Comparing Different Breast Exams

Mammographic Screening is Key To The Early Detection of Breast Cancer | Breast Cancer Prevention | Imaginis - The Women's Health & Wellness Resource Network

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Mammographic Screening is Key To The Early Detection of Breast Cancer

Comparing Different Breast Exams

Size of Tumors Found by Mammography and Breast Self-Exam

Average-size lump detected with routine mammogram (0.43 inches / 1.1 cm)
Average-size lump detected with first mammogram (0.59 inches / 1.5 cm)
Average-size lump found by regularly practicing breast self-exam (0.83 inches / 2.1 cm)
Average-size lump found accidentally (1.42 inches / 3.6 cm)

* These images were created for viewing at 800 by 600 resolution on a 16-inch monitor. They will appear larger or smaller depending upon display size and resolution. However, the relative size of the detected tumor will remain consistent.

How Much Does a Screening Mammogram Cost?

Screening mammography is a relatively low cost procedure. The average cost for screening mammography in the U.S. is at least $100. Depending on a woman's health coverage program, there may be little or no "out of pocket cost" for screening mammography. Diagnostic mammography, which is often performed if an abnormality is detected on a screening mammogram, is more involved and time-consuming than screening mammography. Thus, diagnostic mammography is more expensive than screening mammography.

On January 1, 1998, the U.S. Congress expanded coverage for screening mammograms for Medicare beneficiaries 40 years of age and older. Donna E. Shalala, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, reported that it is no longer necessary for Medicare beneficiaries to pay the annual deductible for screening mammograms (or Pap smears, pelvic exams or clinical breast exams). Previously, there was a small Medicare deductible of approximately $25 for screening mammography. Women younger than 40 who also have supplemental insurance such as Medigap or Medicaid may also have no out-of-pocket costs for screening mammography. Women are encouraged to call the Medicare Hotline at 1.800.638.6833 for questions on Medicare coverage of mammography.

Women who cannot afford the cost of annual screening mammography have a number of options:

Additional Resources on Mammography

Imaginis provides several resources on screening and diagnostic mammography to help women understand all aspects of the exams. Follow one of the links below for additional information on mammography:


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