What is Mammography?
Mammography is a process of using low-dose X-rays to examine the human breast and is used as a diagnostic as well as a screening tool. The goal of mammography is the early detection of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses and/or micro-calcifications. Mammography is believed to reduce mortality from breast cancer. No other imaging technique has been shown to reduce risk, but breast self-examination (BSE) and physician examination are considered essential parts of regular breast health.
What to expect during mammography
If this is your first mammogram, we will conduct a screening mammography, which serves as a “baseline” for comparison with future mammograms. Using compression, the technologist will take two views of each of your breasts. Although you may experience slight discomfort from the compression, it is a necessary step in obtaining clear images of your breasts and only lasts a few seconds per picture.
What is digital mammography? How is it different from film/screen mammography?
Digital mammography is similar to film mammography in that both use X-rays and compression to produce an image or picture of the breast. With digital mammography, the images appear on the computer, rather than on X-ray film. This process is similar to the way a digital camera functions with the ability to enhance or magnify a particular area.
Is digital mammography “better” than film/screen mammography?
Results from the Digital Mammography Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST) were published in the September 16, 2005 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study showed that digital mammography detected up to 28% more incidents of cancer than standard mammograms in younger women and those with dense breasts. Note, not all insurance companies cover the cost of digital mammography. Please check with your insurance company regarding coverage prior to the appointment.
Types of mammography
Screening Mammogram – A routine yearly exam for women with no identified breast problems.
Diagnostic Mammogram – Performed when there are current breast problems. This is a longer appointment and you will have your results when you leave.
Additional Views – Sometimes required when there is a need for more information on an area of the breast.
Mammography screening with breast implants
Breast implants can make it harder to see cancer or other abnormal changes on the mammogram. A special technique called implant displacement views is used. DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital specialists are trained in taking and reading mammograms of women with breast implants.
Preparing for your mammography exam
Please arrive at the hospital’s Sinai Center for Women for your mammogram.
Sinai Center for Women at Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital
1 William Carls Dr.
Commerce Twp., MI 48382
Please remember to bring the following items with you:
- Insurance card(s) and any referral/authorization forms.
- Picture identification.
- Prescription from your doctor.
- Past mammography films taken at a facility other than a DMC facility.
Please do not use deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts. We suggest you wear a two piece outfit, making it easier to remove only your upper clothing when changing into a hospital gown.
IMPORTANT: If you do not have your prescription and any needed referral/authorization forms with you when you arrive, you may need to reschedule your exam. Screening mammography may not be a covered benefit of your particular insurance carrier. We strongly encourage you to contact your insurance carrier to check your specific mammogram benefit coverage.
Cancelling your mammography
If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call us at 1-877-MYTEST9 at least 24 hours in advance.
Your mammography results
Our board certified, fellowship-trained radiologists will interpret your mammogram or other breast imaging exam and send the results to your physician, usually within 24 to 48 hours.
Schedule a mammography
DMC Huron Valley Hospital’s Carach Cancer Center offers caring and effective preventative and diagnostic cancer services for women and men. All mammography films are reviewed by two radiologists, thus it is giving everyone a second opinion automatically. We offer early morning, evening and Saturday appointments.
Please call 1-877-MYTEST9 or visit www.dmc.org/test
to schedule your mammogram at the Sinai Women’s Center at DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital.