What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast tissue, used to aid in the diagnosis of breast cancer and other breast abnormalities. Regular mammograms are the gold standard for detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages, when it is most treatable.

Women of average risk should start getting yearly screening mammograms at the age of 40 according to the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI).

Grand River is your local, community provider for all of your breast health needs. We pride ourselves of offering exceptional quality care, close to home.

Breast Imaging

3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis)

  • Grand River Health has some of the most advanced imaging techniques available. Digital breast tomosynthesis (or 3D mammography) takes several images of the breast at multiple angles, creating “slices” of breast tissue, giving the radiologist more information than ever before. This helps our radiologists find cancers when they are smaller and earlier, greatly improving treatment options and outcomes.

Breast Density

  • Breast density is being recognized as a new, independent risk factor for developing breast cancer. Breast density is not related to how your breasts feel, instead it is a measurement of how much dense, fibroglandular tissue is present in your breast, versus how much fatty tissue is present. This can only be determined by mammography, and your measurement is included with your mammography results. Patients with dense breast tissue should talk to their doctor to see if they may benefit from supplemental screening options.

Prep:  Arrive 15 minutes prior to appointment. Do not wear deodorant, lotions or powders.

A diagnostic mammogram is used when a patient is experiencing any abnormal breast symptoms such as a lump, focal pain, nipple discharge, or after the result of an abnormal screening mammogram. Diagnostic mammograms at Grand River are performed with our radiologist on site, so that they may immediately review the imaging performed and do any additional imaging as necessary. This also allows the radiologist to give patients their results at the time of service, to help alleviate any undue stress or worry.

Prep:  Arrive 15 minutes prior to appointment. Do not wear deodorant, lotions or powders.

Ultrasound is a type of imaging that uses sound waves to create an image. It is often used in conjunction with mammography, especially when a patient has an abnormal symptom, or has returned after an abnormal screening mammogram.

Automated Breast Volume Scanning, sometimes referred to as 3D breast ultrasound, uses sound waves to create a more complete picture of the breast tissue. It is used as a supplemental screening tool, in conjunction with mammography.

MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images. In breast imaging, it can be used as a screening tool in women with dense breast tissue, or women who are considered at a high risk for developing breast cancer. Also, it is sometimes used when a patient has been diagnosed with breast cancer to help determine the extent of the cancer.

Sometimes the result of breast imaging requires the radiologist to take a sample of breast tissue to determine its pathology. This is called a breast biopsy. Grand River Health is equipped with the technology to perform stereotactic breast biopsies, ultrasound biopsies, and MRI guided biopsies. We are also home to accredited surgeons if a patient must undergo a surgical biopsy, or need guidance for any type of breast tissue removal including needle localization.


Please call for available appointment times: 970.625.6442