Mammograms: A crucial component of women’s health care

Woman receiving annual mammogram

Why is it so important to tick “get a mammogram” off your list each year?

Breast health is a matter to track so that if something becomes an issue, you can detect it early. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and since 1985, it has helped women take measures toward good breast health. 

It also highlights the mammogram’s importance as a means to fight against breast cancer.

The campaign celebrates both breast cancer survivors and those battling the disease. They share stories to increase awareness and raise funds for supporting causes.

What is digital mammography?

It’s cutting-edge diagnostics from Wilmington Health. A well-trained, compassionate team well-versed in women’s health care conducts these exams. Features of the WH mammography machine:

  • Shorter intervals between exposures
  • An acquisition workstation designed and integrated with X-ray exposure control
  • Superior imaging

What about the equipment used at Wilmington Health? 

  • The gentle, rounded edges of the detector can reduce discomfort and may also help reduce anxiety for patients. The soft armrests have replaced the typical hand grips. Patients can lean comfortably on the armrests relaxing their muscles to simplify compression and image acquisition.
  • Ergonomic design to reduce physical strain with dedicated functionalities for easier patient positioning during the mammogram.
  • In addition, Wilmington Health’s mammography equipment includes a specialized paddle that can tilt to adapt to women’s varying morphology, as well as other specialized paddles that are specifically for breast implants and small breasts.
  • Clinical superiority at Low Dose:  Wilmington Health’s equipment has the lowest dose compared to Hologic and Siemens
    • Wilmington Health’s equipment is the only FDA approved 3D mammography that delivers at the same low dose as 2D FFDM, the lowest patient dose of all FDA approved systems.

Do mammograms hurt?

During your exam, the breast gets compressed between two panels to produce an X-ray. It can be uncomfortable but lasts only a few seconds. Some women schedule exams after their period when their breasts are less tender.

The most important thing a woman who is concerned about pain can do is tell the technologist before the imaging begins. The tech can take the time to educate the woman on what to expect and why compression is necessary. If there is pain during the exam, the tech can also try different positioning to reduce discomfort.

Discomfort during a mammogram exam varies from patient to patient. Some experience discomfort due to the compression that is applied to the breast. Most women, however, tolerate the exam quite well.

What else should I know about my mammogram?

These tips can help you become ready for an exam. The American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology recommend a yearly exam for women beginning at age 40. They also encourage monthly self-checks.

  • Exams take 10-15 minutes on average to complete.
  • A mammography technologist will position you at the machine. There are two standard views of each breast taken during a mammogram.
  • Your technologist has training in this procedure and is also sensitive to your needs. Feel free to voice your concerns to them.

Who makes up the Breast Health Team? 

Here’s some background on the qualified teams who will be treating you. Wilmington Health’s complete, patient-centered approach includes an understanding group of providers.


These physicians and providers diagnose and treat non-surgical illnesses in adults. They administer treatment for primary health care. This includes:

  • Exams
  • Preventive services
  • Care for acute illness


This team includes providers of total health care for all family members. The American Academy of Family Physicians supports this concept.


This team administers care for women, from puberty through adulthood. This department operates the Mammography Screening Program, which offers early detection options.


Should this become part of your care, you’ll be in good hands. Wilmington Health surgeons perform a host of procedures with compassion and skill:

  • Biopsies
  • Lumpectomy, partial or full
  • Mastectomy, partial or full


Surgeons perform breast reconstruction and implant surgery for cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.


Digital mammography can provide screenings for asymptomatic women. The Mammography Team offers a board-certified radiologist and technologist

 for your care.

What about the equipment used at Wilmington Health?

Our Radiology Department offers the most advanced 3D capabilities available. No other system in the world of its kind offers a lower radiation dose. Rounded edges and fiber carbon construction are in place with patient care in mind.

How much does a mammogram cost?

Most insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid cover the cost. Consult your provider to schedule your annual screening.

Where can I get a mammogram?

Visit one of these Wilmington Health locations:

Jacksonville – 1000 Brabham Avenue

Leland – 9101 Ocean Highway East

Mayfaire – 6727 Parker Farm Drive

Wilmington – 1202 Medical Center Drive