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Spot breast cancer early

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute logo

Breast care is an important part
of a woman’s health and well-being.

OHSU Health offers a wide range of breast services for your specific needs.

You’ll find innovative, supportive care, with everything from regular mammograms to consultations about your concerns.

OHSU Health has locations at OHSU, Hillsboro Medical Center and Adventist Health. Please contact a health care provider today to discuss your risk or to find a spot on your calendar for a mammogram.

Make an appointment

Portland

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OHSU Mammography Clinic, Marquam Hill

808 S.W. Campus Drive
Portland, Oregon 97239

503-494-4673
OHSU Breast Center, South Waterfront

Center for Health & Healing Building 2
3485 S. Bond Ave., 9th Floor
Portland, OR 97239

503-494-4673
Adventist Health Portland – Professional Building #3

10201 SE Main Street, Suite 24
Portland, OR 97216

503-251-6289

Gresham

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Adventist Health Portland – Gresham Station Imaging

831 NW Council Drive Suite 100
Gresham, OR 97030

503-489-2600

Scappoose

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OHSU Mammography Clinic, Scappoose

51377 S.W. Old Portland Rd.
Scappoose, OR 97056

503-494-4673

Hillsboro

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Hillsboro Medical Center Breast Health Center

Tuality 7th Ave. Medical Plaza
333 SE 7th Ave., Suite 3200
Hillsboro, OR 97123
Schedule: 503-681-4015
Questions: 503-681-4108 opt 3

503-681-4015

“Dottie” the Mobile Mammography Van

Dottie the Mobile Mammography Van illustration

Schedule: Call 503-681-4015 or email Mobile.Mammography@tuality.org

Hillsboro Medical Center’s mobile 3D mammography van is available to groups, organizations or businesses with 10 or more mammogram-eligible people. We bring our service to communities in the region, including:

Learn more about Dottie

Frequently asked questions

What is breast cancer screening?

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Getting checked for breast cancer when you have no symptoms is also called breast cancer screening. It is having a test to look for signs of breast cancer early, before you notice any problems or changes.

Why screen for breast cancer?

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Studies show breast cancer occurs in 1 out of 8 women and is the second leading cause of cancer death in women in the United States. Finding breast cancer early can help you start treatment as soon as possible. Early treatment is more likely to prevent serious illness or even death.

What is a mammogram?

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A mammogram (MAM-oh-gram) is an X-ray of your breasts. It is the main way of doing breast cancer screening. The X-ray takes pictures of your breast tissue. These can show cancer and other changes.

What is my breast cancer risk?

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Knowing your breast cancer risk is important. It can help you and your health care provider decide how often you need a screening mammogram.

Most women are at average risk for getting breast cancer. Your breast cancer risk may be higher if you have:

  • Breast cancer or other breast problems in the past
  • A family member with breast cancer
  • A genetic mutation linked to breast cancer, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2
  • Cancer or some genetic conditions in your family
  • Past radiation therapy to your chest (before age 30)
  • Changes to your breast, including inverted nipple, lumps, burning or pain



Ask your health care provider about other things that can raise your breast cancer risk. You can decide together how often you need screening mammograms.

Note: If you have pain, lumps or skin changes, you may need to get a diagnostic mammogram instead of a screening mammogram. Be sure to talk to your health care provider if you have these symptoms.

What should I do if I notice breast pain, nipple discharge, lumps or skin changes?

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If you have a lump, skin puckering, new nipple inversion, pain or other sudden changes in your breast, you should be talk with your health care provider about getting a mammogram. Most of the time the changes in our breasts are not cancer, but cancer should be ruled out.

Breast tenderness that occurs in the week or two before the onset of menstruation is considered normal. However, breast pain that you may feel throughout your breast outside this time can be caused by a change in your hormone levels, especially as you get older. If you have pain in your breast, you should contact your health care provider.

When should I start screening? How often should I be checked?

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The age you start depends on your general health, breast cancer risk and other factors. Most women in the United States start between age 40 and 50. You may need to start earlier if you are at higher risk.

Most women get a screening mammogram every year or two. The decision about when to start and how often to screen for breast cancer is very personal because it considers your background, your family history and more.

What happens at my mammogram?

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When you come to get a mammogram, a technologist will ask you to take off your clothing above the waist and put on a short hospital gown. The gown opens in the front, so your body is covered except for the breast being X-rayed.

The mammogram uses a specific X-ray machine with a part that curves over your head. The exam is done in a private room.

You stand in front of the mammogram machine. The technologist will gently put your breast on a small platform. Then a flat plate will press down on your breast from above. This is called compression. Making your breast flat for a few seconds helps the machine get a good picture.

The technologist takes pictures of both of your breasts from the front and from the side. This helps the physician who looks at the X-rays see as much of your breast as possible.

Illustration of a woman receiving a mammogram

Why do we have to compress, or flatten the breast?

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Flattening the breast with the mammogram X-ray machine helps the patient remain still so the image is clear. A clear image helps the doctor get a better view to detect anything that may be concerning or that may not be seen otherwise.

Can I have someone come with me for my mammogram?

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Tell the technologist if you need to have someone else there with you.

Does a mammogram hurt?

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Not for most people. Having your breast pressed flat is uncomfortable, but it does not last long. If you do feel pain, tell your technologist. They may be able to adjust your breast.

Do screening mammograms prevent breast cancer?

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No. Getting regular screening mammograms cannot prevent cancer. However, they are the best way to find it early when it is easier to treat.

What if I don't have insurance?

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If you are concerned that your screening mammogram may not be covered by insurance, please contact the OHSU Breast Imaging department at (503) 494-4673 and mention our Breast Health for All program to discuss the opportunity of free mammograms for those in need.

OHSU Health includes three adult hospitals - OHSU Hospital, Adventist Health Portland and Hillsboro Medical Center - as well as OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and dozens of patient care locations throughout the Portland metro area. Our goal is to serve as many Oregonians as possible with outstanding patient care informed by cutting-edge research in an innovative training environment.
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