What is Mammography?
Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses low-dose x-rays for the
examination of breasts.
Mammography plays an important part in the early detection of breast cancer.
Current guidelines recommend annual screening mammograms for women beginning at
age 40. Mammograms improve the ability to detect small tumors which may not be
felt as a lump and small tumors respond better to treatment. Initial x-ray
images may not be enough to distinguish between benign (non-cancerous) and
malignant (cancerous) disease. If the radiologist sees something suspicious,
further diagnostic studies such as ultrasound or cone compression views may be
How do I prepare for a mammogram?
To prepare for the exam:
- Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your
breasts on the day of the exam.
- Describe any breast symptoms or problems you may have to the technologist
performing the exam.
- If possible, obtain prior mammograms and make them available to the
radiologist at the time of the current exam.
How is a mammogram conducted?
A specially trained technologist will position your breast on the platform of
the mammography unit and compress it with a plastic paddle. Breast compression
is necessary to visualize all the breast tissue, enable any abnormalities to be
seen and hold the breast still. You will be asked to change positions so that
the breast can be viewed from different angles. The process will be repeated for
the other breast. The entire exam should take less than 30 minutes.
How do I schedule an appointment?
A physician’s order is not always required to perform a screening mammogram.
You can request a mammogram simply by calling for an appointment. Some insurance
companies, however, will not pay for exams done without a physician’s order.
Appointments can be scheduled by calling Central Scheduling at 520-469-8810.
How do I get my results?
Your films are processed for Computer Aided Detection (CAD). Then, the
results of the mammogram are interpreted by our board-certified radiologist who
specializes in women's imaging and is accredited in mammography by the American
College of Radiology. The report is sent to your physician who can discuss the
results with you.