IMAGING: DIGITAL MAMMOGRAPHY

Types of scans

Screening Mammogram

How it works: The digital screening mammogram uses X-rays to create a digital image of the breast, which is viewed on a computer monitor. At Oregon Imaging Centers, all our mammography suites contain the latest state-of-the-art full-field digital systems.

Digital mammography uses low-dose X-rays to capture images of the breast that are read by our highly specialized radiologists. Benefits of having a digital mammogram include better imaging of dense breast tissue and the chest wall, shorter exam times, and a lower radiation dose.

Why we do it: Mammography is the “gold standard” for screening and detecting breast cancer. It is important to emphasize that although mammography is an excellent screening test that can demonstrate most breast cancers, it is not a perfect test. In some women with breast cancer, mammograms may appear to be normal. For this reason you should notify your doctor, or us, if you notice a change in your breast or if you feel a lump or an area of thickening in either breast.

HERE TO HELP

Our Breast & MRI Center provides you with easy access to a ‘patient navigator’ who provides support, guidance and information if you require services beyond a screening mammogram. With more than 20 years experience in the medical field, our patient navigator, Cindy Davis, serves as a guide. Comforting and empowering, this reassuring woman-to-woman support helps patients confidently address the next steps in diagnosis and treatment.

The experience: For a screening mammogram, you will change into a gown that opens in the front, and a specially trained and certified technologist will take care of you during your mammography exam. The technologist will position you and place your breast on a platform, compressing it with a paddle made of plexiglass and will gradually apply pressure until the breast is fully compressed. Please inform the technologist if you experience sudden or sharp discomfort during your imaging, or if there is a chance you could be pregnant. To lessen the discomfort of a mammogram, our staff uses a pad between you and the mammography machine. The process takes 20 minutes.

Prep & safety: If you wear deodorant or use talcum powder, you’ll be asked to remove it at the clinic. We recommend you wear a two-piece outfit since you will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up.

Your results: You will receive a letter with the results of your mammogram in about five days. A copy will also be provided to the physician you indicate. Your letter will also indicate your breast density.

Diagnostic

How it works: A diagnostic mammogram begins with the same technology as a screening mammogram, but is focused on a particular area of interest. A diagnostic mammogram may require additional imaging and a breast ultrasound. A breast imaging radiologist is present in our facility to oversee the study and determine if any additional images need to be done.

Why we do it: Diagnostic mammograms require a physician’s order and are for patients with breast symptoms such as a new lump, nipple discharge, or skin dimpling. Patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer also have diagnostic mammograms for their first five years after diagnosis. Symptomatic patients must notify their doctor of these concerns prior to having a diagnostic mammogram.

HERE TO HELP

Our Breast & MRI Center provides you with easy access to a ‘patient navigator’ who provides support, guidance and information if you require services beyond a screening mammogram. With more than 20 years experience in the medical field, our patient navigator, Cindy Davis, serves as a guide. Comforting and empowering, this reassuring woman-to-woman support helps patients confidently address the next steps in diagnosis and treatment.

The experience: A diagnostic mammogram begins with the same technology as a screening mammogram. A diagnostic mammogram may require additional imaging and a breast ultrasound. A breast imaging radiologist is present in our facility to oversee the study and determine if any additional images need to be done.

Prep & safety: If you wear deodorant or use talcum powder, you’ll be asked to remove it at the clinic. We recommend you wear a two-piece outfit since you will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up.

Your results: A breast imaging radiologist will discuss findings, options and recommendations, and answer questions before you leave our Breast Center. Results will also be provided to your physician or a specialist.

Additional views

How it works: During this process, the technologist will image a very specific area of your breast, focusing on any possible abnormalities. The additional view allows us to determine whether further study is recommended or if it is simply an abnormality that is benign.

Why we do it: Sometimes after your screening mammogram, the radiologist may see an area that requires further evaluation. “Additional views” are requested if a typical screening mammogram is inconclusive. This type of imaging is done using mammography or sometimes, ultrasound.

