How is a Mammogram Performed?
If you’re a woman aged 40 or older, now is the time to add a yearly mammogram to your preventative health routine to give you peace of mind that you are cancer free. Just as you visit the dentist, optometrist, gynecologist and other specialties to ensure you are in good health, yearly mammograms can catch small abnormalities in the breast before they become a major health concern.
What is a Mammogram?
Mammography is a specialized breast imaging technique that uses a small amount of x-rays to capture images of breast tissue. Mammography is a non-invasive medical procedure that provides crucial information to physicians about breast health. Additionally, mammography is a highly effective tool for detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages.
Why Are Mammograms Performed?
A mammogram can be a lifesaver for all women, not just those who are at greater risk for breast cancer. Mammograms are performed because:
- One in eight U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
- Three out of four women who receive a breast cancer diagnosis have no family history of the disease or other risk factors.
- One out of six women will get a breast cancer diagnosis while she is in her 40s.
What Are the Different Kinds of Mammograms?
Although x-rays are the oldest and most often used technique for imaging, technological advancements in mammography allow physicians to get better pictures of breast tissue to help in breast cancer diagnosis. These newer techniques include:
- Digital Mammography: Digital mammograms replace x-ray film with electronics that change x-rays into mammographic images of breast tissue. This system is comparable to efficient digital photography that delivers sharper pictures with lower doses of radiation.
- Computer-aided Detection: Computer-aided detection, or CAD, looks through digital mammogram images for any areas of abnormalities including high-density breast tissue, masses, or calcifications that could indicate breast cancer. CAD zeros in on these abnormalities and alerts physicians to their presence for further review.
- 3D Mammography: 3D mammography is an advancement in breast imaging where numerous breast tissue images are captured from several different angles and then arranged into a comprehensive 3D image. 3D imaging is similar to a CT scan where multiple images, or thin slices of breast tissue scans, are collected to form a complete three-dimensional picture of the breast.
How is a Mammogram Performed?
Mammograms are performed in an outpatient facility and usually take about 30 minutes. During your test, a certified technician will place your breast between two clear plastic plates, which are a part of the mammography unit. The technician will slowly compress your breast between the plates so that the resulting images will include the best possible view of the breast tissue.
The technician will ask you to change positions during testing for top-to-bottom views and a side angle view. The process will resume for the other breast. You’ll stand still while the images are recorded to ensure the pictures will be as clear as possible.
Why Choose PURE Mammography for Your Next Mammogram?
PURE Mammography is Long Island’s top choice for mammograms. Our state-of-the-art facility offers the newest, 3D imaging technology for your mammogram, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the best breast cancer screening available. No appointment is necessary, so stop by anytime during our flexible, extended hours.