Screening mammograms, to detect abnormalities of the breast can be performed in the privacy and convenience of our clinic, eliminating the need for a visit to another facility for routine mammography. In addition to traditional mammography, Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic also offers digital mammography.
Mammography, an X-ray of the breasts, is used to diagnose breast cancer. The X-ray picture is called a mammogram. Many small tumors can be seen on a mammogram before they can be felt by a patient or their doctor. Cancer discovered in an early stage is more easily treated and cured.
Breast cancer can occur in men, but 99% of breast cancer is found in women.
Factors That Affect a Woman’s Risk for Breast Cancer:
Women over age 40. (Most breast cancers occur in women over 50; the risk rises in women over 60).
Family medical history: having a mother or sister with breast cancer increases the risk.
Genetic alterations: changes in certain genes (BRCA-1, BRCA-2, and others)
Late childbearing: having your first child after the age of 30.
Age when menstruation begins: slightly increased risk for starting before age 12.
Age at menopause: slightly increased risk if going through menopause after age of 55.
Previous breast biopsies: having 2 or more breast biopsies for benign breast disease increases the risk.
Hormone replacement therapy: slight increase if taking hormone replacement therapy for longer than 5 years after menopause.
Many organizations (American Cancer Society, American College of Radiologists) recommend mammograms ever year for women between the ages of 40-49. Others (National Cancer Institute) recommend mammograms every 1-2 years. Your doctor will help you determine how often you should have a mammogram based on your age, medical history and family history.
About 10% of breast cancers are felt as a breast lump, but do not show up on mammography. Therefore, it is recommended that mammography be combined with clinical breast exams done by a health professional.
A mammogram is done to:
Screen for breast cancer.
Diagnose breast cancer.
Locate an area of suspicious breast tissue to be biopsied.
How to Prepare
Bring results from previous mammograms done at another location to your exam.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant, breast-feeding or have breast implants.
Do not use deodorant, perfume, powders or ointments on your breasts before the mammogram.
You may want to have your mammogram done within 2 weeks after your period ends since the procedure will be most comfortable during that time.
Remove all jewelry.
Take off clothes above your waist and wear the paper gown provided.
One at a time your breasts will be placed on a flat plate containing X-ray film. A second plate is pressed firmly against your breast to help flatten out the breast tissue. To obtain high quality pictures, very firm compression is needed. You will lift your arm. Hold your breath for a few seconds while the picture is being taken. Usually 2 pictures are taken of each breast, one from the side and one from the top. The test takes 10-15 minutes. Mammography is uncomfortable but rarely extremely painful.
Mammography results are usually available in 10 days. It is not uncommon to be asked to return for an additional view of an area in question.
Touted as the “single biggest advance in mammography in 20 years,” digital mammography is now available at Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic.
Using the GE Senographe® 2000D, doctors examine patients in less than half the time of traditional mammography systems. With the new equipment, an average exam now takes between 10 and 15 minutes, instead of 30 minutes for a typical film mammography exam. The digital technology even lets doctors have better visibility of the breast, particularly near the skin line, the chest wall and in women with dense breast tissue.
NGDC physicians examine, magnify and manipulate images using digital technology.
Features Computer Aided Detector (CAD).
High quality images processed within 10 seconds after an exposure.
Provides the technologist with quick verification of correct patient positioning.
Helps prevent the need for repeat exams.
Physician review workstation displays the entire breast at full resolution.
A wide range of image enhancing tools available.
An exam of four images can be sent to the review workstation every minute and can be interfaced anywhere on the clinic network.
GE’s patented Tissue Equalization software allows doctors to see more breast tissue than ever before. The same breast is shown on the left and right. The processed one on the left shows greater visibility from the chest all the way to the outer skin line. Viewing breast images using the black-on-white configuration allows radiologists to see small calcifications in a new way.