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  1. Mammography Quality Standards Act and Program

Mammography Information for Patients

More than 8,900 FDA-certified facilities nationwide work to ensure the safety and reliability of mammography and help detect breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages. 

Female radiologic technologist helping patient get in position for a mammogram

To legally perform mammography, a facility must be FDA-certified and must post their certificate where patients can see it. To find a mammography facility in your area, please Search for a Certified Facility.

In the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) of 1992 as amended in 1998 and 2004 (PDF), Congress mandated that facilities must send every patient a report in lay language that summarizes the exam results within 30 days of the mammogram (patients who do not have a health care provider must also receive the mammographic report within 30 days). When the mammography report assessment is "Suspicious" or "Highly suggestive of malignancy," the facility is required to communicate the lay summary results and recommended course of action to the patient as soon as possible. This notification requirement went into effect on April 28, 1999.

The MQSA regulations also require that all facilities have a system in place to address consumer complaints. The FDA expects that most complaints can be resolved at the facility level. However, if a complaint cannot be resolved, the consumer should communicate with the facility's accreditation body. The name of the accreditation body is on the facility's MQSA Certificate. More information about the consumer complaint mechanism may be found in the Consumer Complaint section of the Policy Guidance Help System.

Breast Implant Information
This site contains information about breast implants.

Mammography-related questions that are frequently asked of the Cancer Information Service (1-800-4-CANCER) as well as questions about Digital Mammography are included in the Frequently Asked Questions section.

The "Other Resources" area has more information about the National Cancer Institute, the Cancer Information Service, The National Women's Health Information Service, and other resources, including links to those sites.

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