Digital Mammography Services
Accelerate your mammogram screening and test results delivery procedures with the most advanced technology in digital mammography. Our equipment gives Diagnostic Imaging Specialists of Chicago a competitive edge, allowing for follow-up discussions and next-step recommendations between patient and physician before leaving the appointment.
The Mammogram Process
During the mammogram, breasts are compressed between two firm surfaces to spread out breast tissue. The diagnostic radiologist then uses an X-ray to produce images to detect breast abnormalities and changes from prior exams, growths or tumors.
- Screening mammography is used to detect changes in women who have no prior signs, symptoms or observable breast abnormalities. The goal is to detect cancer before any clinical signs are noticeable. At least two mammograms from different angles of each breast are typically required.
- Diagnostic mammography is used to investigate changes that are suspicious, such as a breast lump, breast pain, unusual skin appearance, nipple thickening or nipple discharge. It's also used to evaluate abnormal findings on a screening mammogram. Additional images as needed can be made from other angles, or focus on areas of concern at higher magnification.
When to Begin Screening Mammography
There is no expert consensus on when to begin regular screening mammograms. Everyone has differing medical histories and circumstances. It is best to consult with your physician who can recommend a personalized mammography schedule.
Some general mammogram guidelines:
- Women with an average risk of breast cancer may begin mammograms at age 40 and have them every year. Professional groups differ on their recommendations, with most, including the American Cancer Society, advising women with an average risk to begin mammograms at age 40.
- Women with a higher risk of breast cancer may benefit by beginning screening mammograms before age 40. Your risk factors and your degree of breast density may lead your doctor to recommend magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in combination with mammograms.
How to Prepare for a Mammogram
Diagnostic Imaging Specialists suggests scheduling a mammogram when your breasts are least tender. If pre-menopause, a week after your menstrual period is advisable. Breasts are most tender the week before and during your period. Diagnostic provides flexible scheduling making this attainable.
Before you arrive:
- First-time patients should bring prior mammograms and reports to reference and compare new results.
- Avoid using deodorants, antiperspirants, powders, lotions, creams or perfumes under your arms or on your breasts. Metallic particles in powders and deodorants could be visible on your mammogram and cause confusion.
- While discomfort from pressure against the breast during the test should be minimal, taking an over-the-counter pain medication such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) about an hour before your mammogram can ease any such discomfort.
- Wear a two-piece outfit. Upon arrival you will be given a gown and asked to undress from the waist-up.