Road and parking lot construction in Madison, Wis. may result in travel delays and route changes to UW Health clinic and hospital locations. Please plan accordingly.Read more
Types of imaging
At UW Health, we use advanced imaging modalities including digital mammography, digital breast tomosynthesis, ultrasound, and breast MRI to find breast cancer as early as possible. We provide screening and diagnostic imaging services.
Screening mammographies are an important part of your health maintenance.
A screening mammogram is used to detect breast changes in patients who do not have signs or symptoms of breast cancer. Screening mammograms are proven to detect breast cancer early, when it is most treatable, and save lives. We use digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) and/or full field digital mammography at our UW Health locations. Please call the specific location for more information. All women should talk to their doctor about when to have their first mammogram, especially if they are at high risk for breast cancer.
A radiology technologist specially trained in mammography takes mammogram images of your breasts. The technologist places each breast between two smooth flat plates. The plates gently compress the breast to get the highest quality images. The pressure might be slightly uncomfortable. Compression is brief, but important.
A radiologist views and interprets your breast images on specialized computer monitors.
At UW Health, we recommend these guidelines if you are at average risk for breast cancer. If you think you might be at high risk for developing breast cancer, please contact our PATHS clinic.
Age 40-49: Talk with your doctor at age 40. Understand your breast cancer risks. Know your preferences for breast cancer screening. Consider a screening mammogram every one to two years.
Age 50-74: Get a screening mammogram every one to two years.
Age 75 and older: Consider a screening mammogram every one to two years, based on your doctor’s recommendations.
Diagnostic mammographies are usually scheduled by your provider in cases where a closer evaluation is needed.
This type of mammogram is most often performed for women with signs or symptoms of breast cancer to get more information after a screening mammogram shows an area of concern. A diagnostic mammogram includes additional images of the breast.
A diagnostic mammogram involves one or more special mammogram images taken from different angles. These allow detailed evaluation of an area of the breast. This test is often used for one of two reasons: a new clinical finding or an abnormal screening mammogram.
Other types of imaging
In addition to mammography, we use a variety of tools and technologies to screen, detect and diagnose breast cancer. If cancer is suspected, these tests help our doctors further investigate to understand the type of cancer, as well as determine the stage and location of the cancer.
Breast ultrasound is an imaging test that uses sound waves to create an image of the breast tissue. An ultrasound is used if there is a possible finding on a mammogram or if there is a symptom of breast cancer, such as a lump.
When breast cancer is possibility, a biopsy is often recommended. A biopsy is a tissue sample of the area of concern that will be sent for review by a Pathologist to confirm whether or not there is cancer present. Breast imaging Radiologists use images to guide them to the location of an abnormality to use biopsies. Ultrasound is often used to guide biopsy, but mammograms can also be used (called a stereotactic biopsy) and MRI can guide a biopsy as well. After tissue samples are taken, a tiny marker clip will be used to mark the location for future mammograms or surgery.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast is used for screening in some patients at increased risk for breast cancer and also to determine the extent of cancer in some patients who have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. Sometimes it is also used to find the source of a suspected cancer or to monitor response to therapy for breast cancer.
Abbreviated breast MRI (AB-MRI) is a shortened version of breast MRI that is designed to screen patients with dense breasts for additional breast cancers not seen on mammography. Traditional 2D mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis can miss invasive breast cancers in people with dense breast tissue, so AB-MRI provides a clearer picture for these patients, reducing the risk of a missed cancer diagnosis.
How to schedule
There are three ways to schedule a screening mammogram:
UW Health MyChart users can schedule screening mammograms online through their MyChart account.
Contact your primary care provider and they can assist you with scheduling a screening mammogram.
To schedule your mammogram, contact the location directly at the information listed below.
If you are asked to have diagnostic mammogram images following a screening mammogram, a UW Health staff member will contact you to schedule the appropriate appointments.
PriceLine can provide cost information regarding breast imaging exams. Call (608) 263-1507
The Wisconsin Well Women Program can assist patients without insurance coverage pay for screening mammograms. Call (608) 266-8311
UW Health's PATHS Clinic can assist women who have an increased risk of breast cancer evaluate their breast cancer risk and come up with a personalized screening and treatment plan.
How to find us
UW Health Wisconsin mammogram locations
Breast Center (University Hospital)
Breast Center (1 S Park St Medical Center)
E Terrace Dr Medical Center
Junction Rd Medical Center
Odana Rd Clinic
Union Corners Clinic
UW Health Northern Illinois mammogram locations
1340 Charles St Clinic Breast Health Center (Rockford): (779) 696-7676
N Bell School Rd Medical Center (Rockford): (779) 696-0300
Belvidere Hospital: (779) 696-7676
Roscoe Clinic: (779) 696-9000
Walk-in mammograms are available at the following Illinois locations. No appointment is needed:
N Bell School Rd Medical Center
Tuesdays, 9 a.m.–Noon; 1–3 p.m.
Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–2 p.m.
The breast imaging team
The breast imaging team at UW Health includes radiologists who are experts in all areas of imaging.
UW Health Breast Center
Our Breast Center teams have a level of experience with cancer and non-cancerous conditions that is unsurpassed in the region.Learn more
More ways we can help
The Komen Screening and Diagnostic Access Program is available for Wisconsin residents. The program aims to provide financial support for breast screening and diagnostic services for low-income, uninsured or underinsured individuals.
Individuals who reside in the state of Wisconsin and have an income at or below 300 percent of Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
All ages and genders
What does the program cover?
Clinical breast exams
Diagnostic biopsies and procedures
How do I get approval for services?
Screening and diagnostic approval codes are issued via secure email or mailed to the address you provide. Once you’ve received your approval code, please call our Breast Center schedulers at (608) 266-6400 to schedule an appointment.
We partner with the Wisconsin Well Woman Program to provide breast and cervical cancer screenings for women of lower income in our service area with little or no health insurance coverage. Learn more about the program
UW Health’s Wisconsin Well Woman Program patient navigator, Ana Karina Cuellar-Montes, MSW, APSW, can help you:
Manage your breast and cervical health
Create an individualized plan to resolve barriers to screenings
Navigate through diagnosis and treatment for breast and cervical cancer
Address challenges in your life related to your health care by providing a comprehensive and culturally sensitive assessment
Connect with insurance, lodging, emotional support, financial assistance and transportation
Connect with a primary health care provider
Find important support resources as well as provide you with emotional support
If you are located in southern Wisconsin, please contact the UW Health Breast Center at (608) 266-6400 and ask to speak with our Wisconsin Well Woman Program patient navigator.