Mammography is a specific type of imaging that takes a low dose x-ray exam of the breast to look for changes that are not normal. On a mammography exam, called a mammogram, the results are recorded on an x-ray film or direction into a computer for a radiologist, a doctor who specializes in imaging, to examine.
A mammogram allows the radiologist to have a closer look for changes in breast tissue that cannot be felt during a breast exam. It is used for women who have no breast complaints and for women who have breast symptoms, such as a change in the shape or size of a breast, a lump, nipple discharge or pain. Breast changes occur in almost all women. In fact, most of these changes are not cancer and are called “benign”, but only a doctor can know for sure.
Broadlawns Medical Center offers the 3D mammography, also known as Tomosynthesis, which is the most revolutionary screening and diagnostic tool designed for early detection of breast cancer that can be done.
During the 3D portion of the exam, the x-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple images in a matter of seconds. A computer then produces a 3D image of your breast tissue in one millimeter slices, providing greater visibility for the radiologist to distinguish harmless abnormalities from real tumors. This greater accuracy results in earlier breast cancer detection and a decrease in biopsies and recall rates.
Regular mammograms are an important part of preventative healthcare for women aged 40 years and older. Mammograms do not require a doctor’s referral. Most insurance plans cover the cost of a mammogram, and free or low-cost mammograms are available for individuals with limited income or insurance.
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