ACMC clinics offering Mammography services including Walk-in Mammograms services:
Additional scheduled appointment times are available Monday - Friday. Please call if you would like to inquire about making an appointment at a time that works into your schedule.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray imaging procedure used to detect irregularities in the breast and surrounding tissue. Images are taken of the compressed breast to discover any abnormalities or suspicious masses that may not be found with manual exams. Safe and highly effective, mammograms are the single most important method for early detection of breast cancer.
Screening Mammography is used to aid in early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases. Having a routine annual screening mammogram can show changes within the breast that cannot always be felt by the physician or patient.
Diagnostic Mammography is used to evaluate abnormal findings — either a clinical concern such as a breast lump, or when the radiologist has noted a change on the screening mammogram. Diagnostic Mammography is offered through the Women's Imaging Center. Diagnostic mammography performed through Women's Imaging Center allows the patient to have her results on the same day.
Why digital mammography?
Digital mammography is the new standard and replaces film imaging mammography because it is more sensitive in detecting abnormalities, especially in younger women and women with denser breast tissue. The radiologist is able to magnify and manipulate images on a computer screen for enhanced views, something that cannot be done with X-ray film. Digital mammography also has a lower radiation dose to the breast, compared to film/screen mammography.
What do mammograms show?
Radiologists review mammography images looking for subtle changes in the tissue. Using computer-assisted technology they may also note other abnormalities, such as cysts, suspicious masses or micro calcifications — tiny flecks of calcium like grains of salt — that can sometimes indicate the onset of breast cancer. The radiologist also will compare your mammogram with previous ones to note any changes.
Most women's breast tissue has natural lumps, cysts and nodules, they are not uncommon. Not all solid nodules are cancerous — generally 80 percent are benign. However, further tests, such as an ultrasound, may be recommended to rule out problems.
What can I expect?
You will be given a gown and asked to undress from the waist up, removing jewelry or other items that may interfere with imaging. Do not use antiperspirants, powders, lotions or perfumes under your arms or on your breasts the day of your screening. These could be visible on your mammogram and produce false results.
A technologist will position one breast at a time on a lower plate, and an upper plate will compress the breast. Pressure is applied for a few seconds to flatten the breast, allowing for efficient X-ray penetration. You may find the pressure uncomfortable, but some women experience no discomfort at all.
How often should I have a mammogram?
The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society recommend annual mammograms for women over 40. Annual mammograms and clinical breast exams combined with monthly self-exams are the most effective method for detecting breast cancer. If you feel a lump or have nipple discharge or breast pain, call your doctor immediately.
Scheduling a digital screening mammogram does not require a physician referral, so don't put it off. Take responsibility for your well being, and be your own best health advocate.