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Mammography 
 
Digital Mammography

Digital mammography is the most recent advancement in mammography technology. It is similar to traditional mammography, but utilizes a special computer attached to the X-ray equipment that receives the images and immediately converts them into a digital picture on a computer screen.  The images can then be viewed immediately by the technologist and radiologist. The digital mammogram is then stored on a computer, rather than in large film envelopes. With digital mammography, the magnification of an area, brightness, and/or contrast of the film may be adjusted after the exam is completed, enabling the radiologist to see certain areas more clearly.

The benefits that digital mammography may provide over standard mammography equipment include the following:

  • Ability for the radiologist to improve the contrast between dense and non-dense breast tissue
  • Ability to take images in a shorter period of time, reducing exam time for patients
  • Quicker results to patients
  • Easier image storage and quicker retrieval of film when needed
  • Physician’s ability to manipulate images for more accurate detection of breast cancer

Computer Aided Detection
The Centennial Medical Center Breast Center utilizes Computer Aided Detection (CAD) software.  CAD is a sophisticated scanner and computer program that marks potential areas of concern on the mammogram.  The system has been clinically validated via prospective studies to significantly improve detection performance without a significant increase in recall rates.  The advantage to the patient is equivalent to having mammogram images reviewed by two experts rather than one. Centennial is proud to offer this state-of-the-art technology as part of our screening and diagnostic services. 

 

Screening Mammography

A screening mammogram is an X-ray exam of the breast on a woman who has no signs or symptoms of a problem. The goal of a screening mammogram is to find cancer when it is still too small to be felt by a woman or her doctor. Finding small breast cancers early by a screening mammogram greatly improves a woman’s chance for successful treatment. A screening mammogram usually takes two x-ray pictures (views) of each breast.

Women should talk with their health care providers about the age at which they should start having mammograms and the frequency.

Once your screening exam is completed, you may leave. The radiologist will read your exam and determine if you need to come back for further tests. The test results will be sent to both you and your referring physician usually in one week.  If additional tests are needed, we will contact you to schedule an appointment for a diagnostic mammogram.

Implants
Women with breast implants should continue to have mammograms. It is important to inform the mammography facility about breast implants when scheduling the mammogram. If the technologist performing the procedure is aware a woman has breast implants, steps can be taken to make sure that as much breast tissue as possible can be seen on the mammogram.

Preparation
A physician order is required for a diagnostic mammogram.  You may bring this in at the time of your visit or your physician can fax it to our center.  A physician order is not required for a screening mammogram. 

Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam. These can appear on the mammogram as calcium spots. Please describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam. Also let us know if you think you may be pregnant.  If you had last year’s mammogram at another facility, it is important to bring your previous mammogram films for comparison.  We also can assist with requesting your previous films by signing our release form. 

We recommend for menstruating women that they schedule their mammogram during the first two weeks of their cycle. The best time for a mammogram is one week following your period.

The Exam
A specially qualified radiologic technologist will perform your mammogram. Breast compression is necessary in order to keep the breast still to minimize blurring of the image caused by motion, even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized and spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities may be seen.

The technologist will stand behind a glass shield during the X-ray exposure. You will be asked to change positions between images. The routine pictures are top-to-bottom views and side views for each breast.

Five percent to 15 percent of screening mammograms require more testing, such as additional mammograms or ultrasounds. Most of these tests turn out to be normal. If there is an abnormal finding, a biopsy may need to be performed. Most of the biopsies confirm that no cancer was present.

 

Diagnostic Mammography

In women who have breast symptoms (problems such as a lump, pain, or nipple discharge) a diagnostic mammogram is necessary. These also are done patients who have a suspicious change seen on a screening mammogram.

A diagnostic mammogram takes longer than a screening mammogram because it involves more X-rays in order to obtain views of the breast from several angles. The technician may magnify a suspicious area to produce a detailed picture that can help the doctor make an accurate diagnosis. Please expect to be at the center for at least one hour. The radiologists will be looking at your films while you are at the center. If the radiologist believes another type of procedure should be done, it will be performed the same day.  You will have the results before you leave the breast center.

Preparation
In order to receive a diagnostic mammogram at the LPBC, a woman must have an order from her physician. You may bring this in at the time of your visit or your physician can fax it to our center. Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam. These can appear on the mammogram as calcium spots. Please describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam. If possible, obtain prior mammograms and make them available at the time of the exam. Also let us know if you think you may be pregnant.

We recommend for menstruating women that they schedule their mammogram during the first two weeks of their cycle. The best time for a mammogram is one week following your period.

The Exam
A specially qualified radiologic technologist will perform your mammogram.  Breast compression is necessary in order to keep the breast still to minimize blurring of the image caused by motion, even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized and spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities may be seen.

The technologist will stand behind a glass shield during the X-ray exposure. You will be asked to change positions between images. The routine pictures are top-to-bottom views and side views for each breast.

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