Elaine M. Junca Women's Imaging Centre utilizes state of the art Digital Mammography technology on all screening and diagnostic exams. Digital Mammography is different than standard film mammography in the way the images are recorded, viewed and manipulated by the Radiologist, and stored. The Radiologist utilizes Computer Aided Detection (CAD) on all mammograms. Studies have shown that including CAD increases the detection of breast cancer by as much as 20%.
Since the Radiologist can electronically manipulate the images brightness, contrast, and magnification, abnormal areas may be more clearly visualized. Also, there is no waiting for film to develop, which means shorter exam times. There are also less retakes due to over or underexposure, saving time, and reducing radiation exposure.
There are no special steps to prepare for this exam.
There is no proven method to decrease discomfort, but you can try:
- Scheduling the exam when breast tissue is least tender. This is most often a week after your period.
- Avoiding caffeinated drinks.
NOTE: Tell the technician if you:
- Are pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Have breast implants —Ask if the facility uses special techniques to accommodate implants. Implants make it hard to see breast tissue.
On the day of your exam:
- Do not apply deodorant, talcum powder, lotion, or perfume.
- Ask your doctor if you should take a pain medicine like ibuprofen to relieve discomfort.
- Wear comfortable clothing so you can easily remove your shirt.
- Remove jewelry.
- Bring copies of previous mammograms and reports with you. If you have them done in the same facility each time, they will have results of prior years. The doctor can compare the old images to the new ones.
- Describe any breast problems to the technician before the exam.
Our radiologist will look at the images and may speak with you at the end of the exam. You will usually receive your results within seven days either directly from us or your referring doctor. If you do not, you can call 337-993-8300 for your results.
If your mammogram is normal, your next screening should be completed is 1-2 years.
Mammograms can sometimes detect things that look like cancer but are not. If something is noticed on the mammogram, you may need to have other tests done, like an ultrasound or a breast biopsy. This will help determine if there is an actual problem or if everything is fine.
Like all screening tests, the mammogram will not detect every single abnormality. Breast density is a large factor in the effectiveness of mammograms to detect abnormalities. Ask your radiologist about your breast density at your next scheduled mammogram and discuss other screening options such as breast MRI.
Our spa-like atmosphere and friendly staff help reduce the stress of getting your mammogram. When you arrive at the centre, you will be greeted by our Nurse Navigator, a Registered Nurse who will guide you through every step of your appointment.
Once your paperwork has been completed, the Nurse Navigator will escort you to one of our changing areas where you can store your belongings in a safe and secure locker, change into a comfortable robe and sit in the atrium enjoying peaceful views of Elaine’s Garden while you wait for your technician.
When your technician is ready for you, she will escort you to one of our mammography rooms where you will stand in front of a digital mammography machine. It has a platform to place your breast on. The technician will adjust the height of the platform. One breast will be lifted and placed between special plates. The plate is brought close to the platform and compresses the breast. This allows for a clearer image. The exam will cause some discomfort. Tell the technician if you feel any pain.
Two pictures of each breast are taken. For one picture, you face toward the platform and the image is taken looking down at the breast. For the second, you stand beside the machine. This allows for a side view. Extra images may be needed if you have implants or if the doctor is looking at a specific spot more closely. The procedure will take approximately 30-45 minutes.