Mammogram myths busted

Know the truth about mammograms.

Schedule your mammogram

503-413-7800 (Oregon)
360-487-1800 (Washington)

Legacy doctor and patient discuss mammography mythbusters

Myths about mammograms

Is a myth keeping you from scheduling your mammogram? For your health’s sake, get the facts:

I’m just as likely to get cancer from the mammography radiation. 

The dose of radiation in a mammogram is small, and there’s no evidence that it causes breast cancer. It’s actually less than you naturally absorb in a two-month period walking around in daily life.


They hurt.

Though there is pressure and discomfort, most women report no pain and the discomfort is temporary. If you have tender breasts, scheduling at the right time in your menstrual cycle can help.

Locations don’t matter.

Where you’re screened matters. Diagnostic accuracy depends on the quality of the screening equipment, also important are the experience and expertise of the technicians conducting the screening and the radiologists reading the mammograms. Legacy uses reduced radiation 3-D digital mammography for the fastest, most accurate results with the lowest radiation exposure possible. Our Breast Health Centers also offer leading-edge screening technologies, including breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI), breast MRI and ultrasound, for cases where mammography alone isn't enough. Legacy has won multiple quality awards for the excellence of our breast health care, including designation of our Breast Health Centers as Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.



I don’t need a mammogram until I’m 50.

The incidence of breast cancer does rise with age, but unfortunately, no one is "too young" for the disease. Legacy Cancer Institute recommends annual mammograms beginning at age 40. In fact, almost twenty percent of our breast cancer patients are younger than 50.


I have no family history of breast cancer so I don’t need a mammogram.

A family history of breast cancer is all the more reason to have regular mammograms, but simply inheriting a hereditary factor is not enough to cause cancer to develop. In fact, 90 to 95 percent of breast cancers are not related to genetics. In other words, only about 10 percent of breast cancer patients have a family history of breast cancer. Learn more about genetics.


My mammogram was negative, so a lump in my breast is nothing to worry about.

If you feel a lump, talk to your doctor. Mammograms are the best tests we have to find breast cancer, but they are not perfect.

Schedule your mammogram

503-413-7800 (Oregon)
360-487-1800 (Washington)