Mammography is the best defense against breast cancer. Early diagnosis and treatment saves thousands of lives annually.
Mammograms are brief; usually no more than 20 minutes in duration, and there is no advance preparation other than refraining from the use of any deodorant, powder, or lotion on the breasts or under the arms on the day of your exam.
It is helpful to wear a 2-piece outfit, so you’ll only need to remove your top in the dressing room.
Lastly, you should bring in the name of the facility where your previous mammograms have been performed, as the images will be needed for comparison.
There are two kinds of mammograms: screening and diagnostic.
Screening mammograms involve two X-ray views of each breast. In the event that an area of concern is identified, the patient may be called back for additional views. This happens with about 7-10% of screening mammograms. Although a small percentage of these follow-up (diagnostic) mammograms reveal breast cancer, the vast majority of these tests will be normal.
Diagnostic mammograms require more views and are performed on women who have breast symptoms or on those with an abnormality seen on a screening mammogram. Whenever needed, ultrasound of the breast is performed to provide additional information in conjunction with a diagnostic mammogram.
3D mammography is a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic tool designed for early breast cancer detection that can be done in conjunction with a traditional 2D digital mammogram. Breast tomosynthesis is an innovative, new, FDA-approved digital technology that helps physicians detects smaller tumors sooner-at the earliest stages of breast cancer.
The 3D imaging technology of tomosynthesis enables radiologists to see “inside” the breast. This reduces or eliminates problems caused by dense tissue overlapping.
During the 3D part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over your breast, taking multiple images. Then, a computer produces a 3D image of your breast tissue in thin slices, providing greater visibility for the radiologist to see breast detail like never before. They can scroll through images of your entire breast like pages of a book.
The additional 3D images make it possible for radiologists to gain a better understanding of your breast tissue during screening and reduce the need for follow-up imaging.