Digital Mammogram In Annandale, NJ
Mammography is one of the most important weapons in diagnosing breast cancer in women and men. Patients can expect only the best quality care from our staff when coming in for their mammogram. Early detection is the key to successful treatment. Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-energy X-ray beam that causes breast abnormalities such as cysts or tumors to stand out against the background of fatty tissue found in the breast.
Digital mammography is the most recent advancement in breast cancer prevention and detection. To get an idea of the difference between a digital and traditional mammography, consider the differences between digital and traditional photography. Digital mammography offers shorter exam times and better picture quality. In addition, the images are accessible immediately after they are taken. That way, the radiologist can review your images while you’re still in the exam room. If additional images are needed due to areas of suspicion or insufficient coverage, they can be taken during the same visit.
Hunterdon Radiological Associates is ACR accredited in digital mammography. We offer both screening and diagnostic mammograms. A screening mammogram is for women who have no current problems. This mammography includes four views (two of each breast): a top-to-bottom view and a side view. However, since the structures within the breast may be superimposed, the radiologist may ask the technologist to do additional views, a cone down compression or a different angle. These views are done to spread out the structures so that the breast tissue can be better visualized. The screening mammography can assist in the detection of disease up to two years before the patient or physician can feel any lumps. Routine screening mammography should be obtained annually beginning at the age of 40.
A diagnostic mammogram is used for women who currently have a problem such as a palpable lump, new pain in the breast, or nipple discharge. The scan can also be ordered after a regular exam screening has found an abnormality.
Due to the advances in mammography technology, optimum breast imaging can be done during any part of a woman's menstrual cycle. However, adequate compression remains a crucial part of a clear and visible study. Therefore, it is advisable to schedule your mammography at a time during your menstrual cycle when your breasts are least tender. By doing that, we can be sure to get the compression we need and not cause unnecessary discomfort.
During your exam, each breast will be compressed between plastic paddles in the mammography machine to optimize the quality of the mammogram. Breast compression is necessary in order to even out the breast thickness so all of the tissue can be visualized. Compression is also necessary to spread out the tissue so that overlying breast tissue won't obscure small abnormalities. The thinner the breast is compressed, the lower the radiation dose and the easier it is to hold the breast still in order to eliminate blurring of the image caused by motion.
You will feel pressure as the breast is compressed. The technologist will work with you to obtain the best possible films. They will step behind a glass shield while taking the images, and will apply compression in gradations. Be sure to inform the technologist if you experience any pain.
Often, additional views will be required to complete your exam. Please do not be alarmed if we ask you to come back for more mammographic views or more tests. We are careful to complete your evaluation effectively. In most cases, these additional views verify a normal examination.
After your exam is completed, a board-certified radiologist will interpret your films, and a written report will be forwarded to the physician who ordered the examination. The patient will also receive a mammography letter with the results and recommendations for follow-up examinations.
The advances in technology have improved the image quality of each mammogram though results are not 100% accurate. Performing monthly breast self-examinations and having a yearly physician examination of the breast is still important. It is imperative while scheduling your appointment that you let us know about any old exams performed elsewhere.