CVMC offers the most sophisticated digital mammography equipment in the industry, which provides a high-quality image to the radiologist for an accurate diagnosis. Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.
CVMC utilizes Computer Aided Detection (CAD) system, which is a digitized mammographic image that can be obtained from either a conventional film mammogram or a digitally acquired mammogram. The computer software then searches for abnormal areas of density, mass, or calcification that may indicate the presence of cancer. The CAD system highlights these areas on the images, alerting the radiologist to the need for further analysis.
Mammograms are used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms and to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge. There are different types of mammograms:
Mammography plays a central part in early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them. Current guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommend screening mammography every year for women, beginning at age 40. Research has shown that annual mammograms lead to early detection of breast cancers, when they are most curable and breast-conservation therapies are available.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) adds that women who have had breast cancer and those who are at increased risk due to a genetic history of breast cancer should seek expert medical advice about whether they should begin screening before age 40 and about the frequency of screening.
Diagnostic mammography is used to evaluate a patient with abnormal clinical findings such as a breast lump or lumps that have been found by the woman or her doctor. Diagnostic mammography may also be done after an abnormal screening mammography in order to evaluate the area of concern on the screening exam.
What to do to prepare for your mammogram:
- It is preferable that you schedule your mammogram during the first 10 days following your menstrual period when your breasts are least tender.
- Use no deodorant or dusting powder.
- Bring old mammogram films, if possible.