Where to Get a Breast Examination in the Southland

The death rate from breast cancer is nearly two times higher in Chicago than in New York City, but early detection of breast cancer through routine exams saves thousands of lives every year.

Studies have shown that early detection of breast cancer improves the chances of a cure. That in itself is the most important reason to make an appointment today for a breast exam or mammogram.

Here is a list of local places where you can go for mammograms and breast exams:

Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park and Oak Lawn

Ingalls Family Care Centers in Flossmoor, Tinley Park and Calumet City

Hedges Clinic in Frankfort

Silver Cross Center for Women's Health in New Lenox

Provena Healing Arts Pavilion in New Lenox

Advocate Christ Center for Breast Care in Oak Lawn

Franciscan St. James Health Center in Olympia Fields

Loyola Center for Health in Orland Park

Palos Primary Care Center in Orland Park

Advocate Medical Group in Orland Park and Beverly

Palos Community Hospital in Palos Heights

High Tech Medical Park in Palos Heights and Tinley Park

Pronger Smith Medical Care in Tinley Park and Blue Island

Advocate Good Samaritan Outpatient Center in Lemont

Going for an exam can be nerve-wracking. To better understand the importance of exams, here's helpful information that explains the process, when you should go and why:

Breast self-exams

There has been a lot of heated debate in the research and medical communities about the usefulness of breast self-exams in detecting breast cancer in the early stages. One cancer research organization has even said it’s a myth.

The American Cancer Society’s guidelines state that women don’t need to do these exams irregularly, let alone regularly.

So, does that mean you shouldn’t do those breast self-exams in the shower anymore? Well, not quite.

There is enough compelling data to indicate that self-exams are still effective in helping us stay aware of any changes that may be a cause for concern. But the American Cancer Society also recommends a new technique based on expert opinion and research that helps improve breast awareness.

The major difference between this technique and the traditional one is that this one is done lying down, not standing up. Experts say it’s easier to feel breast tissue this way as it spreads more evenly and is at its thinnest.

The next step is to place your right arm behind your head and use three different levels of pressure to feel all of the breast tissue. Light pressure is needed to feel the tissue closest to the skin, medium pressure to feel a little deeper, and firm pressure to feel the tissue closest to the chest and ribs.

Move around the breast in an up-and-down pattern, starting at an imaginary line drawn straight down your side from the underarm. Move across the breast to the middle of the chest bone or breast bone.

Placing your left arm over your head, repeat this process for the other breast.

The next part needs to be done standing up. Check for the following issues while standing in front of the mirror. Place your hands firmly on your hips during this procedure.

  • A lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sores or rashes on the nipple
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away

Finally, raise your underarm to check for any soreness or pain. And that’s it! You’re done for this month!

Clinical breast exams

The next type of breast exam is not optional and should be done regularly. It’s called the clinical breast exam. This basically means getting your breasts checked by a qualified health professional like a nurse or a doctor.

It's a great way to ensure that everything’s okay, as well as an opportunity to discuss wellness options with your doctor and ask questions, address concerns and clarify doubts. You can also review your self-examination technique and get important feedback.

If you’re in your 20s and 30s, the American Cancer Society recommends that you understand the importance of the clinical breast exam and make sure that it’s part of your periodic health check. You should preferably undergo an exam once every three years.


However, after the age of 40, it’s important for women to undergo annual mammogram screenings. A mammogram is basically an X-ray of your breast. It’s especially useful in cases where there appear to be no breast problems. Mammogram screenings have proven to be most effective in breast cancer detection and are thus an important part of any breast cancer awareness program.

If you haven’t done these tests yet, get started now! Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you can find reasonably priced and convenient options for mammograms and clinical breast exams.

Free or reduced cost mammograms are offered in the Southland at:

Aunt Martha's Health Center, 233 W. Joe Orr Road in Chicago Heights. Phone number is 708-709-7353.

Metro South Medical Center, 12935 S. Gregory St. in Blue Island. Phone number is 708-489-7940.

Think Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness Events in the Area

lala October 19, 2012 at 12:23 AM
No free or reduced cost mammograms anywhere in Will County?
Cindy October 19, 2012 at 02:34 PM
I recommend going to Silver Cross..they have a deal where you can pay $100 cash if you don't have insurance and don't want to go to a clinic. The center is clean, relaxing and the staff is wonderful. Never had any reason be anxious or worried and my results came back quick.
ann cuvala October 20, 2012 at 01:14 AM
lala, I have a list of free or reduced rate mammo's, thought I'm unsure how many are located in Will County. If you'd like a copy, you can email me your address to ann.cuvala@advocatehealth.com. I am the breast health specialist.
ann cuvala October 20, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Advocate South Suburban Hospital also provides excellent care and compassion in a pampering setting. Look forward to seeing you there!!
ET October 21, 2012 at 03:22 PM
It's very very Important that women stay away from mammograms. You have to wonder are we here to prevent cancer or to get a nice dose of It. One mammogram gives the patient the equivalent of about 1000 chest x rays. I don't consider this a good annual test for anyone. And these caring doctors tell you to get one each year, like your birthday. And they know all this. And never tell the patient your being cooked with a smile. No female In our family will ever go near a mammogram no matter what the cost. If you don't care to find things out, don't expect them to tell you. They may even be getting paid for each patient they send to cook. Research Into a Thermography. It's a safe alternative to getting microwaved.


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