A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breasts. It is used to find tumors and to help tell the difference between non-cancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) disease.
How the test is performed
You will be asked to undress from the waist up and will be given a gown to wear. Depending on the type of equipment used, you will sit or stand.
One breast at a time is rested on a flat surface that contains the x-ray plate. A device called a compressor will be pressed firmly against the breast to help flatten out the breast tissue. The x-ray pictures are taken from several angles. You may be asked to hold your breath as each picture is taken. Digital mammography is a recent technique that allows the x-ray image of the breast to be viewed and manipulated on a computer screen. It improves accuracy a little bit, but is not yet performed everywhere.
How to prepare for the test
Do not wear deodorant, perfume, powders or ointments under the arms or on the breasts on the day of the mammogram. These substances may obscure the images. Remove all jewelry from your neck and chest area. Notify the health care provider and the radiologist if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How the test will feel
Mammography is performed to screen healthy women for signs of breast cancer. It is also used to evaluate a woman who has symptoms of a breast disease such as a lump, nipple discharge, breast pain, dimpling of the skin on the breast or retraction of the nipple.
What are the risks
The level of radiation is low and any risk from mammography is exceedingly low. If you are pregnant and need to have an abnormality checked, the abdominal area will be shielded by a lead apron.
Baptist Beaumont Hospital Introduces 3D Mammography,
Low Dose and Clinical Accuracy Provides Tools Necessary to Diagnose Even the Smallest Tumors
The best prevention of breast cancer is early detection. According to Breastcancer.org, approximately 1 in 8 women in the Unites States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. In 2014, an estimated 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in women in the United States along with 62,570 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. The newly designed Dauphin Women’s Center is changing the way the women and men of Southeast Texas receive life-saving breast cancer screening and diagnostics.
The Dauphin Women’s Center located on the Baptist Beaumont Hospital campus is proud to announce that 3D Mammography is now available. The Dauphin Women’s Center utilizes breast tomosynthesis which is a three-dimensional imaging technology that uses a low-dose short X-ray sweep around the compressed breast with only nine exposures. This imaging technique is designed to separate the tissue and reduce the overlapping of structures, which represents a limiting factor in standard 2D mammography. Due to low dose and clinical accuracy, this system has the potential to replace digital mammography exams in screening to detect breast cancer.
Staffed with highly qualified Registered Nurses, Mammography and Ultrasound Technologists, Nurse Navigators, and Board Certified Radiologists, this new center will provide high quality patient-centered care for women and men.
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