A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray that produces an image of the breast. It is an essential component of ensuring good breast health.
TriPoint Medical Center, West Medical Center and Mentor Campus offer digital mammography. Digital mammography has been found to be diagnostically superior for pre- and peri-menopausal women. It also allows us to perform a mammogram faster without sacrificing image quality. That means we can service more patients each day, reducing the time that a woman has to wait to schedule her mammogram.
Lake Health offers mammograms at TriPoint Medical Center, West Medical Center, Mentor Campus, and Madison Campus. All Lake Health mammography facilities are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The Mentor Campus has recently been accredited by the ACR as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. The ACR Breast Imaging Center of Excellence designation signifies that our center provides essential services to our community at the highest standards of the radiology profession.
Lake Health also offers breast tomosynthesis at both TriPoint and West medical centers - a three-dimensional imaging technology that can aid with early cancer detection. The technology allows radiologists to examine breast tissue one layer at a time, unmasking signs of early cancer that can sometimes not be visible with traditional mammography.
The FDA-approved technology is used in conjunction with digital mammography to produce a three-dimensional image of the breast. Studies show that using breast tomosynthesis and digital mammography together can reduce "call backs" and can increase cancer detection rates. Annual digital mammography remains the optimal screening modality for early detection of breast cancer.
What to Expect
During the exam, a technologist will position your breast in the mammography unit. Your breast will be compressed with a paddle. Flattening the breast is necessary to even out breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized. Compression can be uncomfortable, especially in women with sensitive breasts. If you experience significant discomfort, please let your technologist know. Each breast will be imaged from the top and from the side.
A radiologist will interpret the images and compare them to any prior mammograms. A report will be sent to your physician. You will also be notified of the results in a letter from Lake Health.
New Service: Patients will receive same day results for diagnostic mammograms and other breast imaging services.
According to the American College of Radiation, "some Americans have expressed concern, due to an erroneous media report, that the small amount of radiation a patient receives from a mammogram may significantly increase the likelihood of developing thyroid cancer. This concern simply is not supported in scientific literature. The radiation dose to the thyroid from a mammogram is extremely low [...] For annual screening mammography from ages 40-80, the cancer risk from this tiny amount of radiation scattered to the thyroid is incredibly small. This minute risk should be balanced with the fact that thyroid shield usage could interfere with optimal positioning and could result in shadows on the mammography image. Therefore, use of a thyroid shield during mammography is not recommended. Patients are urged not to put off or forego necessary breast imaging care based on this erroneous media report."
Preparing for Your Mammogram
When scheduling your mammogram, you will be asked if you have had other mammograms and where they were performed. It is your responsibility to obtain prior mammograms not performed at Lake Health and bring them with you the day of your exam. Please describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist before the exam.
It is best to schedule your mammogram at the end of your menstrual period when the breasts are least filled with fluid and are not tender.
If you have had a mammogram that was very painful, you may want to cut out caffeine for several days prior to your mammogram. You may also want to take ibuprofen or Motrin several days prior to the exam if you have no restrictions on taking these drugs.
On the day of your mammogram do not wear any deodorant, body powders or perfume. Take your deodorant in your purse and apply it after the exam.
It is helpful to wear comfortable clothing, possibly a skirt or pants, that will allow you to undress from the waist up.
The procedure will take approximately 30 minutes.
Inform your physician or X-ray technologist if you are or may be pregnant.
Please register 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
Please bring the physician order to your appointment.
"A landmark study confirms mammograms lower breast cancer death rates in women age 40-49 by nearly one-third. Therefore, the use of the age of 50 as a threshold for breast cancer screening is scientifically unfounded. Women should begin getting annual mammograms at age 40." To learn more, click here.
Scheduling an Appointment
A mammogram is performed by appointment only. You can schedule an appointment by calling Lake Health's Centralized Scheduling Department at 1-866-652-5253.