How Mammography Works
The breast is placed on the surface of the mammography system and is briefly squeezed between two paddles for a few seconds while an x-ray is taken. In a screening mammogram, x-rays of each breast are taken from two different positions to make sure the maximum amount of tissue is included. Sometimes additional images are needed to fully include all the breast tissue. The total examination takes about 10 minutes. Compression reduces the amount of radiation needed to penetrate the tissue and also spreads out the breast tissue to help produce clearer images. Compression also reduces motion which can blur the image and cause abnormalities to be missed.
How To Reduce Risk
There is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer, but there are certain steps a person can take to lower their risk.
Actions that may lower the risk of breast cancer include:
- Get to a healthy weight: High body weight and weight gain as an adult increase the risk of breast cancer after menopause. The
Several benign breast conditions can cause symptoms that resemble those of cancer. Some of these issues require treatment, while others go away on their own.
Though these conditions are benign, they can cause:
- discomfort or pain
Some common benign breast conditions include:
If a person is unsure what is causing any breast-related symptom, they should talk with a doctor as soon as possible.
As with most cancers, early breast cancer detection and treatment leads to a better outcome. People should attend regular breast examinations and tell a doctor about any breast-related symptoms or changes.
According to the ACS , when a doctor diagnoses breast cancer before it has spread beyond the breast, the relative 5-year survival rate is 99%.
Relative survival rates can help people understand the likelihood of treatment being successful. A relative 5-year survival rate indicates the percentage of people living 5 years after their diagnosis compared to people without the disease.
When breast cancer has spread beyond the breast to the lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 86%. The same survival rate for cancer that has spread to other organs is 29%.
See What Our Patients Are Saying
This place is absolutely fabulous! When I first walked in, I was warmly greeted by Linda, the receptionist. Shes absolutely a gem! The director Felecia, is so sweet and will make sure youre being taken care of! Danielle, the mammography technician, is extremely professional and she is thorough. She gave me clear and precise directions throughout the process, also making sure that I was comfortable. For anyone whos reading this review, you are PURELY, in good hands, once youve visited this facility. ?Not for nothing, to all the women out there, we know that this experience can be uncomfortable and not fun. I assure you, the ladies at Pure Mammography will help you through the process as much as possible. Thank you Pure Mammography for your professionalism and for being you! Ebony Washington
Medical Arts Radiology has multiple womens imaging sites across Long Island, including PURE Mammography. PURE provides the latest in mammogram technology and comfort, using 3D mammography and providing a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere. Expert specialists who are committed to patient comfort and care increase the likelihood that the first set of images will provide accurate results. However, if specialists find abnormal mammogram images, a patient may be called back to PURE or one of our other Medical Arts Radiology locations for further testing.
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How Are Breast Lumps Diagnosed And Evaluated
Most breast lumps are benign . Proving that a lump is not cancer often involves imaging tests. One or more of the following imaging tests may be performed:
- mammogram: Mammography uses low dose x-rays to examine the breasts. This type of imaging involves exposing the breasts to a small amount of ionizing radiation to obtain pictures of the inside of the breasts. Either two single images or two tomosynthesis images are taken of each breast to begin the evaluation. Additional images may be needed. See theSafety page for more information about x-rays.
- breast ultrasound: Breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create pictures of the inside of the breasts. Breast ultrasound can capture images of areas of the breast that may be difficult to see with mammography. It can also help to determine whether a breast lump is solid or fluid.
- breast MRI: Breast MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radiofrequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of the inside of the breasts. MRI is helpful in evaluating breast lumps that are not visible with mammography or ultrasoundalthough it may not be appropriate for all women. Your doctor will help determine if breast MRI is right for you. Breast MRI requires injection of contrast material.
If a lump is proven to be benign by its appearance on these exams, no further steps may need to be taken. Your doctor may want to monitor the area at future visits to check if the breast lump has changed, grown or gone away.
What To Expect During A Mammogram
On the day of your mammogram you should:
- Wear a comfortable two-piece outfit.
- Do not use deodorant or any products which may contain talcum powder or lotion.
During your mammogram:
- You will be asked to undress from the waist up and put on a gown.
- Once the radiologist is ready to see you, you will go to the mammography room and disrobe.
- Your breast is then placed on a special platform and slowly compressed until it is flattened.
- You may feel discomfort or pressure for several seconds until your breast is released.
- The procedure is repeated until each breast is imaged twice from two different angles.
- The entire process of getting a mammogram generally takes about 30 minutes.
- A radiologist reviews the images and sends the results to your doctors office.
- You should get your results within a week from your mammogram appointment.
