Mammograms detect breast abnormalities using low-dose x-rays. Mammograms help radiologists to detect breast cancer, cysts or calcifications, usually before they can even be felt during a breast exam.
There are two types of mammograms:
- A screening mammograms aids in the early detection of breast cancer and is recommended for women of the appropriate age who show no symptoms of a breast abnormality.
- A diagnostic mammogram is used to evaluate a specific area of the breast when a potential abnormality is found.
What to Expect
On the day of your appointment, don’t use deodorant, powders, ointment or perfume on your breasts or underarm area. These products can contain ingredients that may interfere with the quality of images. You will be asked to undress from the waist up and you will be given a gown to wear. A technologist will position your breast between two plates, which will compress the breast so as much breast tissue as possible can be imaged. The technologist will then reposition your breast on the plates to be imaged from a different angle. The process is repeated on the other side.
If you’ve had prior mammograms at facilities other than Diagnostic Imaging, please request the images be sent to our office prior to your appointment, or bring them with you. The ability to compare current images to prior images allows radiologists to see subtle changes over time, which is helpful in detecting cancers at their earliest stages.
The results of your mammogram are communicated to your referring provider 1-2 business days after your exam. If you have questions about your results, you are encouraged to speak with your referring provider, who can discuss your results in detail with you.
- During mammography exams, the patient is exposed to a low dose of radiation. Radiation doses are closely monitored and do not exceed stringent guidelines set forth by the American College of Radiology.
- Annual screening mammograms aid in the early detection of breast cancer, when it is most treatable and survival rates are highest.
Learn More About Your Mammogram
The links above will take you to detailed examination descriptions. This list may not include every examination performed in this area. For information regarding performance of unlisted procedures, please call our scheduling department at (901) 387-2340.
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Ask your provider to refer you to Diagnostic Imaging.