mammomammo imageA mammography exam, or mammogram is performed to help detect and diagnose breast disease.  It utilizes a low dose of X-ray to examine the breasts.

Screening mammography is used for the early detection of breast cancer in women who, may  or may not, have symptoms of the disease.  The exam usually involves two X-rays of each breast and a physician’s interpretation of the results.  Screening mammography can detect tumors that cannot be felt and micro-calcification (tiny deposits of calcium in the breast) that sometimes indicate the presence of breast cancer.

Diagnostic mammography is used after the discovery of a lump or other sign and symptom of breast cancer. Signs of breast cancer may include pain, skin thickening, nipple discharge and change in breast size or shape. This exam may also be used to evaluate changes found during screening mammography or when screening mammography is difficult to obtain because of special circumstances such as the presence of breast implants.

Screening mammography is a preventive service so many insurance plans may not require patients to make out-of-pocket payments.

Diagnostic mammography is NOT a preventive service so insurance plans may require patients to make out-of-pocket co-insurance, co-pay or deductible payments

On the day of the exam, please do not wear any lotion, powder, perfume or deodorant under arms or on breasts.  These may mimic areas of calcium.

Click here for more information regarding mammography.  For American Cancer Society guidelines, click here.

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