Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates proudly offers in-office mammogram screenings at our Brandon Location.
To schedule an appointment click on the appointment link.
What is a mammogram:
A mammogram is an X-ray examination of the breast. It is used to detect and diagnose breast disease in women who either have breast problems such as a lump, pain, or nipple discharge, as well as for women who have no breast complaints. The procedure allows detection of breast cancers, benign tumors, and cysts before they can be detected by palpation (touch).
Mammography cannot prove that an abnormal area is cancer, but if it raises a significant suspicion of cancer, tissue will be removed for a biopsy. Tissue may be removed by needle or open surgical biopsy and examined under a microscope to determine if it is cancer.
What are the different types of mammograms?
According to the National Cancer Institute:
- Screening Mammogram
A screening mammogram is an X-ray of the breast used to detect breast changes in women who have no signs or symptoms of breast cancer. It usually involves two X-rays of each breast. Using a mammogram, it is possible to detect a tumor that cannot be felt.
- Diagnostic Mammogram
A diagnostic mammogram is an X-ray of the breast used to diagnose unusual breast changes, such as a lump, pain, nipple thickening or discharge, or a change in breast size or shape. A diagnostic mammogram is also used to evaluate abnormalities detected on a screening mammogram. It is a basic medical tool and is appropriate in the workup of breast changes, regardless of a woman’s age.
Reasons for the procedure
Mammography may be used either for screening or to make a diagnosis. Women older than 25 years should undergo diagnostic mammography if they have symptoms such as a palpable lump, breast skin thickening or indentation, nipple discharge or retraction, erosive sore of the nipple, or breast pain.
A mammogram may be used to evaluate breast pain when physical examination and history are not conclusive. Women with breasts that are dense, “lumpy,” and/or very large may be screened with mammography, as physical examination may be difficult to perform.
Women who are at high risk for breast cancer or with a history of breast cancer may be routinely screened with mammography.
There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend a mammography.
Who should get a screening mammogram?
The following screening guidelines are for early detection of cancer in women who have no symptoms:
- The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends yearly screening for all women ages 40 and older. Women should talk with their doctors about their personal risk factors before making a decision about when to start getting mammograms or how often they should get them.
- Women who are at an increased risk (family history, genetic tendency, past breast cancer) should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of starting mammography screening earlier, having additional tests (breast ultrasound, MRI), or having more frequent exams.
In addition, the following guidelines by age are recommended:
- National Cancer Institute Guideline for Screening Mammography
Women in their 40s and older should have a screening mammogram on a regular basis, every one to two years.
- American Cancer Society Guideline for Screening Mammography
Women 40 years of age and older should have a screening mammogram every year.
Consult your doctor regarding the screening guidelines that are appropriate for you.
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/gynecology/mammogram_procedure_92,P07781/