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Mammography

Mammography is an x-ray examination of the breasts. It is used to detect breast disease such as breast cancer, benign tumors and cysts before they can be felt. 3D mammography is the latest screening technology that allows the radiologist to examine the breast issue one layer at a time. Breast cancer screening using 3D and 2D mammography combined has a 40% higher invasive cancer detection rate than 2D mammography alone. It also provides a significant reduction in “call back” rates of 20-40% (Data provided by Hologic, Inc.)

Preparation

You may want to dress comfortably and wear a 2-piece outfit because you will need to undress above the waist. You should not wear any type of powders, deodorants, ointments, or creams when you come for your mammograms because it can affect the quality of your pictures.

Important things to tell your technologist:

  • If you have breast implants
  • If you have a personal history of breast cancer
  • If you have a family history of breast cancer
  • If you have any lumps, pain, nipple inversion, or dimpling of the breast
  • Where and when your last mammogram was done
  • If you are pregnant

You do not need an order from your practitioner to schedule your yearly screening mammogram. Call us at 833.662.2273 to schedule today. Remember to check with your insurance company on the coverage of your mammograms.

If you are having any problems with your breasts, contact your healthcare provider and they will instruct you if you need to schedule a diagnostic mammogram and/or breast ultrasound.

After your mammogram is performed and the results are finalized, we will mail you a letter directly to your home with those results in it. If there is any concern with your mammogram images, we will call you directly to give you those results and any further instructions.

Breast Cancer Information

Risk Factors

  • Age— as we grow older, our risk for breast cancer increases.
  • Personal history of breast cancer or other cancer
  • Family history of breast cancer— although important to note that 80-90% of breast cancers are diagnosed in women with no family history
  • Menstrual period beginning at an early age— prior to age 12
  • First pregnancy after age 30, or having no pregnancies
  • Obesity and alcohol use— may increase the risk of breast cancer
  • Estrogen therapy— taking hormone therapy may increase the chance of developing breast cancer. Birth control pills do not appear to increase the risk of breast cancer.

Breast Density—Why Does it Matter?

  • Who has dense breast tissue?
    • 40% of women of mammography age have dense breast tissue
  • How do I know if I have dense tissue?
    • A mammogram is the only way to determine dense breast tissue (this information is included in your result letter after you’ve had a mammogram)
    • NOT determined by look, touch or feel
  • Why do I need to know about density?
    • Increases risk for breast cancer
    • Limits mammograms’ ability to identify cancers

(Information provided by DenseBreast-Info.org)

How You Can Help Yourself

  • Monthly Breast Self-Exam (BSE)— you should know how your breasts normally feel. This will aid you in quickly detecting any changes in your breasts. You should report any changes promptly to your healthcare provider.
  • Clinical Breast Exam— during your 20’s and 30’s you should have a breast exam done about every three years by your healthcare provider. After age 40, you should have this done every year.

Who Should Get a Mammogram

Experts have varying recommendations for screening mammography. Here at Myrtue Medical Center, we recommend women begin having annual mammograms beginning at age 40. If you have a first degree relative who has a history of breast cancer (mother, sister, daughter) you should have your first mammogram 10 years before the age at which they were diagnosed. However, women should talk with their health care providers about their personal risk factors and how often they should have a mammogram performed.

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