According to the American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology, women 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year. Women who have a family history of breast cancer and/or women who are at higher risk for breast cancer should consult with their physicians about whether they should begin screening at an earlier age and how frequently they should receive a mammogram.
As complement to the array of imaging services provided by the Radiology and Imaging department, the Breast Center at Texas Health Presbyterian Hosptial Allen offers comprehensive full-field digital screening and diagnostic mammography and comprehensive women's services — all in a soothing environment.
Services and resources include:
- Breast ultrasound
- Breast MRI
- Stereotactic breast biopsy
- Bone densitometry
- Patient education and counseling
A screening mammography is most often used as a preventative measure and looks for cancer in breast tissue in women who have no symptoms. A screening mammogram usually takes two X-ray pictures, or views, of each breast. For some patients, more pictures may be needed to include as much breast tissue as possible.
Diagnostic mammograms are used in women who have a breast complaint such as a breast mass or nipple discharge, or who have had something abnormal found during a screening mammogram. During a diagnostic mammogram, more pictures are taken to carefully study the area of concern.
Direct digital mammography provides higher quality images than conventional screen-film technology. Younger patients with dense breasts can benefit from direct digital mammography services, according to a study by the National Cancer Institute (9/19/05). The study revealed that direct digital mammography is significantly better at diagnosing cancer in women under 50 and in women of any age who have very dense breasts.
Direct digital mammography also provides easier storage and transmission of images because the "pictures" can be saved and distributed electronically. In some cases, it also allows for less exposure to radiation because the digital image allows technicians to magnify areas of the breast instead of subjecting patients to additional images during the mammogram.
The Patient Order Form is needed for all outpatient exams.