What You Should Know about Your Mammogram

Apr 22, 2014 1:03:00 PM Posted by Iowa Radiology



The American College of Radiology recommends that women age 40 and up receive annual screening mammograms. Women with personal or family medical histories that indicate a higher risk of breast cancer may be advised to begin annual screening sooner.  Screening mammography is done routinely for women who appear healthy and are not having breast changes.  The purpose of this exam is to find breast cancer early, before symptoms develop.

At Iowa Radiology, our objective is to detect breast cancer at the earliest possible stage, which increases the survival rate. According to Breastcancer.org, mammography screening reduces the risk of dying from breast cancer by 35% in women over 50.  Finding cancers early with routine mammograms can also allow women to choose more conservative treatment options. Ultimately maintaining the high quality of life we all deserve.


Screening Mammography 

Digital Mammography

At Iowa Radiology, we utilize the gold standard of breast imaging--digital mammography.  Like conventional mammography, digital uses X-rays to produce the image, but instead of being stored on film, the image is stored as a digital file. Digital mammography provides a much more detailed image allowing radiologists to see changes in the breast tissue sooner.


Breast Tomosynthesis

Iowa Radiology began offering Breast Tomosynthesis in June 2012.  Breast Tomosynthesis is done at the same time as the digital mammogram, imaging multiple “slices” of the breast tissue to create a 3-dimensional image.  3-D mammography makes visible details that would otherwise be hidden in the surrounding tissue.


What if I get a call following my mammogram? 

If you get a call from our office after your screening mammogram, don’t panic.  The American Cancer Society reports approximately 10% of women are called back for more tests following a screening mammogram.  

If you are called back, you will receive a “diagnostic mammogram.” Because this exam involves additional special views in order to get a more detailed picture of the area in question, a diagnostic mammogram is likely to take a bit longer than the screening test did.  For peace of mind, in many cases, you will receive the results of this exam before you leave. 

To learn more about what happens after your mammogram, download our follow-up ebook. 

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Iowa Radiology was founded in 2001 by a group of well-known central Iowa diagnostic professionals who wished to emphasize the personal side of diagnostic care as much as the technical side.

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