Frequently Asked Questions

Mammography & Breast Cancer Prevention in St. Croix

You should not live your life in fear of breast cancer. Being aware of the risks and what you can do to prevent it will help you be educated and prepared if symptoms occur. Mammography is one of the best screening tools we have to catch breast cancer in its earliest stages. Here you will find some answers to frequently asked questions about breast care, mammography, and breast cancer. If you have additional questions about breast health, please contact the St. Croix Health Breast Center at (800) 828-3627.

Breast Health

Is breast cancer common?

Breast cancer is a common type of cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. According to the CDC, about 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

What is a mammogram?

Mammograms are the imaging test used to exam breast tissue and are one of the best ways of detecting early signs of breast cancer, years before physical symptoms may develop. In this low dose x-ray exam, gentle compression is applied while x-ray images are captured. The images are sent to a specially trained radiologist to review and share their report with your provider.

What is a biopsy?

A breast biopsy is a procedure where a small sample of breast tissue is removed so it can be examined for signs of breast cancer. This is considered a safe and noninvasive procedure.

How often should I receive a mammogram?

It is recommended that women receive their first mammogram beginning at age 40 and continue with a yearly mammogram until age 75 or as recommend by your provider.

Can I check for signs of breast cancer at home?

Yes, but a self-examination is not a replacement for a mammogram. However, knowing what your breasts look and feel like will help you identify abnormalities you should have examined by your doctor. Self-breast exams should be done once a month. You can do it in the shower, while lying down, or standing in front of the mirror. Be sure to feel all around each breast for any lumps or signs of dimpling.

Is there anything I can do to prevent breast cancer?

There is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer but maintaining overall health and wellness can lower your risk. Exercising 30 minutes a day, eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limiting alcohol consumption are good standard practices.

What if I can't afford a mammogram or do not have insurance?

Minnesota and Wisconsin both have programs available through each county, these programs are often income based but upon qualification an annual mammogram is typically covered. Minnesota has SAGE, which provides breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings. Wisconsin has the Well Woman Program available in each county.

To make an appointment or learn more about our breast health services, call (800) 828-3627.

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