Women age 40 or over should have a yearly mammogram to check for abnormalities or lumps that may indicate early stages of breast cancer. Mammograms can see cancerous lesions earlier than they can be detected with a self-exam. Other factors, such as a family history of premenopausal breast cancer or genetic predisposition to breast cancer may require women to start mammograms at an earlier age.
Mammograms are performed at an outside imaging center of your choice (check with your insurance carrier). Once we provide you with an order for your mammogram, you may call the your imaging center of choice to schedule your appointment. Once your results come in, we will schedule your appointment with us to discuss the mammogram.
Mammography is a specialized medical imaging technique primarily used for the early detection of breast cancer. It involves taking low-dose X-ray images of the breast, known as mammograms, to identify and analyze any abnormal changes or growths within the breast tissue. Mammography plays a pivotal role in breast cancer screening, enabling the detection of tumors at their earliest stages when they are often too small to be felt. Early detection through mammography has been shown to significantly improve the chances of successful treatment and outcomes for breast cancer patients.
The procedure typically involves compressing the breast between two plates to spread out the tissue, allowing for a clearer and more detailed image. Digital mammography has become increasingly common, replacing traditional film-based methods. Digital mammograms provide clearer images and can be manipulated for enhanced analysis. In addition to standard screening mammography, there are also diagnostic mammograms that are more detailed and may be recommended when abnormalities are detected, helping healthcare professionals further evaluate and characterize any suspicious findings.
Despite its importance in breast cancer screening, mammography is not without challenges. False positives and false negatives can occur, leading to unnecessary anxiety for patients or delays in diagnosis. Additionally, the discomfort caused by breast compression during the procedure is a common concern. However, ongoing advancements in technology, such as 3D mammography (tomosynthesis), aim to address some of these limitations, providing improved accuracy and a more comfortable experience for patients undergoing breast cancer screening.