Breast Cancer Screening

A woman receives a mammogram

Breast cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the breast. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in American women.

Our patient navigation approach helps women in the DMV access high-quality breast cancer screening. Our focus is on reducing breast cancer disparities in the DMV by providing access to mammography screening, identification of women at high-risk of breast and other cancers, and making sure everyone can access breast cancer treatment, if diagnosed.

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that may reveal breast cancer in women who do not seem to have breast problems. Mammograms may also be used when women have symptoms, such as a lump, skin change or nipple discharge. Ultrasound and breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are additional breast cancer screening tools.

Screening Recommendations

The choice of how often to be screened is a shared decision between a health-care provider and patient, based on personal and family health history and other risk factors.

For women at average risk, the American Cancer Society recommends:

  • Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.
  • Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms.

Recommendations differ for women at high risk. Read the full guidance from the American Cancer Society.

Please note: Other cancer-related organizations may have different screening recommendations. All recommendations change based on new research evidence.

Patient Navigation to Breast Cancer Screening

The Ralph Lauren Center provides individual navigation services to assist individuals who need breast cancer screening, including mammograms. These screening services are supplied through MedStar Health. The RLC’s patient navigators assist patients regardless of insurance or ability to pay and continue to navigate patients through follow-up care. All services provided by the RLC are also offered in Spanish by our bilingual navigators.

Please call our patient navigators to schedule your screening and navigation services appointment at 202-784-2720. (Se habla español: 202-784-2705.)

More Information on Breast Cancer Screening