Preventive healthcare is essential for everyone, but especially so for women as they are prone to several health conditions that affect only them. Mammograms are an essential part of preventative health for women.
What is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. It is used to detect and diagnose breast abnormalities and diseases such as breast cancer. A mammogram is currently the most effective method of detecting breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages. It’s safe and gives only a very low-dose of X-rays to the breast area.
There are two types of mammograms – screening and diagnostic. While they are performed the same way, the reason you need them is different. EPIC Health currently offers Screening Mammograms in our Southfield, MI location. Screening Mammograms are what women without symptoms need to get each year to check their breast health. Women should begin getting an annual screening mammogram starting at age 40.
EPIC Health offers our patients leading-edge 3D mammography (tomosynthesis) services. 3-D mammography combines multiple images of the breast from various angles to create a 3D image.
Why do I need to get one?
It’s recommended that all women age 40 and over get a screening mammogram each year. It’s vital to get yearly mammograms to have a record of any changes in the breast tissue. Each annual Mammogram is compared against the previous images to detect abnormalities and changes in the breast.
What will it tell me?
Your 3D Mammogram will show if there are any areas of abnormality in your breast tissue. If your mammogram results are negative, it means there were no abnormal findings. Essentially, your scan was “normal” or shows no signs of breast cancer.
If your results show something abnormal, you will need additional testing. There are many reasons for an abnormal result besides breast cancer, including cysts, calcifications, and other benign masses.
At EPIC, you will typically get your results sent to you within a week if your images show normal findings. You will be notified in a few days if we find something abnormal. Keep in mind, results may be delayed if we do not get prior imaging from your last or most recent Mammogram.
How is it performed?
After you check-in at EPIC Health, you will be taken to our 3D Mammography Suite. The technician will ask you a few questions, then she will give you a gown and ask you to undress from the waist up.
Tip: You may want to avoid wearing rompers/jumpers or be sure to wear comfortable clothes that are easy to get on and off that day.
During the exam, the technician will position your breast in the machine between two flat plates and then compress your breast as you hold still. You will be asked to hold your breath for a moment while the images are taken. The whole process takes 10 to 15 minutes.
Tip: Don’t apply deodorant, powder, scented lotions, or perfume before your appointment.
You may have heard that there can be some discomfort and possibly mild pain during your Mammogram. Discomfort should only last for a few seconds and should go away as soon after your Mammogram has been completed.
Tip: Let our technician know if you are experiencing breast sensitivity or have scar tissue on or around your breast area. She may be able to modify your positioning slightly to help you avoid additional discomfort.
What’s so great about a 3D Mammogram?
3D Mammography increases the rate of overall cancer detection, reduces the rate of unnecessary biopsy, and helps find cancers in dense breast tissue earlier than with 2D Mammography. 3D Mammograms are especially helpful for women getting their first baseline mammogram, or those who have dense breast tissue.
Why should I get my Mammogram at EPIC Health?
We make it very convenient! You can get your 3D Mammogram right in our office without being exposed to a large medical center or hospital.
Getting your Mammogram at EPIC means we already know your medical history, which will help us, and you make the best decisions for your health.
Our Mammogram techs have over 20 years of experience and are world-class experts in breast imaging.
EPIC makes it easy to transfer your records and previous imaging to us. Simply visit our website, fill out the online request form, and we will take care of the rest!