Our specialized breast care physicians and team are here to guide you

MemorialCare is the largest provider of breast care services in Orange and South LA Counties with 9 convenient locations offering the latest screening technology, including 3D mammography.

We are the only health system in the area whose breast centers are staffed by dedicated breast radiologists, ensuring the highest quality interpretations of breast imaging exams.

And should a breast cancer diagnosis occur, we have certified breast navigators to guide you every step of the way and a team of dedicated breast medical oncologists and breast surgeons. We’re the only breast centers in the region to have a group of physicians who are solely focused on the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.


Screening Capabilities

The MemorialCare Breast Centers perform about 100,000 screening and diagnostic breast exams annually using the latest technology to help detect smaller breast cancers earlier.

Advanced Treatment Options

From surgical techniques that reduce the need for multiple procedures, or radiation technology that significantly cuts down treatment time, we offer the most advanced options for women faced with a breast cancer diagnosis.

And through a robust Research Program, our patients have access to a range of clinical trials that focus on targeted therapies and the latest medications that lead to improved outcomes.

Supportive Care Services

Knowing that cancer affects more than just the body, we offer a variety of supportive care services that address the mind, body and spirit for patients throughout their journey with cancer.

Breast Care FAQs

How can I prepare for my mammogram?
  • Schedule your appointment during a less tender time in your menstrual cycle.
  • Avoid using deodorants, lotions, or powders on the day of the mammogram.
  • Wear a two-piece outfit for easy access during the procedure.
  • Communicate any breast-related concerns with your healthcare provider.
  • Consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever before the appointment if you find mammograms painful.
  • Relaxation techniques can help reduce anxiety.
  • Be prepared for breast compression during the procedure, which is necessary for accurate imaging.
What can I expect at my screening?

During a mammogram, a radiologic technologist guide you to stand in front of the mammography machine, where one breast at a time will be positioned on a special platform. To obtain clear images, your breast will be gently compressed between two plates, which can cause momentary discomfort but is necessary for accurate results. The machine will take X-ray images from different angles, typically two views of each breast, and you may be asked to hold your breath briefly during this process. The technologist will review the images, and if necessary, you may be called back for further evaluation.

The entire mammogram appointment usually takes about 20-30 minutes, and your results will be sent to your healthcare provider for discussion and any recommended follow-up steps. Mammograms are a vital tool for breast cancer screening and early detection, and the temporary discomfort is well worth the potential benefits of early diagnosis and treatment. Watch our video to learn more about the mammogram screening process at MemorialCare.

How long does a mammogram take?

The entire mammogram appointment usually takes about 20-30 minutes, and your results will be sent to your healthcare provider for discussion and any recommended follow-up steps.

How long does it take to get my mammogram results?
  • Within a few days: In other cases, it may take a few days to a week to receive your results. The radiologist needs time to review the images and generate a report.
  • Follow-up after diagnostic mammograms: If you had a diagnostic mammogram (as opposed to a routine screening), the process might involve additional imaging or consultation with a specialist. In such cases, it can take a bit longer to receive a comprehensive assessment.
At what age should I start getting regular breast screenings?

American Cancer Society (ACS): The ACS recommends that women with an average risk of breast cancer should start annual mammograms at age 45. Starting at age 40 is also an option, but it's recommended to discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider to make an informed decision. At age 55, women can transition to biennial (every two years) mammograms, or they can continue with annual screenings if they prefer.

Personal and Family History: If you have a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors, your healthcare provider may recommend starting screenings earlier than the general guidelines suggest. The timing and frequency of screenings may vary based on your specific circumstances.

It's important to note that breast cancer screening recommendations are not one-size-fits-all. Factors like family history, genetic mutations (such as BRCA1 or BRCA2), previous breast cancer diagnoses, and individual risk factors can all influence when you should begin screenings and how often you should have them.

The best approach is to have a discussion with your healthcare provider about your personal risk factors and medical history. Together, you can make an informed decision about when to start and how often to have breast cancer screenings. Regular breast self-exams and clinical breast exams by a healthcare provider are also important components of breast health awareness and early detection.

What is the difference between a mammogram and a breast ultrasound?

Mammograms are the primary tool for breast cancer screening and are effective at detecting calcifications and some types of tumors.

Breast ultrasound, on the other hand, is often used as a complementary imaging technique to provide additional information, especially when a mammogram shows an abnormality or when breast concerns arise in specific populations.

The choice between these imaging modalities depends on the specific clinical situation and the recommendations of your healthcare provider. In some cases, both mammography and ultrasound may be used together to obtain a comprehensive evaluation of breast health.

What happens if my mammogram is abnormal?

If your mammogram is abnormal, it does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer, but it does indicate that further evaluation is needed to determine the cause of the abnormality. Here's what typically happens if your mammogram shows an abnormal result:

  1. Additional Imaging: In many cases, the next step is to perform additional imaging tests to get a closer look at the area of concern. This may include more detailed mammographic views, a breast ultrasound, or a breast MRI. These tests can help the healthcare provider gather more information about the abnormality, its size, shape, and characteristics.
  2. Clinical Evaluation: Your healthcare provider may conduct a clinical breast exam, during which they will physically examine your breasts, including the area identified as abnormal on the mammogram. They may also review your medical history and discuss any symptoms or changes you've noticed.
  3. Biopsy: If the additional imaging or clinical evaluation raises concerns about the abnormality, a biopsy may be recommended. During a biopsy, a small sample of tissue is collected from the affected area and sent to a laboratory for analysis. There are different types of biopsies, including fine-needle aspiration, core needle biopsy, and surgical biopsy, depending on the situation.
  4. Pathology Assessment: The tissue sample obtained during the biopsy will be examined by a pathologist to determine whether it is cancerous or benign. This information is crucial in making a definitive diagnosis.
  5. Consultation: Your healthcare provider will discuss the results of the additional imaging and the biopsy with you. If cancer is detected, they will explain the type, stage, and treatment options. If the abnormality is benign, they will discuss any necessary follow-up or monitoring.

It's important to keep in mind that many breast abnormalities detected on mammograms turn out to be benign, such as cysts or benign tumors. However, it's essential not to delay or ignore follow-up tests if an abnormality is found, as early detection of breast cancer can lead to more effective treatment and better outcomes.

If you receive an abnormal mammogram result, try not to panic. Follow your healthcare provider's recommendations for further evaluation and treatment, if necessary. They will guide you through the process and provide you with the information and support you need.

How can I schedule my breast screening with MemorialCare?

Call one of our locations to schedule an appointment or schedule your annual mammogram appointment online, available 24/7. To schedule online, visit myChart.

How many breast centers does MemorialCare have?

MemorialCare has 9 breast centers across South and North Orange County, offering comprehensive breast health services and expert care to the community. View our convenient locations.

Can MemorialCare provide me with a second opinion if I’ve already had a breast screening elsewhere?

Yes, MemorialCare can provide you with a second opinion if you've already had a breast screening elsewhere. To schedule an appointment for a second opinion, you can call one of our breast locations or, for your convenience, schedule your annual mammogram appointment online, available 24/7. Additionally, you can contact one of our nurse navigators who can guide you through the process and help you set up the necessary appointments and evaluations. Our team is here to support you in making informed decisions about your breast health.


Schedule your mammogram at a Breast Center near you

Call one of our locations below to schedule an appointment. We offer 24/7 online scheduling for new and existing patients. Simply click on one of our locations below and schedule your mammogram appointment.