The Women's Center at Spivey Station performs all of our mammogram services.
We have a door that leads directly into the imaging area from our office. You will be accompanied to the imaging area by a staff member to take you throught the proscess. You will first be introduced to a Registration representative. She will enter your information into the computer for the imaging area. The next mammogram room will be yours. You will be placed in a waiting area where T.V, magazines,coffee and refreshments are available. (Remember coffee drinkers - caffeine can cause breast tenderness). After your mammogram you will be escorted back to SCBS to get dressed.
Mammograms are classified as Screening Mammograms or Diagnostic Mammograms.
Screening Mammograms are used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms. This would be your yearly " women's wellness" mammogram. Screening mammograms play a central part in early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them. Current guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommend screening mammography every year for women, beginning at age 40. Research has shown that annual mammograms lead to early detection of breast cancers, when they are most curable and breast-conservation therapies are available.
Diagnostic Mammograms are used to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge. Diagnostic mammography is used to evaluate a patient with abnormal clinical findings — such as a breast lump or lumps — that have been found by the woman or her doctor. Diagnostic mammography may also be done after an abnormal screening mammography in order to evaluate the area of concern on the screening exam.
* It is important to bring prior mammogram films to your appointment.
The radiologist will compare your old images with your new mammogram studies.
The radiologist will not be able to make a determination on your mammogram without the old films.
•Do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your period if your breasts are tender during this time. The best time for a mammogram is one week following your period. - for comfort reasons.
•Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam. These can appear on the mammogram as calcium spots.
•Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam.
During mammography, a specially qualified radiologic technologist will position your breast in the mammography unit. Your breast will be placed on a special platform and compressed with a paddle (often made of clear Plexiglas or other plastic). The technologist will gradually compress your breast.
Breast compression is necessary in order to:
•Even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized.
•Spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities are less likely to be obscured by overlying breast tissue.
•Allow the use of a lower x-ray dose since a thinner amount of breast tissue is being imaged.
•Hold the breast still in order to minimize blurring of the image caused by motion.
•Reduce x-ray scatter to increase sharpness of picture.
•The technologist will stand behind a glass shield during the x-ray exposure. You will be asked to change positions between images. The routine views are a top-to-bottom view and an oblique side view. The process will be repeated for the other breast.
You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image. The technologist will walk behind a wall or into the next room to activate the x-ray machine.
When the examination is complete, you will be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained.
The examination process should take about 30 minutes.
Who interprets the results and how do I get them?
A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to Dr. Timbert. Screening mammograms will not be read the same day. You will receive a letter in the mail with you results within a week. Diagnostic mammograms will be read immediately and you will know the results prior to leaving the office. Amanda the Mammogram coordinator will verbally give you a preliminary result from the radiologist. You will receive the final result in the mail confirming the verbal result.You will also be notified of the results by Spivey Station in the form of a letter.
Understanding your mammogram report
ACR BI-RADS MAMMOGRAM CODES - These are the classifications used by the Radiologist on the mammogram report. This report is sent to Dr. Timbert and Cindy Matthews. You will be sent a patient letter that will explain your results to you. Letters have to come from the institution taking the mammoram picture. Your letter will come from The Women's Center at Spivey Station.
ACR 0 - Patient needs additional imaging : pictures of a specific area, magnification of an area, an ultrasound.
ACR 1 - Negative - No Cancer, nothing suspicious.
ARC 2- Benign - No Cancer, nothing suspicious.
ACR 3 - Probably Benign - Radiologist saw something new/a change in the breast.
Does not look suspicious, does not warrant a biopsy,
Six month mammogram to check area for stability.
ACR-3 can mean old films are not available for comparison.
ACR 4 - Suspicious - Tissue biopsy needed to make a definitive diagnosis.
ACR 5 - Malignant - Can identify cancer from mammogram.
ACR 6 - Known biopsy proven malignancy - Patient had a biopsy and knows she has cancer.
What are the limitations of Mammography?
Initial mammographic images themselves are not usually enough to determine the existence of a benign or malignant disease with certainty. If a finding or spot seems suspicious, your radiologist may recommend further diagnostic studies.
Interpretations of mammograms can be difficult because a normal breast can appear differently for each woman. Also, the appearance of an image may be compromised if there is powder or salve on the breasts or if you have undergone breast surgery. Because some breast cancers are hard to visualize, a radiologist may want to compare the image to views from previous examinations. Not all cancers of the breast can be seen on mammography.
Breast implants can also impede accurate mammogram readings because both silicone and saline implants are not transparent on x-rays and can block a clear view of the tissues behind them, especially if the implant has been placed in front of, rather than beneath, the chest muscles. Experienced technologists and radiologists know how to carefully compress the breasts to improve the view without rupturing the implant.
While mammography is the best screening tool for breast cancer available today, mammograms do not detect all breast cancers. Also, a small portion of mammograms indicate that a cancer could possibly be present when it is not (called a false-positive result).