Expect clear results and a more comfortable testing experience when you get a mammogram at Carol Hatton Breast Care Center, a service of Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. You’ll know you’re getting care from qualified staff who follow the right procedures to ensure your safety and accurate results. That’s because we’re accredited in mammography by the American College of Radiology.
Do I need a mammogram?
The Breast Care Center recommends women start getting a mammogram each year by age 40 to check for early signs of breast cancer. If you’ve had a close family member with breast cancer before age 40, start your annual screenings five years before the age your relative was diagnosed with cancer.
Advanced digital technology
Your mammogram will use digital technology that:
- Gives the clearest possible images
- Makes it easy to share images with your doctors at different locations
- Takes pictures in less than a minute
- Uses computer-aided detection when needed, combining your radiologist’s review with a second, computerized reading
We offer 3D mammography to all patients regardless of breast density. Also called breast tomosynthesis, 3D mammography creates more detailed, layered images of your breasts to make it easier to identify cancer. When scheduling your next breast cancer screening, let the scheduler know if you'd like a 3D mammogram. You will need to check with your insurance provider to see if your plan covers 3D mammography.
What to expect
The day of your mammogram:
- Don’t wear deodorant, powders, perfume, or lotion under your arms or on your breasts because they can affect your test results
- Wear a separate top and bottom so you can undress from just the waist up for the test
You’ll receive care from staff who are all women at our spa-like Carol Hatton Breast Care Center.
After you arrive, they’ll ask you to change from your shirt into a warmed gown. Then, you’ll stand in front of the mammography machine. A technician will place one breast at a time on a shelf with a soft MammoPad® cushion for your comfort.
Next, a compression paddle will gently press down on the top of your breast. If it’s uncomfortable, ask your technician to change the positioning. We want you to feel as relaxed as possible.
The machine takes pictures for several seconds while compressing your breast. Then, your technician repeats the process for your other breast.
Screening and diagnostic mammograms
Most mammograms serve as screenings — meaning they check for problems before you experience symptoms.
But doctors can also use mammograms to diagnose a breast condition if you already have symptoms, such as:
- Breast lump
- Skin or nipple changes
- Swollen tissue near the armpit
Your care team may order a diagnostic mammogram along with other types of tests, such as breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a breast biopsy.
Your mammogram results
After a screening mammogram, your test results will appear in MyChart within 24 to 72 hours. If you don’t yet have a patient portal account, you’ll get a letter in the mail within about a week after your test with instructions on how to set one up.
If you have a diagnostic mammogram, you’ll learn the results during your appointment.
Financial assistance for mammograms
If you can’t afford a mammogram or additional tests, you may qualify for help from:
- Sherry Cockle Fund for screening mammograms
- Carol Hatton Fund for breast diagnostic tests
Learn about Community Hospital financial assistance, and download an application.
To support your neighbors in need and help make your community a healthier place, sponsor a mammogram by donating to either fund.