Breast Cancer Screening

Breast Cancer Screening

Screening mammograms are a low dose x-ray examination used to view the breasts of women who do not have any symptoms or clinical findings.  If a better look is required or a problem is found on the screening mammogram, you will be “called back” for additional imaging.  This means that the radiologist saw something and wants to get a better look.  This could be a diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound or MRI.  The vast majority of “call backs” turn out to be normal.

In addition, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)’s recommends the following for screening mammograms for the average woman:

  • A screening starting at the age of 40 years.
  • Screening every one to two years following the initial screen at 40 years old.
  • Continue screening until at least 75 years old.

For more in-depth recommendations from ACOG, please visit their website here.

What are the different types of mammograms?

  1. 3D mammograms (breast tomosynthesis) are screening mammograms that combine multiple breast x-rays to create a 3-dimensional picture of the breast.
  2. Diagnostic mammograms are used to evaluate symptoms, clinical findings (I.e. lump), or for additional views following a screening mammogram.

What to expect during a mammogram?

A screening mammogram uses X-ray technology to view the breasts for cancer.

If a problem is found on the x-ray or on the screening mammogram, a diagnostic mammogram and low ultrasound may be recommended, which allows more attention to the area of concern.

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