Mammography Exams

About Mammography Exams

What Is a Mammogram?

A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. It is a proven way to find most “silent” breast cancers in women without breast symptoms or complaints. Mammography can detect and evaluate breast abnormalities. An analog mammogram uses x-ray films to capture the image. A digital mammogram is a newer method that uses x-ray detectors and a computer to create the image. The Breast Screening Center will perform all mammographic exams using either the digital or film-screen units. The combination of mammography, breast examination by your doctor and examining yourself is necessary to detect problems early.

Common Uses

Screening Mammograms

Screening mammography is performed to detect unsuspected breast cancer at an early stage in patients without symptoms. Patients must have no signs or symptoms of breast cancer. Current guidelines recommend screening mammography every year for women beginning at age 40. In addition, women with a strong family history should seek expert medical advice about whether to begin screening before age 40 and the frequency of screening.

Diagnostic Mammograms

Diagnostic mammography is performed to evaluate patients with abnormal clinical findings such as a breast lump/lumps found by the patient and/or doctor. Diagnostic mammography may also be performed after an abnormal screening in an effort to determine the cause of the are of concern.

Safety

All of our equipment is maintained by highly trained service engineers and meets or exceeds the operating specifications set forth by the manufacturers and the federal government. Special care is taken during the exam to use the lowest radiation dose possible while producing the best images for evaluation. If you are pregnant and are having breast problems, please notify the staff mammographer. Your situation will be evaluated by our staff, the Radiologist and your physician in determining how to proceed. 

Quick Reference

Department of Radiology
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Last Updated: 04-09-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.