Cancer will affect an average of one in eight women
sometime in their lifetime. It is the second most
common cause of cancer related deaths in women, second
only to lung cancer. Numerous studies prove that
early detection is a vital component in the successful
treatment of breast cancer.
is a Mammogram?
Analog mammography uses x-ray to record images on film
using an x-ray cassette. Films are then "developed" and
produced and put on a light box and read by the Radiologist.
The key role of mammography is in identifying a site
of breast cancer early in its development when it is
very small and often a year or two before it is large
enough to be felt as a lump. These small cancers have
a much better response to treatment and often require
much less surgical or drug treatment. Mammography detects
approximately 2-3 times as many "early" breast
cancers as physical examination, and is the best method
for screening for breast cancer.
is currently the best screening examination for breast
cancer. Approximately 10% of palpable breast lumps
that may be malignant are not detected by mammography.
In those cases, breast self-examination, in addition
to examination by your doctor, is important for early
detection of breast cancer.
Computer-aided detection (CAD) is a recent advance
in mammography which helps the Radiologist identify
abnormalities within the breast. CAD technology reviews
digitized mammograms and marks areas of suspected abnormalities.
When using a CAD system, the Radiologist always makes
the final interpretation of the mammogram. CAD improves
the rate of detection of small abnormalities of the
breast, increasing the chances of successful treatment.
Interpretation with CAD is similar to having a mammogram
read by two Radiologists.
Should I Expect?
A typical mammogram consists of two views of each breast
in which they are pressed firmly between two plates.
Women with implants require four additional views to
visualize tissue - using the Ecklund Technique (implants
are pushed back and breast tissue is pulled forward).
complete procedure takes only a few minutes, performed
by a trained technologist under the supervision of
a qualified Radiologist. He or she will develop the
images and review them with the radiologist. The
radiologist is looking for specific abnormalities
or changes related to cancer. A written report will
then be sent to your doctor. On occasion, the doctor
may order additional views or other techniques such
as ultrasound or MRI.
Should I Prepare?
When preparing for the exam please do not wear deodorant or talcum powder on
the day of the exam. You may choose to wear a 2-piece outfit. This will save
you the need to disrobe entirely.
Do I Get the Results?
After your study is over, a radiologist will review and evaluate your exam. Both
a preliminary and final report will be sent to your doctor, who can then discuss
the results with you in detail. Often, for more immediate situations, our radiologists
will speak directly with your referring physician to discuss the results of your
any time before or after your procedure, our radiologists
are happy to provide one-on-one consultations with