Mammography is the best way to detect breast cancer at the early, treatable stages of the disease. The American Cancer Society recommends that women in their 20s and 30s have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a regular health screening, at least every three years. After age 40, women should have a breast exam every year. Our registered technologist, who is certified in mammography, will perform your mammogram. Our mammography department is accredited by the FDA and the American College of Radiology (ACR).
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.
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.
Your mammogram examination
- Before: Try to schedule your mammogram for the week following your menstrual period when your breasts are less tender. Wear a two-piece outfit, so you will only have to remove your top. Do not apply deodorant, powder, ointment, or cream to your chest area the day of your exam. These products can show up on the x-ray image and make them difficult to interpret.
- During: Our technologist will ask you to stand in front of the mammography unit. One of your breasts will be placed on a small platform attached to the machine. Your breast will then be gradually compressed. For screening mammography, two images are taken of the breast, one from the top and one from the side. The examination is then repeated on the other breast. Actual compression time is only a few seconds, and you may experience slight discomfort, but it should not hurt.
- After: A board certified radiologist will interpret the images and a report will be sent to your physician no later than the next business day. For your convenience, we can also schedule bone densitometry at the time of your annual mammogram.
All digital mammography is done in a quiet, private setting located in one of our Women's Center locations. We offer flexible, extended hours to meet your needs. For more information, call us at 270-444-2175. To schedule your mammogram at one of our two Women's Center locations, call 270-444-2121 or contact your physician.