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Self-referral mammography

Patients are now able to schedule mammograms without a doctor’s referral. The primary goal of self-referral mammography is to engage patients who are currently not accessing preventative healthcare services and/or a primary care provider and to increase breast cancer prevention and early detection practices.

  • Self-referral screenings are available to women who have no breast symptoms or complaints.
  • If a patient with a primary care provider sets up an appointment without a referral, their provider will be notified before their mammogram takes place.
  • Women who detect lumps or other causes of concern are referred to a primary care provider before their mammogram to ensure the symptoms are properly evaluated. If patients don’t have a primary care provider, the Women’s Center will assist in assigning one.

Services and procedures include:

  • Three-dimensional digital mammography: Tomosynthesis uses low doses of radiation to take multiple x-ray images of each breast from many angles. This state-of-the-art, 3-D approach provides better images to detect breast disease, as well as reduces the number of call-backs for additional screenings. For more information, click here.
  • Breast ultrasound: A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to make a picture of the tissues inside the breast. The ultrasound can show all areas of the breast, including the area closest to the chest wall which is hardest to capture with a mammogram. Breast ultrasound does not use X-rays or other potentially harmful types of radiation. For more information, click here.
  • Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): An MRI captures multiple pictures of your breast to detect cancer and other abnormalities in the breast. The images are computer combined to generate detailed pictures. The breast MRI is usually performed when your physician needs more information than a mammogram, ultrasound, or clinical breast exam cannot provide.
  • Stereotactic biopsy: Stereotactic breast biopsy is a non-surgical method of removing tissue from a suspected abnormality in your breast. It is most often done on an outpatient basis. The entire procedure is done through a tiny nick in the skin. The patient lies face down on the stereotactic table, and the breast is guided through a hole in the table. The breast is compressed and immobilized by the digital mammography unit situated under the table to allow for accurate testing. After an injection of a local anesthetic and target verification is visible, stereotactic images will confirm accurate needle placement and the biopsy may then continue. An average of six specimens are taken during a typical biopsy. A marker clip may be placed after the stereotactic biopsy to identify the site of the biopsy for future reference. For more information, click here.
  • Ultrasound-guided mammotome biopsy: The ultrasound-guided mammotome biopsy may be performed when an abnormality is identified. The biopsy device is directed to the abnormality (lesion) by watching it on the ultrasound monitor. Usually several samples are collected and sent to the pathologist for evaluation. A marker clip may be left to identify the site of the biopsy for future reference.
  • DEXA bone mineral density test