- If an abnormality is found, more imaging or additional tests such as a biopsy may be needed.
Women should begin scheduling their annual mammograms at the age of 40. Detecting breast cancer at its earliest stage is crucial to survival. Having an annual mammogram is an important first step in diagnosing breast cancer. Schedule your mammogram today!
Calcifications are mineral deposits that look like white spots on a mammogram. There are two types of calcifications:
A mass is a region in breast tissue that looks abnormal. These can be caused by several things such as cysts or solid masses:
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When To Expect Mammography Results
Some centers give you the results of your mammogram at the time of your screening. With others, it may take up to 2 weeks to get your results.
If you dont get your results within 2 weeks, contact your health care provider or the mammography center.
Dont assume the results were normal because you didnt get a report. Follow up to get your results.
Schedule Your 3d Mammogram Today
Having regular 3D mammograms performed by an experienced board-certified breast imaging specialist is the best way to detect abnormalities early. Visit PURE Mammography in Lake Grove today, no appointment necessary. You can also call or fill out the form on this page to pre-schedule an appointment or learn more about PURE.
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Positive Mammogram Results And Statistics
If you see the word positive on a mammogram report, and its a call-back, the word positive is for STATISTICS. The statisticians want to score true positive and false positive.
Screening Mammography Programs are copy-cats of each other and they all have statisticians. Somewhere, long ago, a statistician wrote a sample letter to explain mammogram results to patients. The statistician used the word positive in the results. The same letter wording was then copied from state to state, province to province, country to country.
Furthermore, statisticians calculate accuracy using 4 values: True positives, True negatives, False positives, False negatives.
Why Is Breast Density Important
Breast density is important for two main reasons:
- Women who have dense breast tissue have a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women with less dense breast tissue. Its unclear at this time why dense breast tissue is linked to breast cancer risk. It may be that dense breast tissue has more cells that can develop into abnormal cells.
- Dense breast tissue also makes it harder for radiologists to see cancer on mammograms. Dense breast tissue looks white on a mammogram. Breast masses and cancers can also look white, so the dense tissue can make it harder to see them. In contrast, fatty tissue looks almost black on a mammogram, so its easier to see a tumor that looks white if most of the breast is fat tissue.
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Lets Do Some Q& a About Mammography
How are mammograms done?
During a mammogram, your breasts are compressed between two firm surfaces to spread out the breast tissue. Then, an x-ray captures black and white images of your breasts that are displayed on a computer screen and examined by a doctor who looks for signs of cancer.
How can mammograms be used?
A mammogram can be used either for screening or for diagnostic purposes.
How often should you have a mammogram?
It all depends on your age and your risk of breast cancer.
How do I know when I should begin screening mammography?
Some general guidelines for when to begin screening mammography include women with an average risk of breast cancer and woman with a high risk of breast cancer.
What are the risks?
Some known risks and limitations of mammograms include the following: Mammograms:-
- expose you to low-dose radiation
- are not always accurate
- can be difficult to interpret in younger women
- may lead to additional testing
- can not detect all breast cancers
- may show cancer, but not all of the tumors can be cured
How do I prepare for my mammogram appointment?
- Choose a certified mammogram facility
- schedule the test for a time when your breasts are least likely to be tender
- bring your prior mammogram images
- do not use deodorant before your mammogram
- consider an over-the-counter pain medication if you find that having a mammogram is uncomfortable.
What can a radiologist possibly find on my mammogram imaging?
Well, possible findings can include:-
- calcium deposits
What Happens During A Mammogram
The actual mammogram takes 10 to 15 minutes, but your appointment can take up to an hour. This includes changing clothes, having the examination, and your mammographer making sure the images are clear enough for the radiologist to look at.
During the mammogram, you will stand in front of the mammography machine. This is a tall machine with two flat plates and a tube on top. The mammographer will adjust the machine to your height and then rest your breast on the bottom plate. The top plate, called the compression plate, will lower onto your breast. The mammographer may ask you to take a deep breath before doing this.
When the breast is flattened between the plates, the machine will take the X-rays from the tube above the breast. This is uncomfortable, but does not last long. Some people do experience pain during a mammogram, but if you feel severe pain or if your skin is pinched, tell the mammographer.
For a screening mammogram, you will need several pictures of each breast. A diagnostic mammogram may need more. The mammographer might have you change positions a few times. After you are done, they make sure the pictures are clear. They may retake any pictures that are not clear. When the mammogram is finished, you can go back to your usual activities right away.
