standard-title Mammography FAQs Services
Question: What is a Mammogram?
Answer: A mammogram is a low-dose X-Ray examination that visualizes the internal structures of the breast. Mammograms are used to detect small cancers.
Question: What are the benefits of Digital Mammography and 3D Tomosynthesis?
- Shorter exam times
- Decreased discomfort due a shorter compression phase
- Fewer additional views needed
- Overall diminished radiation exposure by 30%
- 3D Tomosynthesis is a preferred method to image dense breast tissue
- Find small cancers earlier with fewer false positives and call backs
Question: What types of mammography are available?
Answer: There are two different types of mammography available for patients- screening or diagnostic. Screening mammograms are used when a patient does not have symptoms. These are used on a routine basis to detect cancers that may be too small to detect by palpation or self-checks. Each screening mammogram is performed using a special low-radiation machine that is specifically designed for mammography. Each image is then examined by a radiologist who is trained to look for subtle abnormalities that may indicate cancer.
Diagnostic mammograms are used if a patient has noticed breast symptoms, such as feeling a lump or noticing breast discharge. The examination is tailored to obtain a clearer picture of the abnormality in question using specialized views.
Question: Who should have screening mammograms and how often should they be performed?
Answer: Every woman is at risk for breast cancer and should have regular screening mammograms. According to the American College of Radiology, a baseline examination should be performed between the ages of 35-40. After turning 40, a woman should have a screening mammogram every 1-2 years. Once a woman turns 50, yearly mammograms are recommended. Depending on certain risk factors, like family history of breast cancer, a woman may have exams more frequently.
Question: How soon after my mammogram will I receive the results?
Answer: At Doctors Imaging Group, we provide each patient with her results before leaving the facility. In addition, we provide the patient’s healthcare provider with the results for their records.
Question: What is the role of ultrasound in the detection of breast cancer?
Answer: When an abnormality is found by physical examination or mammogram, an ultrasound may be performed for further diagnosis. Ultrasound exams use sound waves to provide images of suspicious areas in the breast. They are especially helpful in determining whether a lump is liquid-filled or solid.
Ultrasound alone is not considered a screening exam for breast cancer. However, when used in conjunction with mammography, it can provide additional diagnostic information for the radiologist.
Question: If an abnormality is found that requires a biopsy, how is this performed?
Answer: Doctors Imaging Group performs non-surgical percutaneous biopsies. Using an ultrasound-guided hollow-core needle, tissue is collected from the suspicious area. This is performed as an outpatient procedure and uses local anesthesia.
The entire procedure can be performed in less than an hour. Results are available within 48 hours.
Question: What is an excisional biopsy?
Answer: An excisional biopsy is when the physician surgically removes the suspicious area to determine if it is cancerous.