October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Early Detection Can Save Lives.
Breast Imaging / Mammography
Mammography uses low dose x-ray to detect cancer – often long before symptoms arise.
Screening mammography (Mammogram) is an important preventive test for the early detection of breast cancer. The American College of Radiology recommends annual screening mammograms for all women over 40. A referral is not necessary to schedule a screening mammogram.
Diagnostic mammograms are required if there are symptoms such as a lump or pain or if abnormalities have been detected in a screening mammogram.
To further assist in diagnosis your physician may order other types of breast imaging such as a breast ultrasound or breast MRI.
What to Expect
When you arrive for your annual screening mammogram, your Mammographer will ask you a few short questions regarding your health history. You will need to disrobe from the waist-up and change into a gown.
During your mammogram, a specially-trained technologist will position your breast between two plates on the mammography unit. A short, low-dose x-ray will be used to acquire an image. It is important to understand that compression is a vital component to detecting breast cancer, but it shouldn’t be overly painful.
A typical screening mammogram consists of two to three pictures of each breast.
Most mammograms take about 15 minutes.