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Breasts With Dense Fibroglandular Tissue And Less Fatty Tissue Increase A Womans Risk Of Breast Cancer At The Same Time This Knowledge Hasnt Translated Into Greater Follow
It is well known that women with dense fibroglandular tissue in their breasts have an increased risk of breast cancer, compared to the average. But theres no way for a woman to know if her breast tissue puts her at increased risk without an image from a mammogram.
Dense fibroglandular tissue in the breast is made up of milk glands and connective tissue. It will appear as areas of white or light grey in mammography images. Fatty tissue, by comparison, appears black or dark grey in the images. Essentially, lighter images mean denser tissue, which doctors and radiologists describe as mammographic density.
Since the risk of breast cancer is greater in women with a high proportion of fibroglandular tissue , Norwegian researchers have wondered if they can use mammographic density as a way to increase their accuracy when checking for tumours in the countrys mammography screening programme, which is offered to women older than 50.
Should women with breasts with greater mammographic density be offered more frequent screening or other screening methods in addition to mammography? This is called stratified screening, and is offered in the United States, for example.
Nataliia Moshina, a medical doctor and PhD candidate, wanted to see whether the Norwegian mammography programme should be modified in view of this information.
Moshinas research was based on data from women who participated in the Norwegian Mammography Programme for 20 years, between 1996 and 2015.
How Does A Mammogram Work
A mammogram uses an X-ray machine thats designed to only look at breast tissue. The machine takes X-rays at lower doses than X-rays used to look at your bones.
During a mammogram, you place your breast on a support plate attached to the X-ray machine. A technologist then squeezes your breast with a parallel plate called a paddle. The machine produces X-rays that pass through your breast to a detector located on the opposite side. The detector transmits electronic signals to a computer to form a digital image. These images are called mammograms.
Breast compression is necessary for a mammogram to hold your breast still and minimize movement, which can cause the X-rays to look blurry. Compression also evens out the shape of your breast so that the X-rays can travel through a shorter path to reach the detector. This allows for a lower radiation dose and improves the quality of the image.
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Lobular Carcinoma In Situ
Lobular carcinoma in situ refers to an area of abnormal cells confined to the breasts milk-producing glands.
Because these cells do not spread to surrounding tissues, doctors do not lobular carcinoma situ to be cancer. However, it can increase the chances of developing other types of invasive breast cancer.
This condition rarely causes symptoms. Doctors lobular carcinoma in situ during a breast biopsy for another problem in the breast area. In some cases, tiny white specs of calcium called microcalcifications appear on a routine mammogram.
What Are Breast Lumps
A breast lump is a mass that develops in the breast. Depending on the type, breast lumps may be large or small and may feel hard or spongy. Some lumps cause pain, while others go unnoticed until identified during an imaging test.
A lump may be discovered by a woman doing breast self-exam or by her health care provider during a physical exam. Suspicious lumps may also be detected during annual screening mammography. Although uncommon, breast lumps can occur in men.
It is important to become familiar with how your breasts normally look and feel so that you are able to report any changes to your doctor.
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What A Mammogram Can Show
With early stage breast cancer, there might not be a lump. But your mammogram may show small areas of calcium in the breast tissue.
These areas of calcium are called calcification. But calcification also develops because of non cancerous changes in the breast. The skill and experience of the technicians and doctors helps them to read the different patterns and decide which might be related to cancer and so need further tests.
Some people have a condition called ductal carcinoma in situ that shows up on the mammogram.
If I Have Dense Breasts Do I Still Need A Mammogram
Yes. Most breast cancers can be seen on a mammogram even in women who have dense breast tissue, so its still important to get regular mammograms. Mammograms can help save womens lives.
Even if you have a normal mammogram report, you should know how your breasts normally look and feel. Anytime theres a change, you should report it to a health care provider right away.
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What Should I Do If I Have An Abnormal Mammogram
Typically, after a mammogram, you will receive notice of a normal mammogram. But if doctors see something suspicious, they will notify you of abnormal mammogram results. At that point, you will be called back to take new pictures or to have further testing. Finding out that you need further testing can be scary and you may feel some anxiety, but it does not always indicate that cancer is present. Abnormal mammogram results could be due to a non-cancerous tumor, cyst, or dense breast tissue. Often, patients return for further testing and are found to be cancer-free.
What Does Cancer Look Like On A Mammogram
Cancers may be seen as masses , areas of asymmetry that can resemble normal tissue, calcifications , and/or areas of architectural distortion . Many noncancerous conditions can also produce masses and calcifications and even normal tissue can appear as areas of asymmetry. Radiologists use additional mammographic views, such as magnification or spot compression views, or ultrasound to help distinguish benign from cancerous changes. A needle biopsy is usually recommended when there is even a low level of suspicion for cancer.
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