What is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast used to detect and diagnose breast disease. Although mammograms cannot prevent breast cancer, they can save lives by detecting the disease as early as possible. Mammograms have been shown to lower the chance of dying from breast cancer by 35% in women over the age of 50, and by 25-35% for women between 40 and 50.
Currently, the College of Radiology recommends:
- Yearly mammograms starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
- Clinical breast exams (CBE) should be part of a periodic health exam, about every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over.
- Women should report any breast change promptly to their health care providers.
- Women at increased risk (e.g., family history, genetic tendency, past breast cancer) should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of starting mammography screening earlier, having additional tests (e.g., breast ultrasound or MRI), or having more frequent exams.
What You Need to Know Before Your Exam:
- Do not wear perfume, deodorant or powder to the hospital at the time of your mammogram
- Arrive at Patient Registration at least 20 minutes prior to your exam time
CVMC is certified as a Softer Mammogram Provider, a distinction awarded only to an elite group of health care facilities. That means we provide a soft foam cushion, called MammoPad®, for each woman's personal use during every screening mammogram, to ensure your mammogram is warm and comfortable. (Pads are used one time only.)
Additional Mammography Services
In addition to routine mammograms, the following procedures/services are also offered through CVMC's mammography department:
Diagnostic Mammography: This is usually ordered if a patient has an area of concern in the breast(s), or if additional imaging is needed after a routine mammogram.
Breast Ultrasound: This can be done to look at an area of concern in the breast, or often is ordered in supplement to a call back mammography exam. Ultrasound is another way to look at the breast tissue, and very useful in women with dense breast tissue.
Insurance Note: These additional images will be considered diagnostic exams and not part of your screening mammogram. If there are any concerns about whether or not your insurance will cover a diagnostic study you should call your insurance company. Please feel free to call Patient Financial Services at 371-4392 or Diane Jones, Patient Navigator, at 225-5449 if you have any concerns about paying for these exams.
Breast Biopsies: If your physical examination, mammogram or ultrasound yields an abnormal finding, a breast biopsy may be recommended. Both Ultrasound-Guided Biopsies and Mammogram-Guided Stereotactic Biopsies are performed at CVMC.
Breast Needle Localization: This procedure is used to identify the precise location of abnormal breast tissue for the purpose of removing it in the operating room.
- (2) Hologic Selenia Dimensions (3D Tomography Units)
- (3) Philips iU22’s (Ultrasound)
- Hologic Prone 2D and 3D Stereotactic Breast Biopsy System
CVMC's Mammography Department is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and by the Food & Drug Administration's (FDA) Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA).