is easy to remove; bring your ID, proof of insurance, and the name and address of the facility that performed your previous mammograms .

What can I expect during the exam?

You will be asked to remove all clothing from the waist up and place a gown on with the opening to the front. The technologist will then go through a brief history questionnaire. Your breast will then be positioned on a special platform and compression will be added gradually. Compression will release automatically after the image is made. Two images of each breast are taken. (Sometimes more are necessary depending on the size of your breast or if you have breast implants.)

How will I be informed of the results?

When you have your mammogram with UC Health Mobile Diagnostics, your results will be available via My UC Health, your online personal medical record, and you will receive a letter in the mail communicating the results. In addition, we send your results to your primary care physician or other health provider you request.

What does it mean when your screening mammogram results are abnormal?

If your screening mammography results are abnormal, you’ll receive a call to schedule a follow up exam in addition to a letter.

No one wants to receive this letter, but if you do, it does not necessarily mean you have cancer. What this letter says is that the radiologist who read your films saw an area that he or she would like to evaluate more clearly by getting follow-up images. By using different mammography views and possibly a breast exam and/or breast ultrasound, the radiologist will be able to determine if the area is still suspicious and needs a biopsy or if it is just your normal breast tissue.

Most abnormal screening mammograms are cleared to normal after more imaging is performed. Our radiologists will discuss your results with you the same day the additional imaging is done.

You may be more likely to receive a letter about abnormal results if:

  • This is your first mammogram
  • You are unable to provide past mammogram images for comparison
  • You have extremely dense breast tissue
  • You have a suspicious area in your screening mammogram

How long will it take to receive my results?

Often, review of previous exams is necessary to assess changes.  If films from prior exams are readily available within our system, results will usually be available within 24-48 hours. Results may take longer if films from previous exams are not immediately available as they will have to be requested from previous facilities

Breast Tomosynthesis (3D Mammography)

What is a 3D mammography breast exam?

3D mammography is a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic tool designed for early breast cancer detection that can be done in conjunction with a traditional 2D digital mammogram. During the 3D part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over your breast, taking multiple low-dose breast images.

Then, a computer produces a 3D image of your breast tissue in one millimeter slices, providing greater visibility for the radiologist to see breast detail in a way never before possible. The radiologist can scroll through images of your entire breast like pages of a book.

The additional 3D images make it possible for a radiologist to gain a better understanding of your breast tissue during screening and the confidence to reduce the need for follow-up imaging.

Why is there a need for tomosynthesis breast exams?

What are the benefits? With conventional digital mammography, the radiologist is viewing all the complexities of your breast tissue in one flat image.

Sometimes breast tissue can overlap, giving the illusion of an abnormal area in 2D images, when the breast tissue is actually normal. By looking at the breast tissue in one-millimeter slices, the radiologist can provide a more confident assessment.

In this way, 3D mammography finds cancers that would be missed with conventional 2D mammography. It also means there is less chance your doctor will call you back later for a “second look,” because now he or she can see breast tissue more clearly.

What is the difference between a screening and diagnostic mammogram?

A screening mammogram is your annual mammogram that is done every year. Sometimes the radiologist may ask you to come back for follow-up images, which is called a diagnostic mammogram. The diagnostic mammogram is used to rule out the possibility of cancer in a suspicious area of the breast or to further investigate a breast complaint.

What should I expect during the 3D mammography exam?

3D mammography complements standard 2D mammography and is performed at the same time with the same system. There is no additional compression required, and it only takes a few seconds longer for each view. Total exam time is typically 15 minutes.

Is there a bigger dose of radiation?

A 3D mammogram uses very low X-ray energy, just about the same amount as a traditional mammogram done on film.

Who can have a 3D mammography exam?

It is approved for all women who would be undergoing a standard mammogram, in both the screening and diagnostic settings. 3D imaging cannot be performed on patients with breast augmentation or extremely large breasts. These patients will receive the traditional screening mammogram.

Links to Learn More

For more information on breast health topics from the UC Health Library, follow the links below.