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Mammograms are used to detect abnormalities in the breast, including breast cancer. Studies show that routine mammograms, along with routine breast self-examinations lead to early detection and higher survival rates from breast cancer.
Our highly trained radiologist reads your mammography images on-site. Thanks to our networked teleradiology capabilities, our team of radiologists also have the ability to review your images remotely to determine whether any abnormalities exist that may present current or future concern. Teleradiology is another avenue for second opinions from our fellow Breast Care Center radiologists.
During a mammogram examination, the breast is compressed between paddles and x-rays are taken from various angles to obtain images of the breast tissue. We understand a mammogram is not the most comfortable procedure. To shorten the time of the exam, you will need to be very still and to hold your breath for a few seconds while the images are being taken so that we can get the best image possible. We work hard to make sure your examination is as pleasant and comfortable, getting you back to your day as soon as possible. There are two different mammogram procedures that we provide; screening and diagnostic.
Screening mammograms are for women over 40 years of age, who are not experiencing any symptoms (pain, lumps, discharge etc). It is recommended that you have a screening mammogram performed annually. Screening mammograms are very important because mammograms can detect breast cancer up to two years before you or your physician can feel them.
Diagnostic mammograms are for women over 40 years of age, who are experiencing the symptoms listed above. Diagnostic mammograms use the same methods as screenings, but involve a more in-depth study. There are complementary tools that may be utilized to diagnose abnormal findings of the breast depending on your symptoms and age. See also our Ultrasound and MRI services.
On average, approximately 8 to 10 percent of patients who receive a mammogram will be called back for additional screening. We understand that this can be concerning, however rest assured it is fairly common. The radiologist is evaluating subtle changes in order to detect early breast cancer. Following this evaluation, a minority of these findings require short term follow-up or needle biopsy.
Mammograms have shown to be 80 to 85 percent accurate in the early detection of breast diseases.
Computer Aided Detection (CAD) is used by our radiologists to help detect breast cancer. After your exam is complete the images are analyzed by the CAD software. This helps guide the radiologist to check the highlighted areas more closely. CAD was approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1998.
Arrive about 10 minutes early so you have time to fill out your paper work. Bring your Photo ID and your insurance card (even if it hasn’t changed), we take a copy of it every year and have you update your information to insure that we have all of the correct billing information.
It is best not to schedule your mammogram the week before your period if your breasts are normally tender at that time. The best time is the week after your period. Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts the day of your exam. If you had any previous mammograms done at a different facility please have your mammogram images or films sent to the Breast Care Center before your exam or bring them with you so that the radiologist can compare your images.