Mammography

What is mammography?Mammo

Mammography is a type of breast imaging procedure used to screen for breast cancer, as well as to investigate for other potential health problems involving the breasts. Mammography uses low-dose x-rays to produce images of internal breast tissue, which can reveal tumors, density and calcifications.

How is Mammography Used?

Mammography is most commonly used to screen for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends annual screening mammography for women beginning at age 40. By beginning screening mammography early, there is potential to catch many breast cancers while they are still small and most treatable. Similar recommendations have been adopted by the American Medical Association and American College of Radiology, among others.

Mammography is also used as a diagnostic imaging procedure. If screening mammography or physical examination has revealed a potential problem, diagnostic mammography may be used to investigate the area of concern.

What Happens During Mammography?

Mammography exams are performed by radiologic technicians and the results are examined by a radiologist, who will report results to your physician. The radiologic technician will take you to a private room and you will be asked to undress from the waist up. During the exam, you will be positioned before a mammography unit and your breasts will be placed between two compression plates, which will apply moderate pressure to your breasts. The mammography exam will take approximately 30 minutes.

There are several steps women can take to prepare for mammography:

  • Schedule mammography for a date 1 to 2 weeks prior to beginning menstruation, which can cause tenderness in breasts.
  • Avoid caffeinated foods and beverages for several days prior to mammography, as they can exacerbate breast pain.
  • Do not wear deodorant, perfume, lotion or other products, as they can interfere with the exam.
  • Wear comfortable, easy-to-remove clothing since mammography requires a bare torso.
  • Inform your doctor if you are or may be pregnant, breast feeding or have any other medical conditions.

The San Fernando Valley Imaging difference.

All breast health centers are not the same. Accurate reading of a mammogram continues to be highly dependent on the training and experience of the radiologists and technologists performing it, as well as on having the most advanced mammography equipment. Each of our convenient centers provides the latest digital mammography equipment. We have a network of some of the top women's imaging specialists in the nation.