Mammography is an x-ray that uses extremely low doses of radiation to screen or diagnose cancer by producing accurate images of the breasts.
These images can reveal small cancers up to two years before they can be felt. Screening mammograms are recommended annually, beginning at the age of 40, with the goal of detecting disease at its earliest and most treatable stages, even before symptoms occur.
A diagnostic mammogram is used for women or men who have symptoms of breast disease such as a lump, skin change, pain, or nipple discharge. It can also be used for women who have a history of breast cancer or to evaluate problematic areas found with a screening mammogram. If you have breast symptoms that are concerning, your provider should order a diagnostic mammogram.
3D Mammography or tomosynthesis, is an advanced form of mammography that creates a 3D image of the breast that can better detect breast cancer, reduce unnecessary return visits for additional imaging and can be done in conjunction with a traditional 2D digital mammogram. Patients who benefit most from 3D mammography are those who have extremely dense breasts; but women with non-dense breasts can also benefit in the same ways. 3D mammography can be can be used as both a screening or diagnostic tool.
During both traditional 2D and 3D mammograms, a patient can expect a comfortable experience with the help of our expert trained technologists who are there to help you through every step of the exam. Each breast will be imaged using a device that holds and compresses the breast and positions it so images can be obtained at different angles. These images are then digitized and analyzed by a dedicated women’s imaging subspecialized radiologist with the assistance of a Computer Aided Detection (CAD) System.
To prepare for your exam do not wear deodorant, talcum powder, or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam. These products can appear as calcium deposits. We will need to obtain the records of your last mammogram or other form of breast imaging if performed somewhere other than Tower. It is best to schedule your mammogram one week following your period.
We also offer bone density/DEXA performed in conjunction with your annual mammogram.