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  • Digital Mammography

    Full Field Digital Mammography

    What is Full Field Digital Mammography?

    Digital Mammography uses computers and specially designed digital detectors to produce an image that can be displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor and transmitted and stored just like a computer file. The key role of mammography is in identifying a site of breast cancer early in its development when it is very small and often a year or two before it is large enough to be felt as a lump. These small cancers have a much better response to treatment and often require much less surgical or drug treatment. Mammography detects approximately 2-3 times as many “early” breast cancers as physical examination, and is the best method for screening for breast cancer.  Mammography is currently the best screening examination for breast cancer.

    Approximately 10% of palpable breast lumps that may be malignant are not detected mammographically. In those cases, breast self-examination, in addition to examination by your doctor, is important for early detection of breast cancer.

    You Have Options?  What Is CAD?

    Computer-aided detection (CAD) is a recent advance in mammography which helps the Radiologist identify abnormalities within the breast. CAD technology reviews digitized mammograms and marks areas of suspected abnormalities. When using a CAD system, the Radiologist always makes the final interpretation of the mammogram. CAD improves the rate of detection of small abnormalities of the breast, increasing the chances of successful treatment. Interpretation with CAD is similar to having a mammogram read by two Radiologists.

    What Should I Expect?

    A typical mammogram consists of two views of each breast in which they are pressed firmly between two plates. Women with implants require four additional views to visualize tissue using the Ecklund Technique (implants are pushed back and breast tissue is pulled forward).  The complete procedure takes only a few minutes, performed by a trained technologist under the supervision of a qualified Radiologist. He or she will analyze the images, looking for specific abnormalities or changes related to cancer. A written report will then be sent to your doctor.

    How Should I Prepare?

    When preparing for the exam, please do not wear deodorant, body lotion, talcum powder or perfume on the day of the exam.  Patients should wear a two piece outfit.  The patient should bring films from previous mammograms, or have the images sent prior to the exam.

    How Do I Get the Results?

    After your study is over, the images will be evaluated by one of our board-certified radiologists, with expertise in breast imaging. A final report will be sent to your doctor who can then discuss the results with you in detail, and a letter will be sent to the patient.

    Breast Cancer will affect an average of one in seven women sometime in their lifetime. It is the second most common cause of cancer related deaths in women, second only to lung cancer. Numerous studies prove that early detection is a vital component in the successful treatment of breast cancer.

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