Whether it’s time for your annual breast cancer screening, or your provider has asked you to get a diagnostic mammogram, digital mammography offers a number of benefits.
In addition to digital mammography, MultiCare uses computer-aided detection, or CAD, software, which automatically reviews your images and marks potential abnormalities for the radiologist to examine while reading your mammogram.
Your mammogram is performed in a private setting by a certified female technologist with advanced training in mammography. Typically, a screening mammogram consists of two views of each breast: one from above and one from the side. Images are obtained by compressing your breast tissue between a compression paddle and plate. It’s essential that compression be adequate for the image to reveal subtle abnormalities and reduce your exposure to radiation.
You can minimize your discomfort from breast compression by:
Tell your mammogram technologist if:
The entire exam should take approximately 30 minutes. Please arrive 15 minutes before your exam and be sure to remove any powder, perfumes, deodorant and/or lotions from your underarms and breasts before your appointment.
If you have breast implants your mammogram will require special positioning and additional mammographic views: usually four views of each breast, including one from above, one from the side and two displacement views. Because your implants make your mammograms harder to read, it’s particularly important that you examine your breasts each month, and get regular clinical physical examinations and digital screenings.
A board-certified radiologist will carefully examine your mammogram or additional studies, before forwarding his or her findings to your provider. You’ll be notified of your results by mail. With digital mammography, radiologists are seeing more details than ever before, so it’s not uncommon to get called back for an additional look. Rest assured, the vast majority of breast abnormalities are not cancerous.
If you are diagnosed with cancer, however, you can turn to the South Sound’s leading cancer program for treatment. At the MultiCare Regional Cancer Center, a Nurse Navigator will help guide you through the complexity of a breast cancer diagnosis. From treatment information to side effects, your Nurse Navigator will work with you and the team of physicians who manage your care—every step of the way.
See all locations where mammograms are offered for Breast Health Services.
MultiCare Breast Health Achieves Seventh Straight Year of Perfect National Inspections
MultiCare’s breast health centers received their fifth consecutive perfect review from the FDA’s Mammography Quality Standards Program.
The annual review is part of a nationwide program to “ensure that all women have access to quality mammography for the detection of breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages,” according to the FDA’s Web site.
The FDA found that MultiCare Auburn Health Center, Covington MultiCare Clinic and MultiCare Gig Harbor Medical Park meet all national guidelines for mammography.