Mammography is an x-ray examination of the breasts which helps discover changes in the breast tissues and identify whether those changes are cancerous. These changes can be detected long before you notice anything unusual or feel a lump. The aim of screening mammography is to reduce deaths from cancer by finding breast cancers at an early stage.
Mercy Radiology performs a variety of breast imaging services such as
You need a referral from your doctor to book an appointment for this scan if you are under 40 years old. If you are over 40, referrals are not required. However, we need the name of your medical provider so we can send the results to them.
If this is a routine check-up, try to book your appointment the week after your period when your breasts are less sensitive. Let the booking staff know if you have had a mammogram at another imaging centre, as we do compare your images to look for any change.
If you have new symptoms such as a palpable lump or nipple discharge, let the booking staff know when you book your mammogram so we can ensure that a breast radiologist is on-site.
On the day of your examination do not wear roll-on deodorant, talcum powder or lotion on your breast as these may show up on your mammogram. It’s best to wear a two-piece outfit as you will need to undress from the waist up and you will be given a gown to wear.
On the day of your appointment, you will be asked a few questions that will help us in assessing your risk and interpreting your mammogram. The whole procedure takes about 20-30 minutes.
Mammography involves compressing your breast tissue for a short time to x-ray the breast. The pressure can be uncomfortable, but most women cope very well. If you find the pressure causes extreme discomfort, please tell the radiographer immediately.
You may be required to have additional views or ultrasound for further assessment.
After your mammogram, you may experience some redness of the skin and in rare cases, you may experience some bruising.
A breast radiologist may be on-site on the day to discuss a preliminary result with you if required.
The radiation dose used for your mammogram is very low. The benefits of finding and treating a breast cancer early far outweigh any risk from the x-rays.
Try not to have your mammogram the week before your period or during your period. Your breasts may be tender or swollen then making the examination more painful.
With modern equipment and technology, the radiation dose used for your mammogram is very low. The benefits of finding and treating a breast cancer early far outweigh any risk from the x-rays. Very occasionally bruising or splitting of the skin occurs. Implant rupture has been reported however the risk is very low. Your mammographer will discuss this with you if you have implants and ask you to sign a consent to have the mammogram.
This is a technique that produces 3D imaging of the breast. This technology has been proven to increase the breast cancer detection rate by up to 43% as well as reduces the recall rate and any unnecessary additional testing or biopsies. There is an additional charge for tomosynthesis and this is performed in conjunction with the standard 2D mammogram. To make an informed decision, speak with the mammographer when you go into have your mammogram. Learn more about Tomosynthesis.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. Early detection and treatment of breast cancer significantly improves a woman’s chance of survival.
If an area in your mammogram needs further investigation you will be contacted for another appointment with us. This appointment may involve more mammogram images, ultrasound, or a biopsy.
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