How Much Does Mammogram Cost
Every year, there are a lot of women who suffer from breast related diseases that can lead to breast cancer. To reduce your health risk, it is highly advisable to have regular checkups. Keep in mind that prevention is still the better cure. For women, mammography is the type of imaging test that uses x-ray to detect cancer. By undergoing this procedure, doctors can detect the problem early on even before the women experience the signs and symptoms. How much does a mammogram cost? The price of mammogram actually varies.
Know More About Mammography
Before worrying about the average cost of mammogram, it helps that you know about this test. Mammography is basically a breast imaging test that uses x-ray to see what is inside the breasts. This test is proven to be effective in detecting and diagnosing any breast related problem early on. In recent years, there have improvements and advances when it comes to mammographic. One is the digital mammography which is also
known as full-field digital mammography where electronics are used to convert the x-rays into pictures. The mammographic images are then transferred to the computer. There is what you call the computer-aided detection or CAD which search for abnormal areas that may indicate the possibility of having cancer. What the CAD system does is that it can highlight specific areas in the images. The breast tomosynthesis or also known as the 3D dimensional mammography is much more advanced as it enables medical professionals to see the breast imaging from various angles.
Preparing for a Mammogram
Before you even schedule a mammogram, you have to prepare for the test. Make sure that you talk to your doctor about your medical history, any surgery you had before or if any of your family has a breast cancer history.
It is also important that you schedule your mammogram after your menstrual period. Do not schedule before your period. It is strongly recommended that you schedule a mammogram one week after your period. You should also tell your doctor if there is a possible that you’re pregnant.
If you are scheduled for this test, do not wear talcum powder or deodorant. In case you also have previous tests and you are asking for another opinion, you should also tell it to your doctor.
Average Cost of a Mammogram
How much does a mammogram cost? The price of mammogram would depends as to whether you have health insurance. If you do not have any insurance, the average cost of mammogram ranges from $80 or even more. You will be surprised, but there are locations where you can expect a much higher price. Like for instance in Hawaii, it costs about $212. The good thing is that most health insurance policies cover mammograms. In which case, you can expect a much lower average cost of mammogram.
In undergoing this test, you also have to prepare for additional costs. Aside from taking a mammogram, you may also have to get an MRI. If your doctor sees any abnormality or irregularity, you will have to take more tests. According to recent studies, more than 10% of women who have taken a mammogram would also take more tests.
The good news is that you can reduce the price of mammogram. There are discounts in particular during October. During the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there are groups and organizations that provide free service sin a mobile clinic. You can also access the website of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to search for a program that provides low cost or even free mammograms.
How Does It Work?
For women who will be taking a mammogram, many are curious as to how it works. Mammogram uses x-rays which is a form of radiation. It passes through objects and the body then it records an image on a special detector. Various body parts would accept x-rays in different degrees. Before, x-ray images were in hard film copy. Given the recent technological advancements, x-rays images are no stored in digital files. They are much easier to access.
How is the procedure performed? This procedure is performed by a radiologic technologist who will position your body in the equipment. Your breast is then placed on a platform and will slowly compress your breast. This is essential to even out the thickness of the breast for better tissue visualization. Another reason is to reduce image blur and x-ray shatter for better picture quality. You will be asked to change positions as it can have an angled side and a top to bottom view. Once you are finally in the right position, you will have to keep still and hold your breath for a few seconds. The whole process takes about 30 minutes. The same process is done for tomosynthesis.
Benefits of a Mammogram
In taking a mammogram, you will have to shoulder the cost. Then again, there are also benefits. For one, it can lead to early detection if ever there is any irregularity. Your doctor can detect if there is a sign of tumor/cancer. Prevention is still the best cure. When the cancer is still small, women can have more options when it comes to treatments.
But aside from using this test to detect breast cancer, it is also used to detect any abnormal tissue growth known as the ductal carcinoma in situ. In the early stages, these tumors may not harm patients. You do not have to worry about radiation and other side effects.
Are There Risks?
There are also risks but the benefits outweigh the risks. Whenever your body is excessively exposed to radiation, there is a chance of cancer although it is a really small change. Another risk is that there are some who might experience false positive mammogram. That is why it is important to have more tests especially if there is any abnormal finding.