IMAGING: DIGITAL MAMMOGRAPHY

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.