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Scheduling your annual mammogram is now more convenient than ever with our online appointment tool.
Schedule your mammogram online now!
Mammography is an X-ray examination which uses extremely low doses of radiation to obtain accurate images of the breasts. It is the best way of detecting small cancers even before they can be felt. The American Cancer Society estimates that one in nine women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. While the exact cause of breast cancer has not been found, we do know that it is treatable and can often be cured when detected early. Mammography, physician examination and breast self examination are the three components of a complete screening program for early breast cancer detection. Screening Mammography is the proper examination for a woman who does not have significant breast symptoms. The American Cancer Society recommends that a woman have a mammogram every year after the age of 40. Your physician may recommend a screening mammogram before age forty, based on your risk factors for breast cancer. This comprehensive/diagnostic exam is designed for women with signs or symptoms of breast disease such as a worrisome breast lump, skin changes or nipple discharge. It is also used to further evaluate problematic areas detected on Screening Mammography.
If your breasts become tender as you approach menstruation, you may want to schedule your exam in mid-cycle to lessen any discomfort. If you have had a mammogram before, please let us know when you schedule your examination so that we may have the films available for our radiologists to compare with your new films. Wash your breasts and underarms and do not apply any deodorant or talcum powder which can cause artifacts on the X-ray film. You will need to undress from the waist up for the exam, so you may wish to wear a two piece outfit. As with any medical procedure, be sure to inform your physician or the technologist if there is any possibility that you are pregnant or if you have a history of allergies.
When you arrive you will be asked to change into a gown or pajamas. A registered female technologist will perform your examination. Each breast will be compressed for a few seconds while the X-rays are taken. The routine views are a top-to-bottom view and a side view. This may be slightly uncomfortable, but it is necessary for an accurate examination. When the exam is completed, you will be asked to wait until the technologist examines the images to determine if more are needed. The procedure takes approximately 20 minutes. This procedure will take place in the same manner as the screening exam, but may include additional views or special techniques to magnify a suspicious area or to eliminate shadows produced by overlapping layer of normal breast tissue. If you have a lump and it appears to be a cyst, your doctor may ask you to have a sonogram (ultrasound study). The diagnostic test may suggest that a biopsy is needed to tell whether or not the lesion is cancer.
If you have dense breasts, be sure to inquire about the Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound.
Schedule your mammogram online in Sacramento, Elk Grove, Roseville, Folsom or Woodland!
Dr. Dan Herron, Director of Women's Imaging at Mercy Imaging Centers discusses the importance of mammograms. Talk to your doctor about whether it's time for you to get a mammogram!