Many women begin having mammograms at age 40, but every patient, their risk factors and health history are unique. HealthEast suggests talking with your provider about what age is best to start mammograms and your ongoing screening schedule. While mammograms can miss some cancers, they are still a good way to find cancer.

Women at high risk of breast cancer should also talk with their doctor about the best approach for them. This might mean starting mammograms when you are younger, having extra tests or having more frequent exams.

About mammograms

Screening mammograms

"Screening" refers to tests and exams used to find diseases (such as cancer) in people who have no symptoms. The goal of digital screening mammography is to detect breast cancer at its earliest stage.

Diagnostic mammograms

Diagnostic mammograms are similar to screening mammograms in that the same type of imaging equipment is used. A diagnostic mammogram is a more comprehensive exam that is typically performed to evaluate a specific sign or symptom in the breast tissue. A diagnostic mammogram is usually ordered if:

  • A woman or her doctor have noticed breast changes or symptoms
  • A screening mammogram has shown a suspicious area

Three-dimensional (3D) tomosynthesis mammograms

3D digital mammogram images are taken at multiple angles to create a 3D image with several thin slices. This allows the doctor to more clearly see small details in breast tissue, which is especially helpful for viewing dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue is common.

What is breast density?

Breasts are made up of a mixture of fibrous and glandular tissue, and fatty tissue. Your breasts are considered dense if you have a lot of fibrous or glandular tissue but not much fat. Density may decrease with age, but there is little, if any, change in most women. View/print this breast density handout for more information.

How do I know if I have dense breasts?

Breast density is determined by a radiologist who reads your mammogram. There are four categories of mammographic density. The radiologist assigns each mammogram to one of the categories. Talk to your doctor about where you land on the density scale.

Breast density in the U.S.

  • 10 percent of women have almost entirely fatty breasts
  • 10 percent have extremely dense breasts
  • 80 percent are classified into one of the two middle categories

If you are unsure about whether a 3D mammogram is right for you, talk with your provider. Together you can decide based on your health and family history.

Breast density images


To schedule a mammogram

Make a mammogram appointment today

Many women begin having mammograms at age 40, but every patient, their risk factors and health history are unique. HealthEast suggests talking with your provider about what age is best to start mammograms and your ongoing screening schedule.

Call 651-232-5500 to make an appointment at these locations: HealthEast Breast Center (located in the HealthEast Clinic & Specialty Center in Maplewood, across from St. John's Hospital), St. Joseph's Hospital, Woodwinds Health Campus, Midway Clinic, Rice Street Clinic or Roselawn Clinic.
Scheduling office hours: 7 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday

Mammography hours


  • St. Joseph's Hospital
    Offers screening mammograms
    Monday, 7:15 am to 2:45 pm
    Wednesday, 8:30 am to 4 pm
    Thursday, 7:15 am to 2:45 pm
  • Woodwinds Health Campus
    Offers screening & diagnostic mammograms
    Monday, 7 am to 6:15 pm
    Tuesday - Friday, 7 am to 3:30 pm


  • Breast Center - NEW LOCATION!
    The Breast Center is now open in our new location in the HealthEast Clinic & Specialty Center (across the street from St. John's Hospital). Our new address is 2945 Hazelwood Street, Suite 305 in Maplewood.

    Offers screening, diagnostic & tomosynthesis (3-dimensional) mammograms

    Monday - Friday, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm
    Some evenings and Saturdays available
  • Midway Clinic
    Offers screening mammograms
    Monday and Tuesday, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm
    Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 7:30 am to 4 pm
  • Rice Street Clinic
    Offers screening mammograms
    Monday - Thursday, 7:45 am to 3:30 pm
  • Roselawn Clinic
    Offers screening mammograms
    Tuesday - Friday, 8:45 am to 4:45 pm

When scheduling an appointment

When scheduling an appointment, please have the following information available:

  • Correct spelling of your doctor's first and last names
  • Date of your last mammogram
  • Name of the facility where your previous mammogram was performed

If your last mammogram was at a non-HealthEast facility, please complete, sign and send a Release of Information form to your previous provider. This may take up to two weeks to be completed.

Mammography locations

We are pleased to offer routine screening mammograms at all of our radiology and imaging locations. Diagnostic mammography is available at the HealthEast Breast Center and Woodwinds Health Campus. Tomosynthesis (3-dimensional) mammograms are available at the HealthEast Breast Center.

HealthEast Clinic & Specialty Center - Maplewood
2945 Hazelwood Street
Maplewood, MN 55109
Midway Clinic
1390 University Avenue W.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Rice Street Clinic
980 Rice Street
St. Paul, MN 55117
Roselawn Clinic
1983 Sloan Place
Suite 1
St. Paul, MN 55117
St. Joseph's Hospital
45 West 10th Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
Woodwinds Health Campus
1925 Woodwinds Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125

To prepare for your mammogram

Please contact the facility where your previous mammogram was performed and have images sent to the HealthEast Breast Care location where you will have your mammogram. Your radiologist will need your previous mammogram images to look for any changes in your breasts. HealthEast will mail the images back after your appointment. Go here for more information and preparation instructions.

Mammogram results & diagnosis

Your mammogram will be reviewed by a radiologist. Then, within a week your physician will receive a report that will be entered into your medical record. You will get the results of a routine screening mammogram by mail within 30 days after your mammogram.

If there are concerns about your mammogram, you will receive a phone call and be asked to make an appointment for additional breast imaging.

While a phone call can be concerning, it's important to know that there are many reasons why the radiologist would need to take more images. Things like dense breast tissue or changes in hormonal treatments can cause changes in your breasts that can be seen with a mammogram. If you have questions about your results, please call us.

We understand that timeliness is especially important for women who are waiting for a diagnosis. Through HealthEast Breast Care, you will have quick access to specialists and treatment options.