Mammography at Delnor is provided in the Center for Breast Health. Both screening and diagnostic mammograms are done digitally. This technology is available in only a small percentage of hospitals. Digital mammography is similar to standard mammography in that X-rays are used to produce detailed images of the breast. The difference is that digital mammography is equipped with a digital receptor and generates computerized images immediately rather than a film cassette which must be developed into film.
Delnor's mammography services are fully accredited by the American College of Radiology.
Screening mammography is a low-dose X-ray examination of the breasts. It can often detect changes in the breast that are too small to be detected by manual exam. A comprehensive breast cancer risk assessment is performed on every women who receives a screening mammogram at the Center for Breast Health. The American Cancer Society recommends that all women age 40 and older receive a screening mammogram once a year.
When you have a mammogram, you will stand in front of a special x-ray machine. This machine is dedicated to mammography only. The mammographer will position each breast on a platform that holds the X-ray film. The platform will be raised or lowered to match your height. The mammographer will then gradually compress your breast between the platform and a specially designed clear plastic paddle for a very short time. Most women experience only minimal discomfort. It is best to relax as much as possible. If the compression is too painful, you need to inform the mammographer.
If there is an area of concern with your results, the radiologist or mammographer may examine your breasts, and additional views or an ultrasound may be requested. This does not mean that you have something wrong with your breasts. It simply means additional information is needed for the most accurate results. The additional views and ultrasound may be done on the same day as your mammogram, and there usually is no discomfort associated with the ultrasound.
Diagnostic mammography is an X-ray exam of the breasts that is performed in order to evaluate a breast complaint or abnormality detected by physical exam or routine screening mammography. Diagnostic mammography is different from screening mammography in that additional views of the breast are usually taken, as opposed to two views typically taken with screening mammography. Thus, diagnostic mammography is usually more time consuming than screening mammography. Your appointment for a diagnostic mammogram can be anywhere from two to three hours.
In many cases, diagnostic mammography will help show that the abnormality is likely to be benign (non-cancerous). When this occurs, the radiologist may recommend that the woman return at a later date for a follow-up mammogram; typically in six months. However, if an abnormality identified with diagnostic mammography is suspicious, additional breast imaging (with exams such as ultrasound) or a biopsy may be ordered.
Your mammography findings will be reviewed with you by a radiologist before you leave.
R2 Image Checker
In additon to the radiologist's reading, every mammogram performed at Delnor's Center for Breast Health is reviewed by the R2 Image Checker Computer Aided Detection System (CAD). This system acts as a second pair of eyes for the radiologist and results in the detection of approximately 20 percent more cases of breast cancer being diagnosed at an earlier, more treatable stage.
Delnor's Center for Breast Health is located in the 351 Medical Office Building on the hospital campus.
Scheduling a Mammogram at Delnor
To schedule a mammogram, call Central Scheduling at (630)762-6400. A physician order is NOT required for a screening mammogram; however diagnostic mammograms can only be performed with a physician's order.