Mammograms are a specialized imaging test that uses low-dose radiation to capture X-rays of the breast. They are used as a preventative technique to screen for breast cancer in women. These screenings can also be diagnostic for women who present a lump or another sign of the disease.
It is advised that women age 40 or older receive mammograms each year in order to reduce their risk of suffering breast cancer. (Most insurance plans and Medicare currently cover annual screening mammograms to check for breast cancer for all women who are 40 and older with no co-pay or deductible.)
If you have a family history of breast cancer it is important that you speak with your physician about scheduling a mammogram screening earlier as well as inquire about the genetic implications. Mammograms are the best form of early detection for the presence of a suspicious mass.
Are Mammograms Safe?
At the Longstreet Clinic Breast Center, all mammograms are performed utilizing digital technology which provides better pictures with a lower radiation dose. Along with computer-aided detection (CAD), the radiologist is able to search the digitized mammographic images for abnormalities.
Types of Mammograms
Screening Mammograms are performed by compressing the breast in a dedicated mammography unit, designed to assess the tissue. While receiving regular mammograms cannot reduce the chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer, it can help detect malignant tumors sooner.
Diagnostic mammograms are more in-depth than screening mammograms as they require more images to evaluate the breast tissue from several vantage points. Diagnostic mammograms can magnify an area to provide more detailed images, which allows the physician to make more accurate decisions. These may be ordered by your physician if you have implants, dense breast tissue or have been previously diagnosed with cancer.
Diagnostic mammograms can only be performed under the supervision of a radiologist. We have radiologists on duty at our women-only Breast Center.
Gainesville Office Hours
7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
To schedule an appointment, please call 770-533-4700.