Breast Cancer Doesn't Wait. Neither Should You.

What is it?

Mammography, also known as a mammogram test, is the best way to screen for early-stage breast cancer. Mammography uses X-rays to scan a patient’s breasts. The images produced are then examined for any irregularities or changes from previous tests. At both our St. Margaret’s hospital locations, digital mammography is used. 

Digital mammography allows our radiologists to capture and manipulate images so any abnormalities can be seen more easily. 

What to expect:

During a mammogram, a technologist will have the patient stand in front of a special type of X-ray machine. The technician will then position each of the patient’s breast on the surface of a flat plate. A second plate will then be used to firmly press down on the breast from above, which will flatten and compress it so it remain still during testing. After the plates are in place, the technologist will take images using the X-ray equipment. During the test, the patient may feel some pressure and discomfort. The same process will then be repeated to obtain a side view of the breast tissue. Both breasts are X-rayed in this manner. 

3D Mammography

3-D Tomosynthesis Mammography in Spring Valley:

During a 3-D mammogram, the X-ray tube moves in an arc over the breast. As it moves, low-dose X-ray images are captured. A computer then produces a 3-D image of the breast in slices, allowing the radiologist to view the tissue in greater detail. This capability often leads to earlier detection of small breast cancers. 

  • Greater accuracy in pinpointing size, shape and location of breast abnormalties
  • Fewer unnecessary biopsies or additional tests
  • Better likelihood of detecting multiple breast tumors
  • Clearer images of abnormalities within dense breast tissue

Spring Valley Diagnostic Imaging Department:

(815) 664-1365

Peru Diagnostic Imaging Department:

(815) 780-3280



Pertaining to COVID-19 Testing:

Due to critical shortages of supplies, St. Margaret’s Health is no longer testing walk-in patients for COVID-19; a physician’s order IS REQUIRED. If you have been exposed to COVID-19, please isolate at home, wear a mask and IF symptoms develop, contact your physician to request an order to be tested.

Having symptoms? In order to be tested for COVID-19, Influenza (Flu), Strep, RSV, or to receive a Respiratory Array test, patients MUST have a doctor’s order. Contact your medical care provider. Please DO NOT visit the testing center in Spring Valley without a physician’s order, OR visit an Emergency Department for testing.

There are many sites throughout the Illinois Valley that are still currently testing without physician’s orders, although appointments may be required.  Please refer to local pharmacies and health departments websites, or visit for more information.

Thank you!

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