Patient Information

Yearly screening mammograms are recommended for women aged 40 years or older. If you are at a higher risk of breast cancer, talk with your healthcare provider about whether to have mammogram screenings before age 40.

Mammography Prep Instructions and Tips

  • Do not use deodorant, powder, perfume or lotions until after your exam.
  • If you have had mammograms at another facility you should bring the name, address and phone number (or have them sent to Hillsboro Medical Center) so that they can be compared to the new ones.
  • You may find it easier to wear a skirt or pants, so that you’ll only need to remove your top and bra for the mammogram.
  • Schedule your mammogram when your breasts are not tender or swollen to help reduce discomfort and get a good picture.
  • The whole procedure takes about 20 minutes. Your breasts will be compressed between two plastic plates.  The actual breasts compression only lasts a few seconds.
  • You may feel some discomfort or even pain when your breasts are compressed. If you are in pain, tell the technologist so she can try to make the compression more comfortable for you. The discomfort should only last a few seconds.
  • If you have not received your results letter within two weeks, do not assume that your mammogram is normal. Call your doctor or the Breast Health center at 503-681-4108.

Download check list that will help you prepare for your mammogram.  English (PDF) » or  en español (PDF) »

Bone Densitometry Prep Instructions

Do not take any calcium supplements on the day of the exam.  Do not wear any buttons, zippers or metal around waist area.  Weight limit is 400 pounds.  Provider Order Required.

What to expect after your screening mammogram is complete

Screening mammograms are used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. This type of mammogram usually involves two X-ray images of each breast, which allows for better detection of tumors that cannot be felt. They can also find microcalcifications (tiny deposits of calcium) that sometimes indicate the presence of breast cancer.

One of two things will take place after your exam:

  1. In approximately 10-14 days, you will receive a letter from the Breast Health Center stating that your results are normal. If you do not receive your letter within two weeks from the date of your exam, please call us at 503-681-4108.
  2. Every breast evaluation is unique. It is not unusual for a radiologist to request that you return for further breast imaging. (Approximately 80 percent of callbacks turn out to be benign.) If additional imaging is needed, you will receive a phone call and/or a letter notifying you that your exam needs further evaluation. Upon completion of your callback exam, you will receive the results at the end of your visit. Please know that this additional imaging is billed separately from your screening. If you have any questions regarding your insurance coverage, please contact your insurance provider.

The Breast Health Center will send you a letter approximately 11 months from the date of your screening to remind you to set an appointment for your annual screening exam. **The American Cancer Society recommends women age 40 and over get a mammogram every year “as long as they are in good health.”  Thank you for choosing the Breast Health Center at Hillsboro Medical Center.

Qué debe esperar después de hacerse una mamografía de detección

Las mamografías de detección, como su nombre lo indica, se usan para detectar el cáncer de mama en mujeres que no presentan síntomas de la enfermedad. Este tipo de mamografía normalmente consta de dos imágenes radiográficas de cada seno, lo cual permite una mejor detección de tumores que no se pueden palpar. También pueden encontrar microcalcificaciones (pequeños depósitos de calcio) que a veces indican la presencia de cáncer en la mama.

Después de su examen, recibirá una de las siguientes notificaciones:

  1. Entre 10 y 14 días después, aproximadamente, recibirá una carta del Servicio de salud de los senos de Hillsboro Medical Center (Breast Health Center) para decirle que sus resultados son normales. Si 2 semanas después de la fecha de su examen todavía no ha recibido su carta, llámenos al 503-681-4108.
  2. Debido a que cada evaluación de los senos es singular, no es raro que un radiólogo solicite que regrese a hacerse más imágenes de los senos (aproximadamente el 80% de las llamadas de seguimiento tienen resultados benignos). Si se requieren imágenes adicionales, le llamarán por teléfono y/o le enviarán una carta para notificarle que su examen se debe evaluar más a fondo. Al terminar su examen de seguimiento, recibirá los resultados antes de irse. Por favor observe que estas imágenes adicionales se facturan por separado de la mamografía. Si tiene alguna pregunta acerca de la cobertura de su seguro, comuníquese con su proveedor de seguros.

El Servicio de salud de los senos de Hillsboro Medical Center le enviará una carta aproximadamente 11 meses después de su examen para recordarle que haga la cita para su examen de detección anual.

**De conformidad con la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos de EE.UU. (FDA): Una paciente puede hacerse una mamografía de rutina y recibir el informe de seguimiento sin recomendación de un médico. La Sociedad Americana Contra el Cáncer recomienda que a partir de los 40 años las mujeres se hagan una mamografía cada año “siempre que estén en buen estado de salud”. Gracias por elegir el Servicio de salud de los senos de Hillsboro Medical Center.

Post Biopsy Home Instructions


We recommend you wear a supportive, soft bra following the procedure. The local anesthetic given to you will wear off within a few hours after your biopsy, and you may experience a tingling sensation and slight aching in your breasts. To alleviate any discomfort, it is preferable that you take a non-aspirin pain reliever like Tylenol. Please use the ice pack that we provide for you for the first 4-6 hours and as needed. This minimizes the swelling and bruising, and may help to relieve any burning or aching sensation you may experience.


Once your biopsy has been completed, you can return to your normal routine. However, we do recommend no strenuous activities for 48 hours (weight lifting, jogging, tennis, aerobics, skiing, etc).

Wound care

You may shower the day after your procedure. At that time, you may remove the Band-Aid or clear bandage and the gauze dressing before showering. Leave the steri-strips in place. Change your Band-Aid as needed.  Should your dressing come off sooner, do not worry about replacing it. Do not remove the steri-strips; allow them to peel off by themselves. The steri-strips are holding the edges of your small incision together to aid healing. It is normal to have a very small amount of blood on the dressing.

Problems to look for and when to call your physician:

  • Pain that does not go away.
  • Redness, swelling, and/or pus around the incision.
  • Bleeding from the incision (more than a few drops).
  • Heaviness, pressure, heat at incision site.
  • Elevated temperature (above 100 degree Fahrenheit).

If any of these problems occur, please call your personal physician. If your personal physician is unavailable, contact the Forest Grove Immediate Care at 503-359-6180 or the Hillsboro Medical Center Emergency Department 503-681-1860.  Also, please call our breast health services department at 503-681-4110 so we may notify the physician who performed your biopsy and follow your care.


The final results of your biopsy are usually available within 48-72 hours. To inquire about your test results, please contact the doctor who referred you for the breast biopsy.

Diagnostic Imaging Exam

Patients need to follow specific instructions for diagnostic imaging exams that include general radiology, ultrasound, CT scan and MRI.

Read patient instructions for diagnostic imaging exams. (PDF) »