During a mammogram in Barron, an X-ray image of your breast is used to screen for breast cancer. We provide digital mammography to help with the early detection of breast cancer. Digital mammography is different from conventional mammography in how the image of the breast is viewed and, more importantly, manipulated. The radiologist can view and manipulate the images on high-resolution computer monitors that enhance visualization of the structures within the breast tissue. They also can adjust brightness and contrast, and zoom in on specific areas to help detect small calcifications, masses and other changes that may be signs of early cancer.
To supplement this technology, we've also incorporated digital computer-aided detection (CAD). Digital CAD highlights characteristics commonly associated with breast cancer. When activated, it flags abnormalities to help the radiologist detect early breast cancer. CAD is, in essence, a second set of eyes to support and enhance the radiologist's judgment.
Digital mammography is offered in 2D and 3D tomosynthesis. It feels identical to conventional screening, though you may notice shorter exam times and a reduction in call backs to obtain additional images. You will change into a gown from the waist up. The technician helps you position your head, arms and torso to allow an unobstructed view of your breast. Your breasts are compressed between two film surfaces to spread out the breast tissue. You may find this uncomfortable. An X-ray captures black and white images of your breasts, which are displayed on a computer screen and examined by a radiologist.
Mammograms usually take less than 30 minutes. Afterward, you can dress and resume normal activity.
Most breast lumps are not cancerous; however, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the U.S. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it’s far more common in women.