HERE TO HELP

Our Breast & MRI Center provides you with easy access to a ‘patient navigator’ who provides support, guidance and information if you require services beyond a screening mammogram. With more than 20 years experience in the medical field, our patient navigator, Cindy Davis, serves as a guide. Comforting and empowering, this reassuring woman-to-woman support helps patients confidently address the next steps in diagnosis and treatment.

The experience: Additional views utilize focused imaging techniques to look at specific areas of the breast. This focused imaging requires the use of a smaller compression plate. This can be more uncomfortable than a traditional screening. With this in mind, our staff makes your comfort our priority.

Prep & safety: If you wear deodorant or use talcum powder, you’ll be asked to remove it at the clinic. We recommend you wear a two-piece outfit since you will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up.

Your results: A breast imaging radiologist will discuss findings, options and recommendations, and answer questions before you leave our Breast Center. Results will also be provided to your physician or a specialist.

Needle Localization

How it works: Using images from a mammogram or ultrasound, a radiologist places a needle with a wire in the previously biopsied area. The needle is removed and the wire is left to guide the surgeon. A mammogram is used to confirm the location of the wire placement. After the placement is confirmed you will be transported to surgery.

Why we do it: If an abnormality was biopsied and it has come back either atypical or as cancer a needle localization is performed prior to surgery.

HERE TO HELP

Our Breast & MRI Center provides you with easy access to a ‘patient navigator’ who provides support, guidance and information if you require services beyond a screening mammogram. With more than 20 years experience in the medical field, our patient navigator, Cindy Davis, serves as a guide. Comforting and empowering, this reassuring woman-to-woman support helps patients confidently address the next steps in diagnosis and treatment.

The experience: To make this procedure as comfortable as possible, you will be given a local anesthetic (Lidocaine) to numb the area to be localized. You will be awake during the procedure, and our staff will monitor and assist you throughout the procedure. When the procedure is complete, we will escort you to the surgical center.

Prep & safety: If you wear deodorant or use talcum powder, you’ll be asked to remove it at the clinic. We recommend you wear a two-piece outfit since you will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up.

Your results: A breast imaging radiologist will discuss findings, options and recommendations, and answer questions before you leave our Breast Center. Results will also be provided to your physician or a specialist.

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

How it works: A stereotactic breast biopsy uses a hollow biopsy needle to obtain a tissue sample. A digital mammogram is used to ensure that the hollow biopsy needle is targeted to the precise location of interest. When the needle is inserted, another set of images is acquired to confirm positioning, and then the tissue sample is removed.

Why we do it: A Stereotactic Breast Biopsy is a minimally invasive surgery used to obtain a small tissue sample, which can be evaluated by a pathologist to determine the presence of cancerous tissue.

HERE TO HELP

Our Breast & MRI Center provides you with easy access to a ‘patient navigator’ who provides support, guidance and information if you require services beyond a screening mammogram. With more than 20 years experience in the medical field, our patient navigator, Cindy Davis, serves as a guide. Comforting and empowering, this reassuring woman-to-woman support helps patients confidently address the next steps in diagnosis and treatment.

The experience: To make this procedure as comfortable as possible, you will be given a local anesthetic (Lidocaine) to numb the area to be biopsied. You will be awake during the procedure, and our staff will monitor and assist you throughout the procedure.

When the procedure begins, the technologist will help you lie on your front on the stereotactic table with one breast positioned through an opening in the table. (If you will need medication to hold still or calm your nerves, we will help you obtain a prescription for oral medication from your physician.)

A digital mammogram will be obtained in this position and used to ensure that the hollow biopsy needle is targeted to the precise location of interest. Once the needle is inserted, another set of images are acquired to confirm positioning, and then the tissue sample is removed.

When the procedure is complete, the area(s) biopsied will be bandaged with steri-strips (butterfly band-aids). Before discharging you, we will review after-care instructions with you, and provide you with an ice pack to reduce the discomfort and bruising. Please note that bruising and discomfort is to be expected.

Prep & safety: Please arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. Arrange for a family member or friend to accompany you. We require you to have a driver before being discharged.

Your results: The samples will be sent to pathology and the results will be sent you your physician as well as Oregon Imaging Centers in 2-3 days.