The Carol Milgard Breast Center and TRA Medical Imaging have not changed our recommendation that women get yearly screening mammograms every year starting at age 40. If breast cancer is found early, there are more treatment options and a better chance for survival. Women whose breast cancer is detected at an early stage have a 93 percent or higher survival rate in the first five years.
The breast center also recommends women in their 20s should begin regular breast self-examinations to understand what looks and feels normal for their breasts, and should also start to receive regular clinical breast exams by a health care provider.
Breast Imaging Referral Guidelines
- Patient is asymptomatic or has no focal/persistent symptoms
- Annually starting at age 40
- Baseline screening acceptable at age 35 (written referral required for patients under 40)
- Patients with increased risk—positive for BRCA 1 or 2 genes or have 1st degree relatives (mother, sister, daughter) with a history of breast cancer or with proven BRCA mutations—should have an annual screening mammogram from age 30
Definition of symptoms: lump, thickening, palpable abnormality, unusual nipple discharge, skin or nipple retraction/change, or any pain that is not chronic or cyclical
- Patients age 30 or older presenting with symptoms should have a bilateral diagnostic mammogram; possible ultrasound to follow
- Patients age 30 or older presenting with a new symptom, if more than 3 months after their last mammogram should have a unilateral diagnostic mammogram; possible ultrasound to follow
- Patients with history of breast cancer should have a diagnostic mammogram every 6 months for 2 years following initial diagnosis; then an annual diagnostic mammogram for the next three years; then return to annual screening mammogram.
- Patients under the age of 30 presenting with new symptoms; possible diagnostic mammogram to follow
- Patients who are nursing or stopped nursing less than 6 months ago presenting with new symptoms
- Patients who are pregnant presenting with new symptoms; possible diagnostic mammogram to follow
Definition of symptoms: lump, swelling, nipple discharge or pain
- Patients 20 years of age or older presenting with symptoms; possible ultrasound to follow
- Learn more about breast disease in men.
- Patients 12 years of age or older presenting with symptoms (lump, swelling, nipple discharge or pain) should have an ultrasound performed first
- Patients under the age of 12 can be evaluated by a pediatrician and pediatric radiologist
- There are other special circumstances which are not outlined here (i.e. patient with history of chest radiation or patient with first degree family member diagnosed early with breast cancer).
Please contact our office at (253) 759-2622 and press 1 to consult with a radiologist who specializes is breast imaging about your patient.