The costs of screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms differ. A 2D screening mammogram is often ordered once a year for women with no current signs or symptoms of breast cancer, and has an average out-of-pocket cost of $400. A 2D diagnostic mammogram is ordered when a woman is experiencing symptoms of breast cancer, and has an average out-of-pocket cost of $499. The cost of your mammogram will depend on various factors; including insurance coverage, location, and whether you receive a screening or diagnostic mammogram.
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The Cost of a Mammogram
There are several different types of mammograms which range in cost.
2D Screening Mammogram
A screening mammogram includes a digital screening mammogram of both breasts for women who exhibit no signs or symptoms of any disease, complaint, or abnormality. This also includes computer-aided detection (CAD) of lesions obtained during the mammogram. The national average cost for a screening mammogram is $400 without insurance.
3D Mammogram Screening (Tomosynthesis)
A 3D screening mammogram using 3D technology for one or both breasts for women who exhibit no signs or symptoms of any disease, complaint, or abnormality.
The national average cost for a 3D mammogram screening is $560 without insurance.
2D Diagnostic Mammogram
A diagnostic mammogram is used to check for breast cancer after a lump or other sign, or symptom of the disease has been found. This test includes the examination of both breasts. The national average cost for a diagnostic mammogram is about $499 without insurance.
Mammogram Cost with Insurance vs. without Insurance
Screening Mammogram Cost With Insurance vs. Without Insurance
A wide range of costs were reported for uninsured people receiving screening mammograms. However, screening mammograms were free for almost all privately insured individuals.
|State||Self-reported cost of a screening mammogram for people without insurance||Self-reported cost of a screening mammogram for people with private insurance|
|California||$80, $160, $210, $330||Likely $0, for people over 40 years old|
$105 through one hospital system
|Florida||$99, $100, $143, $250||Likely $0, for people over 40 years old|
|Illinois||$90, $100||Likely $0, for people over 40 years old|
|Massachusetts||$0, $80, $90, $210, $220, $380||Likely $0, for people over 40 years old|
|Ohio||$70, $80, $93, $160, $170||Likely $0, for people over 40 years old|
|Texas||$65, $170||Likely $0, for people over 40 years old|
Diagnostic Mammogram Cost with Insurance vs. without Insurance
As you can see, individuals with private insurance were generally charged more for a diagnostic mammogram than people without insurance.
|State||Self-reported cost of a diagnostic mammogram for people without insurance||Self-reported cost of a diagnostic mammogram for people with private insurance|
|California||$290||$265, $300, $403, $469, $500, $730, $1788|
|Florida||$168, $185||$187, $550|
|Illinois||$150, $660||$627, $660|
|Texas||$638, $1046||$336, $360, $430, $836|
Factors that Influence the Cost of Mammograms
The cost of a mammogram depends on:
- Your insurance plan and the services that it covers.
- Whether the mammogram is for a screening or diagnostic mammogram.
- If your healthcare provider is within your network of coverage (with insurance).
- Your location.
Mammogram Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below we outline some frequently asked questions about mammograms.
What is a mammogram?
Mammography is a test that uses x-rays to scan an image of the breast. These images are called mammograms. A radiologist then examines the images and scans for any signs of breast cancer. Mammography is typically the most effective tool when examining or screening breast cancer. Mammogram screening can oftentimes detect early-stage breast cancers when women have a higher probability of survival.
Mammography can also be used as a follow-up test if something abnormal is found during a clinical breast exam. This is known as a “diagnostic” breast exam. However, it’s important to know that although it’s called a diagnostic exam, this process cannot diagnose someone with breast cancer. Findings must go through a biopsy to confirm or rule out breast cancer.
A mammogram may show:
- No signs of breast cancer
- A benign condition
- Abnormal findings which need a follow-up exam/ tests to rule out cancer
Where can I get a mammogram done?
Women can get high-quality mammograms done in breast clinics, hospital radiology departments, mobile vans, private radiology offices, and doctors' offices.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certifies mammography facilities that meet strict quality standards for their x-ray machines and staff and are inspected every year. You can ask your doctor or the staff at the mammography center about FDA certification before making your appointment. A list of FDA-certified facilities can be found on the Internet.
Who should get a mammogram?
The United States Preventive Services Task Force external recommends that women 50 to 74 years of age get a mammogram once a year. Women who are over the age of 55 can get a mammogram every two years. Women between the ages of 40 to 49 should begin to talk to their healthcare provider about the right time to begin getting mammograms how often they should be done. The Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines for Women chart compares recommendations from several leading organizations.
How do I perform a breast self-exam?
A breast self-exam is an important way to detect breast cancer early. The following are the steps you can take to perform a self-exam:
Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.
Here's what you should look for:
- Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
- Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling
If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention:
- Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
- A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
- Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
Step 2: Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.
Step 3: While you're at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).
Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with your hand's first few finger pads, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter. Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen and from your armpit to your cleavage.
Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn.
This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you've reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your ribcage.
Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.
How can I get a mammogram at a low cost?
You may be eligible for free or low-cost screenings if you meet these qualifications:
- You have no insurance, or your insurance does not cover screening exams.
- Your yearly income is at or below 250% of the federal poverty level.
- You are between 40 and 64 years of age for breast cancer screening.
- You are between 21 and 64 years of age for cervical cancer screening.
- Certain women who are younger or older may qualify for screening services.
Low-cost mammograms are also available through the following programs and clinics:
- The CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program will provide free or low-cost mammograms for women who meet certain criteria.
- Call the Susan G. Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877-465-6636 for help finding low-cost testing near you.
- Planned Parenthood offers breast exams and referrals for locations to get a mammography.
The Bottom Line
The cost of a mammogram depends on the type of mammogram you get along with other factors such as location and insurance coverage. It's important to consider these factors when preparing to pay for a mammogram.