The total average cost for a mammogram in the USA is $102.
Used to locate breast tumors, mammograms involve taking an X-ray of just the breasts, and are typically recommended when you find a lump or abnormality during a self-breast exam or your doctor notices an abnormality during your yearly exam. In some cases, mammograms are used as part of routine care, and some doctors recommend having a mammogram every 1 to 2 years after you reach 40 or 50 years of age. If your family has a history of breast cancer, especially an immediate relation such as your mother or sister, you may need to start routine exams sooner.
The specialized machine used to take the X-ray features a stationary flat plate and a moveable flat plate. The breast is placed against the stationary plate and then compressed with the moveable portion. Multiple images of each breast are taken one at a time from various angles in an effort to develop enough images to create a cohesive set detailing the interior of the area. Movement and breathing can blur the images, as with any other internal imaging scan, and sometimes certain shots taken with a mammogram are unclear. In these cases, you may need to have a follow-up appointment so that your doctor can take additional X-rays.
Non-invasive and relatively quick, there is no recovery time for this procedure. However, prior to receiving a mammogram your doctor may ask that you refrain from using any leave-on toiletries and personal hygiene products; these include deodorant and antiperspirants, perfume, lotion and the like. In some cases, the test may be uncomfortable as the breast area is manipulated to achieve the imaging the doctor needs.