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Mammograms are recommended yearly, starting at age 45 and every other year starting at age 55 (American Cancer Society).

A mammogram is a special x-ray of the breast.

Mammography can detect lumps and other forms of breast disease, including breast cancer, that may be too small to be felt by an experienced examiner. This early detection is your best opportunity for a total cure.

X-ray equipment dedicated exclusively to performing mammograms is used. This allows us to use x-ray levels that are three to nine times lower than normal x-ray levels.

Catholic Health Locations

Kenmore Mercy Hospital
2950 Elmwood Avenue
Kenmore, NY 14217
Phone & Hours

M. Steven Piver M.D. Center for Women's Health and Wellness
Seton Professional Building
2121 Main Street
Suite 100
Buffalo, NY 14214
Phone & Hours

Mercy Ambulatory Care Center
3669 Southwestern Boulevard
Orchard Park, NY 14127
Phone & Hours

Mercy Diagnostic and Treatment Center
550 Orchard Park Road
West Seneca, NY 14224
Phone & Hours

Mercy Diagnostic Center
94 Olean Street
East Aurora, NY 14052
Phone & Hours

Mount St. Mary's Hospital
5300 Military Road
Lewiston, NY 14092
Phone & Hours

St. Joseph Campus
2605 Harlem Road
Cheektowaga, NY 14225
Phone & Hours

Digital Mammography

Unlike standard mammography, which records images on film using an x-ray cassette, digital mammography captures images using an x-ray phosphorous detector, which converts the image into a digital picture. After the exam, the radiologist can alter the magnification, brightness or contrast of an image to see areas more clearly.

Digital imaging provides superior image quality so that subtle differences between normal and abnormal tissues are easily identified.

Benefits of Digital Mammography

  • Faster appointments
  • Faster results
  • Better visualization for the radiologist
  • Better detection of breast cancer, in some cases

Digital mammograms are available at most Catholic Health sites.

Preparing for Your Mammogram

Menstruation: If you are pre-menopausal, try to schedule your mammogram the week after your period, when your breasts will be the least sensitive. Avoid having your mammogram the week before your period.

Records: If you have mammography films or images from another hospital or clinic, contact their radiology records department and make arrangements to pick them up prior to your mammogram. You will need to bring these to your appointment.

Beverages: Avoid caffeinated beverages 48 hours prior to your exam, as caffeine could make your breasts more sensitive.

The Day of Your Mammogram

Do not wear deodorant or any other powders, perfumes or locations under your arms or breast area on the day of your appointment. Residues produced by these items could show up on and interfere with your images.

Wear comfortable clothing to your appointment. Because you will be asked to remove all of your clothes from the waist up, you may wish to dress in two pieces. Gowns will be available for you to wear prior to your exam.

Bring all previous mammography images to your appointment if you had them taken outside the Catholic Health network.

During Your Mammogram

Once in the mammography room, a specially trained breast technician will perform an initial examination of your breasts for abnormalities. She will then position one breast on the mammogram system. A soft plastic paddle will compress the breast. This compression is necessary to even out the breast tissue so that the entire breast is X-rayed and small tumors are not obscured by overlapping tissue. Compression also provides better images by reducing motion and X-ray scatter.

The technician will stand behind a glass plate and take the first breast X-ray. She will then reposition you to take a side view of the same breast. The procedure will then be repeated with the other breast, for a total of four X-rays or two of each breast. If your breasts are very large or if you have implants, four X-rays might be taken of each breast.

After Your Mammogram

You may leave immediately following the procedure.

The radiologist will study the mammography images collected and report the results to your physician.

If you are called back for a follow-up breast ultrasound, MRI or additional mammogram views, it means only that the radiologist needs more complete information – it does not indicate that you have breast cancer. Most of the spots detected by mammography are benign.


We will bill your insurance company directly. Please bring your insurance card and referral/authorization form on the day of your exam.

Don't Have Insurance?

Cancer Services Programs of Western New York (CSPWNY) provide free breast, cervical, and colon cancer screenings to uninsured women and men in all seven counties of Western New York. With enrollment in this program, free screenings, diagnostics, and treatment services are available at most Catholic Health sites. Please call CSPWNY to enroll.

Visit their website for more information.