Mammograms are vital tools in the fight against breast cancer
Mammograms are low-dose x-ray examinations of the breast to screen for or diagnose changes in the breast. Early detection of breast cancer is one of the biggest benefits mammograms provide. Our Round Rock obgyns encourage women to get mammograms, and we make it convenient by offering imaging services in the comfort of our office.
Screening mammograms help detect breast cancer in the early stages
Our Round Rock obgyns offer two types of screening mammograms, which are performed when no signs or symptoms of breast cancer are present.
- Conventional mammography – This type of mammography provides the radiologist with a two-dimensional picture, usually two views of each breast.
- 3D mammography – This type of mammography is performed in the same way as conventional mammography, using the same machine. Instead of two views of each breast, the machine takes pictures of thin sections of your breast tissue that are combined by special computer software to create a three-dimensional image.
Our Round Rock obgyns follow the guidelines for mammograms set by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. We suggest that women age 40 and over have annual mammograms. Women with high risk factors may need to begin screening at an earlier age.
Diagnostic mammograms are performed after signs of breast cancer are detected
If signs or symptoms of breast cancer have been detected during a screening mammogram or a breast exam, our Round Rock obgyns may suggest a diagnostic mammogram. Diagnostic mammograms are also helpful if a woman’s breast tissue is difficult to view with a screening mammogram.
Diagnostic mammograms are conducted in the same way as screening mammograms, but the test usually takes longer. During this test, the technician will take several different views of your breast. They also have the ability to magnify the view of the area of concern to give the radiologist a more detailed picture to examine. Often, you will be asked to remain in the waiting room after diagnostic mammograms so that the radiologist can read the results and request more pictures if necessary.
Preparing for your mammogram
Always follow all the instructions provided before screening and diagnostic mammograms. Here are some additional suggestions.
- Do not apply deodorant, perfume or powder to your armpit area the day of the test.
- Try to avoid scheduling screening mammograms the week prior to your period to avoid breast tenderness.
- Wear a separate top with a skirt or pants so you only have to undress from the waist up.
- Talk with your insurance company in advance to inquire about benefits for 3D mammograms.
To schedule mammograms, contact us. Mammograms save lives.
Research shows that screening mammography can help reduce the rate of breast cancer in women ages 40 to 74, especially in women over 50.¹
¹ http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/mammograms/types ; Mandelblatt JS, Cronin KA, Bailey S, et al. Effects of mammography screening under different screening schedules: model estimates of potential benefits and harms. Annals of Internal Medicine 2009;151(10):738-747.