We know that getting a mammogram can be stressful. At Reliant, we provide care in a welcoming setting with friendly staff. Our advanced technologies let us carefully view breast tissue and look for any possible abnormalities. Read below to find out more about our mammography services. To schedule a mammogram at our Leominster, Southborough or Worcester offices, call (508) 853-2716.
Breast Exams – An Essential Tool for Cancer Screening
Breast exams save lives because they help to find cancer early. Women with breast cancer have a survival rate of over 95% if their cancer is found early. That’s why regular breast exams are so important to your health.
All women age 40 and older should have a yearly breast screening mammogram. Women with a higher chance of breast cancer (like those with a family history of the disease) should ask their healthcare provider if they need an exam before age 40. Mammograms are necessary because they find tumors that can’t be felt by hand.
Regular, at-home breast exams are important. Your doctor should also do clinical exams. Since no detection method is 100% exact, it’s important to use more than one screening tool.
We offer digital screening and diagnostic mammograms, as well as:
An electronic x-ray sensor creates images of the breast. When viewed on a computer screen, the digital images can be enhanced. Digital mammography is faster and uses less radiation than film-based exams. It is known to be as good or better at finding breast cancer.
Breast Abnormalities are Common
It’s common for your provider to have you get a diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound, or breast MRI after your regular mammogram. Breast abnormalities (like lumps) happen often and need to be thoroughly tested to rule out more serious problems. About 1 in 10 women will need a diagnostic mammogram or extra imaging after their regular screenings. Extra testing should not be considered a sign of cancer. It’s the best way to find often curable breast cancers early.
Diagnostic Mammograms – a Closer Look
If the regular screening finds an abnormality, you will need to have a diagnostic mammogram. They take longer than screening mammograms because a specific area of the breast must be carefully viewed from many angles. If needed, your radiologist will schedule more imaging tests after your diagnostic mammogram to help find a diagnosis.
Also known as sonography, ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to make an image. Ultrasound can check breast lumps that are difficult to see on a mammogram. It also helps find the difference between solid tumors and fluid-filled cysts. Ultrasound is also used for other diagnostic tests, like fine needle aspiration biopsies.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnet linked to a computer to create very detailed images. A breast MRI can create hundreds of images from different angles. This makes for easier diagnosis. Breast MRIs are also used for looking at dense breast tissue that can be hard to see with other methods.
When a diagnostic exam shows an abnormality, a biopsy is used to check for cancer. A biopsy takes a sample of tissue or fluid to be looked at under a microscope for signs of cancer. Breast imaging is often used to help doctors do more effective biopsies.
All mammography facilities at Reliant Medical Group are licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Radiation Control Program. They meet all FDA regulatory requirements and are accredited by the ACR.