Mammography, along with monthly self-examinations and regular physical examinations of the breasts, provides the best chance for early detection of breast cancer. By detecting small tumors before they can be felt and before they have spread, the possibility of a cure is very high. Early detection makes it possible to give treatment and save the breast. Screening mammography is the key to early detection. This is the only way to find breast cancer before it can be felt. Having routine mammography in conjunction with physical examination is a vital part of your ongoing good breast health.
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HMI utilizes state-of-the-art digital mammography, shown to be more accurate than film screen mammography among women under the age of 50 years, women with heterogeneously dense or extremely dense breasts on mammography, and premenopausal or perimenopausal women.
Digital mammography offers other advantages over film mammography, including easier access to images and computer-assisted diagnosis (R2® Checker); improved means of transmission, retrieval, and storage of images; and a lower average radiation dose without a compromise in diagnostic accuracy.
2. Don't wear deodorant or powder.
3. It may also be helpful to wear a two-piece outfit.
- A technologist will take two or more x-ray films of each breast. Each breast will be positioned and firmly compressed between two clear plastic plates in order to spread out the tissue. This gives a clear picture of the breast with the least amount of radiation. This may be uncomfortable, but rarely painful. Compression lasts a few moments and then is released immediately.
- If you have sensitive breasts, try having your mammogram at a time of the month when your breasts will be least tender. Try to avoid the week right before your period. This will help to lessen discomfort.
- The films will be studied and interpreted by a radiologist. The results will then be reported to your doctor.
- You may be asked to return for additional views after the radiologist sees your mammogram. These extra views can help the radiologist see an area of your breast in better detail. You may also be asked to return in six months for a short term follow up.
- Regardless of the results of your screening mammogram, you need to talk to your doctor if you notice a change in your breasts. If you have a lump, thickening, swelling, focal pain, nipple discharge or retraction, or if you are recommended to have additional views, you will have a problem solving study called a "diagnostic" mammogram.
- This study includes mammographic views not done in a screening mammogram. An ultrasound examination may also be done to determine whether a lump or density on the mammogram is solid or contains fluid.