Screening Mammography

Please Note: We can only perform screening mammograms on patients who are under the care of our physicians. Click HERE to access physician lists.

Important breast cancer facts:

  • One out of every 8 women will develop breast cancer.
  • Breast cancer can be successfully treated if discovered in the early stages.
  • The combination of a monthly breast self-exam, physician’s exam, and mammography are the best ways to detect early cancer.

Warning Signs:

  • Change in the size and shape of the breast.
  • Bloody discharge from the nipple or new nipple retraction.
  • Change in the color or texture of the breast.
  • Puckering, dimpling or scaling.

Recommendations:

  • Self breast examination every month 5 days after your menstrual cycle.
  • An examination by your physician every year.
  • Mammogram:
    • Baseline – age 40
    • Yearly – after age 40

(Whenever possible, schedule your mammogram at a time during the month when your breasts are least tender.)

We cannot perform a screening mammogram if:

  • You are under 35 years of age.
  • You have breast-fed within the last six months.
  • You have had breast surgery since your last screening mammogram.
  • You have had breast cancer.
  • You have breast implants, a pacemaker, or a portacath.
  • You have a bloody discharge from your nipple.
  • You have a new breast lump.

Preparation for your screening mammogram:

  • Do not wear deodorant, powder or lotions on your breasts the day of your appointment.
  • Please do not wear cologne or perfume.

3D Mammogram (Tomosynthesis)

3D Mammography significantly increases cancer detection.  In a study of close to half a million exams, 3D Mammography showed a 41% increase in the detection of invasive breast cancers, a 29% increase in the detection of all breast cancers, and a 15% decrease in women recalled for additional imaging.

3D Mammography can be done at the time of your annual screening mammogram and takes no longer than the standard 2D study.  It is most beneficial in women with dense breast tissue.  At the time of your annual screening mammogram, you may request 3D for an additional fee.  3D is not currently covered by insurance.  A claim will be filed with your insurance company for the standard screening (2D) portion of the study, but the 3D portion will not be billed to your insurance company.

screening mammography lady helping other
 

 

The Exam

 

The importance of mammography in detecting early breast cancer has been demonstrated over and over again. There are several factors required to obtain a quality mammogram. The first, and foremost, consideration is the type of equipment being used. We have invested in digital technology to be able to provide the best quality images possible. We hope the following information will help to reduce any anxiety that you may have about this procedure.

If you have had prior mammograms, the radiologist will want to compare your current study to your prior studies. We ask each patient to bring any prior films or a CD with digital images when you come for your mammogram.  (If you are bringing digital images, please ask your provider to send your images in non-compressed format to ensure that our radiologist will be able to open the files.) Having comparison studies can reduce the possibility of having to return for unnecessary additional studies.

You will be asked to complete a form giving us your breast health history and an authorization to release your current and prior images for comparison purposes.  You may complete these forms in advance and bring them with you to your appointment Click here to print the health history and authorization form.

During your exam, the technologist will position you in various ways to capture different images of your breasts. It is important that all of the breast tissue is captured. Therefore, these positions may seem awkward or uncomfortable, but once positioned correctly, it only takes a moment for her to take the image and compression is automatically released.

Helpful tips for minimizing discomfort:

  1. If you still have periods, schedule your mammogram at the end of your menstrual period as the breasts are not as swollen and are less painful at that time.
  2. If your breasts are extremely tender or you have a low pain threshold, you may take Motrin or ibuprofen several days before your exam, if you have no restrictions on taking these drugs.
  3. If your breasts are tender to the touch, an ice pack applied about 15 minutes prior to the exam will help with the discomfort.

 

The images will be read by a radiologist. Should a comparison show any change, no matter how slight, from the previous mammograms, you will be contacted to schedule additional studies. Most of the time, the results of these tests are normal, but the additional evaluation is ordered to provide you with the most accurate diagnosis.

Occasionally, the radiologist will ask the mammogram technologist to repeat a view or do an additional view. This does not mean there is anything wrong with your breasts. It simply means that the radiologist needs more information before a finding can be made.

You should RECEIVE YOUR REPORT BY LETTER WITHIN 30 DAYS.

We strive to provide you with courteous service and accurate testing and we invite your comments.