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Hours of Service
The Women's Imaging Center at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center is open from 7:30 am -5:30 pm, Monday - Friday.  All mammography procedures are to be scheduled through our scheduling line at 207-777-4059.

Overview of Mammography
Mammography is a diagnostic tool used to detect breast cancer. Screening and diagnostic procedures are performed by female mammography specialists. Most screening mammograms can be completed in 15 minutes.

Breast Imaging Procedures
Mammograms are X-rays of the breast.  The latest digital technology is used to obtain images of the structures within the breast.  The information provided on the mammogram can most often assist the physician in determining whether a lump is solid or cystic. Ultrasound is often used with mammography to assist with the diagnosis. Certain characteristics and changes in the breast determine whether the breast should be biopsied or not.  For those changes within the breast that are next to the chest wall, advanced MRI imaging is available at St. Mary's.

Radiologists interpret the mammograms by studying the current images and comparing them with previous mammograms whenever possible.  A highly specialized computerized assisted diagnostic system (CAD) is used as well and acts as another set of eyes to evaluate the images.

Mammograms are now a lot gentler with the use of the MammoPad.  The MammoPad is a soft foam pad that provides a cushion between you and the mammography machine.  Many women have said this pad has made the vital exam less cold and more comfortable.

Breast Biopsies are performed so that a suspicious looking area of the breast can be further investigated. A sample of the suspicious breast tissue is removed for examination. This is the only certain way to determine whether the abnormality is cancerous or not.

Stereotactic core biopsies are offered at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center. This procedure allows the Radiologist to obtain a sample of the affected breast tissue. Under computer guidance, a needle is inserted into the breast and positioned at the area of concern. Once the needle is in correct position, tissue samples are taken from the breast and sent to pathology for examination. This procedure takes approximately 1 hour, requires very little preparation for the patient, and allows the patient to resume their normal activity after the procedure. The results are the same as a surgical biopsy with much less cost and minimal, if no scarring.

The stereotatic breast biopsy is the preferred choice, however, because the size and location of some lesions, surgical excisional biopsies may still be required.

Needle Localization for surgical biopsy is a method used to determine the exact location of the lesion to be removed by the surgeon.

During a needle localization, a Radiologist will place a needle into the breast to localize the exact site for the biopsy. A small wire is left in the breast and the surgeon uses this wire as a guide when performing the biopsy.

Breast Self-Exam

At age 20 all women should begin to examine their breasts regularly. The best time to do a breast self-exam (BSE) is 1 week after your period starts or the same time each month. Familiarity with how the breast changes is key to successful BSE, and the breasts should be examined monthly in order to recognize these changes. Everyone's breasts are different. It is even possible for one breast to look different than the other. Monthly Breast Self-Exams help you to become familiar with the feel and look of your breasts, so changes will be more noticeable to you. If changes are noticed you should contact your doctor. Your best defense against breast cancer is to find it early.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q- How often should I have my mammogram? 
A- The American Cancer Society suggests the first mammogram by the age of 40. At the age of 40, a mammogram should be scheduled every 1 to 2 years. Because the chance of breast cancer increases as you get older a yearly mammogram is recommended after age 50.
Q- Why do a mammograms need to use compression? 
A- Compression spreads out the breast tissue so that the Radiologist is better able to visualize more of the breast tissue.
Q- Why can't I wear deodorant? 
A- Some powders and deodorants have little metallic crystal that could show up on the mammogram images.
Q- Why should I avoid caffeine when I have my mammogram? 
A- Caffeine can make the breast more tender, which can make the test more uncomfortable.

More Information


Mammography (Excellent information for patients from the American College of Radiology.)


St. Mary's is now one of only four programs in Maine that are accredited by the NAPBC.  This is quite an important distinction.

Zone Sonography by Zonare is a high-resolution, high efficiency ultrasound available at the Breast Health Program. The compact, portable unit focuses on fewer larger zones. By doing so, the device is able to take in an immense amount of imaging information all at once, creating technology that’s ten times faster than conventional equipment.

Diagnostic Services 

The breast health program, in conjunction with the Women's Imaging Center at St. Mary's, offers the latest in diagnostic technology.

Digital Mammography - Call Women's Imaging Center at (207) 777-4060

Hologic Selenia digital mammography systems are operated by a qualied team of ACR-accredited technologists. As an MQSA certied and ACR accredited facility, the mammography suite combines high-tech quality diagnostics with a private and comfortable conference area. There patients can discuss their results with our board certied radiologists or take time to learn more about breast health. Self-referrals are welcomed.

Softer Mammograms

Mammograms are now a lot gentler with the use of the MammoPad.  The MammoPad is a soft foam pad that provides a cushion between you and the mammography machine.  Many women have said this pad has made the vital exam less cold and more comfortable.

Breast MRI

Breast MRI is a supplemental tool used to detect breast cancer in women at high risk for the disease. It is considered to be the most sensitive method to evaluate the extent of breast cancer (staging), but it does not replace a mammography for screening. It can also be used to detect abnormalities with breast implants. 

Mammotome/Stereotactic Biopsy

Through the imaging capabilities of our Seimens Prone Digital Stereotactic table or the Philips iU22 ultrasound unit, we provide excellent quality images that enable us to locate small abnormalities for biopsy. We are able to get samples of breast tissue in question with an incision so small there is no need for stitches. The patient is able to lie down for the procedure, rather than the older method of sitting upright. The ability to obtain these samples may also eliminate the need for furthertests, including surgical biopsies.

Medical Oncology Services 

Through an affiliation with the Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders, patients with any stage of breast cancer can access the most current cancer treatments available.

The Center includes oncology physician services and a full outpatient chemotherapy treatment center.

Located within the Center is the American Cancer Society Resource Center.  There, patients, their families, and the general public can learn more about different cancers, treatment options, and support services.  The Center is the first in Maine to be supported by the American Cancer Society.

St. Mary's Health System • 93 Campus Avenue • Lewiston, ME 04240