The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a national campaign that draws attention to
the devasting impact of breast cancer and encourages women to take part in important healthcare
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Hawaiʻi.1 The American Cancer Society’s
Statistics Center estimates that there are more than 1,400 new cases in the state this year.2
Taking care of your health to prevent breast cancer means eating well, staying physically active, and
scheduling annual screenings, like mammograms.
What is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is a screening that helps detect early signs of breast cancer. Routine mammograms are the best test to identify lumps or other abnormalities, and they can show changes too small to feel by
The mammogram is an x-ray picture of your breast. During the screening, your breasts are gently
flattened between two plastic plates, one at a time, to ensure that all breast tissue can be seen in the
image. There may be some discomfort, but it lasts just a few moments. The machine sends a tiny
amount of radiation through your breast to create an image, which is later reviewed by a radiologist for any early signs of breast cancer.
When Should I Get a Mammogram?
Our specialists at Queen’s Cancer Centers recommend you have your first mammogram by age 40 and
then continue to receive an annual screening. Mammograms are best when they can be compared with the previous year’s version. This allows your healthcare team to look for any changes.
Women with a higher risk for breast cancer should speak with their doctor to decide when and how to
best screen. The risk of breast cancer increases with family history. Women who have inherited the
genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, are also at an increased risk.
If possible, schedule your mammogram for the week after your period when your breasts are less
tender. Other helpful tips include wearing comfortable clothing so you can undress from the waist up
and not wearing deodorant or perfume as these might show up on the x-ray image
How to Schedule a Mammogram at The Queen’s Medical Center?
Queen’s Imaging offers mammography at several locations across Oʻahu. Digital mammography in 2D
and 3D (tomosynthesis), along with diagnostic breast ultrasound, stereotactic and ultrasound-guided
biopsy are also offered.
Learn more about your breast health or call 808-691-7171 to schedule your mammogram. The Queen’s
Medical Center is also a proud participant of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP),
providing access to regular screenings for underserved communities.