Mammography is an essential tool in diagnosing breast cancer and other abnormalities. Today, advanced digital mammography provides more detailed imaging to identify areas of concern long before they might be discovered via physical exams. As an American College of Radiation (ACR) accredited facility, Hunterdon Radiological Associates offers routine and diagnostic digital mammography for patients throughout Hunterdon County in New Jersey to support early detection and successful treatment.
The Value of Digital Mammography
Digital mammography uses low-energy X-ray beams to create an image of the breast. The beam makes cysts, tumors, and other abnormalities more visible in contrast to fatty tissue, allowing radiologists to determine when additional testing or treatment may be required.
At Hunterdon Radiological Associates, we use digital mammography and 3D mammography equipment to achieve the best results possible. The benefits of this technology include:
- Quality: Digital mammography delivers sharper images with finer detail, making it easier to differentiate between healthy tissue and abnormalities.
- Speed: Digital images are available immediately. This means shorter exams and faster results, and radiologists can request additional images on the spot.
- Sharing: Results can be digitally transferred to your primary care physician, other healthcare providers, and insurance companies.
Routine mammograms should be part of every woman’s regular healthcare after age 40. When a palpable lump, pain, or unusual nipple discharge occurs or abnormalities are detected during routine imaging, a diagnostic mammogram may also be scheduled.
Preparing for Your Mammogram
Preparing for a digital mammogram is simple. Your doctor will provide guidance, but these tips will help you get ready on the day of the exam.
- Avoid the use of powders, deodorants, and other topical products before your appointment. These substances can create false images on the mammogram.
- Always notify the technologist if you may be pregnant or are breastfeeding.
- Wear a comfortable, two-piece outfit. You’ll need to undress to the waist for imaging.
- Be prepared to share details from prior exams with your technologist.
Thanks to advances in digital mammography, imaging may be completed at any time within the menstrual cycle. Scheduling your appointment at a time when your breasts are less tender can help avoid added discomfort.
During the Digital Mammogram
Digital mammography is quick and easy, and the exam will be over before you know it. You’ll be shown to an exam room upon arrival and can expect the following process:
- Each breast will be compressed between plastic paddles to ensure equal thickness. Doing so promotes clearer images and helps make smaller abnormalities more visible.
- The mammography equipment is operated by a technologist behind a glass shield. They will gradually increase compression to achieve the right level for clear imaging. Let the technologist know if you experience any pain.
- Most digital mammograms include top-to-bottom and side views of each breast. Additional views may be requested to provide more insight on abnormalities or difficult-to-read areas of the image.
Keep in mind that a request for additional images is not cause for immediate concern. In most cases, more information is needed to confirm the lack of abnormalities or achieve a clearer view.
After the mammogram, a board-certified radiologist will review your images and create a report for your doctor. You’ll also receive a letter explaining your results and any suggested next steps.
Schedule Digital Mammography Services
To learn more about routine or diagnostic digital mammography, contact Hunterdon Radiological Associates today. Our dedicated team offers friendly, approachable care and expert medical imaging services for residents of Hunterdon County to promote better health and peace of mind. Patients may schedule an appointment online by calling 908-237-5395.