Early detection is key
Breast health is an important part of your overall well-being. When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is key. Regular screening mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer early, when it’s most treatable. About 80 percent of women with breast cancer have no family history of the disease, so talk to your doctor about getting screened today.
Our expert care teams use the latest technology to make sure you get the most accurate screening results and are dedicated to improving breast health for all women. Appointments are available here at Amery Hospital & Clinic, with quick results to help you rest easier. To schedule your appointment, call (715) 268-0476.
Walk-in mammograms are available from Monday through Friday. It usually takes less than 30 minutes to be seen. Mammography is still the best tool to detect breast cancer in its earliest, most curable stages.
A mammogram consists of two sets of x-rays of each breast–one view from the top and another from the side. Although the procedure can be uncomfortable as the breast is pressed firmly between two plastic plates, it takes only about 20 minutes, is inexpensive and exposes a woman to a minimal dose of radiation.
Mammography is very sensitive, detecting cancer one to three years before it can be felt as a lump or produce any symptoms. In most cases, these early tumors can be treated successfully. Mammography is still recognized as one of the most effective tools available for the early detection of breast cancer.
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Preparing for a Mammogram
The day of your mammogram, do not use deodorant, lotion, powder or perfumes under your arms or on your breasts. These may create shadows on your mammogram. When making your appointment, be sure to mention if you have breast implants. Extra pictures may be needed to be sure all the breast tissue can be seen.
Digital mammography, available at Amery Hospital & Clinic, offers significant benefits to certain groups of women. Digital mammography, a mammogram that uses new detection technologies and computers instead of film, was found in a landmark clinical study of more than 42,000 women to be better than film-screen mammography in detecting breast cancer in three groups: women under 50, pre- and peri-menopausal women, and women with dense breasts. Digital mammograms are 15 percent more accurate among women under age 50 or not yet in menopause, and 11 percent more accurate among women with dense breasts.
From the patient’s perspective, the procedure for a digital mammogram is the same as for a conventional film mammogram; however, since the images are available almost immediately and no film development time is necessary, the wait time for the patient is less. Clearer images without delay—a major advancement for the radiologist and patient – and with this new clarity, it also reduces the need for callbacks.
Types of Mammography
- Two-Dimensional (2D) Mammography: 2D mammography takes digital pictures of the breast. It’s the current standard for breast imaging and is used at all HealthPartners mammography locations.
- Three-Dimensional (3D) Mammography/Tomosynthesis (Tomo): This type of breast imaging is also called breast tomosynthesis. It provides the best possible x-ray image quality of the breast.
3D/Tomo mammography is a digital exam that produces a 3D image of the breast. It gives us a “stack” of images in layers to better evaluate the breast tissue. 3D/Tomo mammography allows breast radiologists (doctors with training in breast imaging) to examine breast tissue more thoroughly. Fine details are more clearly visible, no longer hidden by the tissue above and below. 3D images give a better view of the size, shape, and location of abnormalities. This results in a better exam.
Studies of 3D/Tomo mammograms have been shown to better detect breast cancer in nearly all breast densities. It also decreases the number of patients who need to return to have more images taken.
There is an additional charge for 3D/Tomo imaging that is usually covered by insurance. Some insurance plans, like Medica, do not currently cover additional charges for 3D/Tomo imaging. This may result in a charge or copay to you. You are encouraged to ask your insurance plan if you will have any out of pocket costs for CPT code: 77063 (3D imaging).