‘Mammograms’ are x-ray examinations used screening / detection of conditions affecting breast tissue such as breast cancer, cysts and lumps and nipple discharge problems.
- Patients should wear loose comfortable clothes (no zippers, buttons, jewellery or metallic accessories). Two piece clothing is ideal.
- Patients should arrive 10-15 minutes early to complete paperwork
- Patients must bring their request/referral form on the day (or check that their request/referral is at the practice)
- Notify Lakes Radiology team of any allergies, existing medications and if there is a chance you could be pregnant
- Avoid cosmetics including deodorant, perfume, talc etc.
- Patients should bring any previous mammograms if they have them
- Patients with breast implants need to advise the receptionists when booking and the technician on the day of the examination
- Screening examinations should be performed one week from the commencement of your period, as breasts will be less tender at this time
- The procedure can cause slight discomfort
- A radiographer/technician will invite you to the examination room
- The patient will need to undress from the waist up
- The radiographer will explain the mammography procedure and ask a few questions
- One breast at a time will be placed between two special plates and compressed for a few seconds while the x-rays are taken . Two views of each breast as a minimum will be taken.
- A radiologist will interpret the images and provide a written report to your referring doctor/health professional
- Patients should contact the referring doctor for the result
- If abnormalities are found such as shadows, calcium deposits, scarring etc the referring doctor may recommend further tests such as ultrasound, biopsy or fine needle aspiration
- If there is suspicion of cancer on the mammogram, the referring doctor will discuss treatment options with the patient
Risks or Side Effects
- The procedure can be uncomfortable and painful with the compression of the breasts on the x-ray plates.
- This may result in bruising or splitting of the skin.
- If the patient has breast implants there is a small risk of damage to the implant.
- There is a very small amount of radiation exposure similar to x-rays resulting in a 1 in 25000 risk of developing breast cancer
- It should be noted that mammograms do not detect all breast cancers