Breast cancers and benign breast abnormalities can mostly be detected when breast self-examination, physical examination by your health care provider and annual mammography are used together on a routine basis. It is normal for many women to have lumpy breasts, and the detection of an irregularity does not necessarily mean the presence of cancer.
What is mammography? Who should have mammography screening?
Mammography is a low-dose X-ray procedure that produces images of the internal tissues of your breasts. It is used to look for irregularities in the breast tissue. Mammograms are useful in examining areas in the breast tissue that are too small or too deep to be felt.
Since early detection is the best protection against breast cancer, the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute recommend that all women have a baseline mammogram at age 40 and then an annual mammogram after the age of 40. Having a mammogram performed annually allows the radiologist to compare films from year to year – an important tool in assessing changes in the breast tissue. Your health care provider will help you in deciding when you should have your first mammogram.
How it works
You will be asked to undress from the waist up and will be given a gown to wear. The technologist will position your breast on an image receptor containing the X-ray film. Your breast will be compressed from the top by a compression paddle. This spreads the breast tissue out so that any underlying abnormalities can be better demonstrated.
A mammography will take about 20 minutes.
You should wear a 2-piece outfit (preferably with a button-down blouse or sweater) so that you will not have to remove all your clothes. Use no powder, deodorant, or lotion around the breast area as these contain materials that can appear on mammogram films. Schedule your appointment within 2 weeks of your last menstrual period to decrease the chances of breast tenderness.
Who will perform my mammogram?
Our technologists are registered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and are certified in mammography by the American College of Radiology (ACR). They are also licensed by the state of Connecticut. Our mammography units are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and are inspected yearly by the state (FDA). A board certified medical physicist calibrates our mammography equipment yearly.
The radiologist will read your films and dictate a report within 24 hours. The report will be mailed to your physician who will share the results with you. Approximately one week after your mammogram you will receive a postcard in the mail from Madison Radiology summarizing your results. Questions regarding your mammogram results should be directed to your referring physician.
I have had breast augmentation. Can I still have a mammogram?
Yes, it is important for women with breast implants to have a yearly mammogram. Please let our medical secretary know that you have implants so that the appropriate amount of time may be scheduled for your examination.
I have had mammograms taken at another office. What should I do?
If you have had mammograms at another facility, it is very helpful if you can have them mailed to us prior to your appointment so that the radiologist can compare them to your most recent films. Have your films mailed to:
2A Samson Rock Drive
Madison, CT 06443
Mammography for Men
Although mammography is a routine procedure for women, it can also be performed on men. Our technologists are experienced in the techniques necessary to obtain diagnostic mammograms for men.