What Does a Mammogram Show?

doctor looking at mammogram results Have you ever had a mammogram? Are you afraid to schedule a screening because you think it might be painful or you’re unsure if the test is necessary? If you’re a woman over 40, you should make mammograms a part of your yearly preventative health testing to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages.

What Is a Mammogram?

Mammography uses a tiny amount of ionizing radiation (x-rays) to capture images of breast tissue from several different angles. A certified radiologist studies the images to pinpoint abnormalities in the breast tissue. Newer 3D mammograms use the latest computer technology to convert x-ray images into individual slices or stacks, which can be studied layer by layer to get a more accurate picture of any abnormalities in the tissue.

Why Is a Mammogram Performed?

Mammograms are the best tool doctors have for detecting the earliest stages of breast cancer. Mammograms can find tiny lumps, bumps, calcifications, and any other anomaly well before you or your doctor can see or feel any changes to the breast. When you get a mammogram each year, the radiologist can compare the latest results against older screenings to check for small changes. Early detection of abnormalities gives women the best chance of treating breast cancer without invasive treatments like chemotherapy or mastectomy (breast removal).

What Does a Mammogram Show?

Mammograms can detect tiny abnormalities well before you can feel or see any changes to the breast. These abnormalities can include the following:

  • Microcalcifications (small clusters of calcium)
  • Lumps, which can be clusters of fatty cells, cysts, or cancer

If any abnormalities are detected on your mammogram, you’ll follow up with additional testing methods to find the cause and then begin treatment if cancer is present.

Why Should I Get a Mammogram?

The following organizations have reached a consensus that women should get yearly mammograms starting at age 40:

  • American Medical Association
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American College of Radiology
  • American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute
  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network

If you’re younger than 40, you and your doctor may decide that yearly mammograms are indicated if you have the following risk factors:

  • Dense breasts – Breasts with more dense, connective tissue rather than fatty tissue have a higher chance of developing breast cancer.
  • Family history – If your mother or sister has been diagnosed with breast cancer, you’re twice as likely to also develop the disease.
  • Race – African American women are more likely to develop invasive breast cancer at an early age.

Where Can I Get a Mammogram on Long Island?

PURE Mammography is Long Island’s premier facility for mammograms. We use the latest 3D technology for your screening to ensure you get the most accurate results. Our caring staff and board-certified radiologists will make your screening experience comfortable, caring, and accurate. Located inside the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, we offer a luxurious spa-like experience for our patients. You’ll be pampered with warm robes and snacks in the waiting room followed by a serene atmosphere in the exam room. Everything we do is geared toward making our patients feel safe and secure during their exam. This not only puts our patients at ease, it helps ensure the accuracy of the screening.

If you’re ready to get a screening or find out more information about PURE, call us today at 631-652-3424.  You can also click the Appointments tab on this page, enter your information, and our staff will get back to you soon.

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