Digital Mammogram

mammogram
mammosealRadiology Associates of Hartford is a digital mammogram and accredited breast imaging facility; a distinction awarded only to an elite group of healthcare facilities. In addition, at RAH, we employ technologists that are registered and have specialized certification in mammography.

By providing a more comfortable experience, RAH aims to increase the number of women in the community who follow recommendations for annual mammography exams.

Age Guidelines for Mammography Screening

The American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology recommend annual screening mammograms starting at age 40. Screening mammography is appropriate for asymptomatic women who have no breast symptoms. If you are high risk for breast cancer (if your mother or sister had breast cancer before the age of 50), then you should consider beginning screening with mammography at a younger age and/or with supplemental methods.

Mammography screening should be combined with monthly self-exams and regular examinations by your doctor. Here are general age guidelines for breast care.

Age 20-35
Monthly self-examinations and a breast exam by a health professional every three years.

Age 35-40
Monthly self-examinations, annual breast exam by a health professional and baseline mammogram.

Age 40-49
Monthly self-examinations, annual breast exam by a health professional and mammogram every one to two years or as recommended by your referring physician.

Age 50+
Monthly self-examinations, annual breast exam by a health professional, annual mammogram.

What are some common uses of a Screening (Routine) Mammogram?

  • To allow for comparisons with previous mammograms and help identify small changes early
  • To detect breast cancer
  • To evaluate and better characterize a lump
  • If the size, shape or tenderness of your breast has changed
  • If skin changes such as a dimple or pucker in the skin of the breast have occurred
  • If there is a change in the nipple. (retraction or inversion)
  • If there is discharge or bleeding of the nipple without squeezing that area

Preparation Instructions

Do not apply any powders, deodorant or ointments to the underarm area or breast area on the day of the exam. Wear a two-piece outfit. If you experience breast tenderness prior to or during menstruation, try to schedule a routine mammogram at a more comfortable time during your cycle.

Diagnostic Mammogram

How is a Diagnostic Mammogram different from a Screening Mammogram?

A diagnostic mammogram is intended for women who have symptoms such as a lump or mass, discharge or other significant symptoms. It is also used to further evaluate any abnormality that might have been detected on a screening mammogram.

Reasons to have a diagnostic mammogram:

  • At RAH, about seven to ten percent of women are recalled for additional views.
  • The majority of these women will have a normal repeat exam and are returned for annual follow up.
  • A small percentage will be recommended to have an early six month follow up.
  • An even smaller percentage will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

A diagnostic mammogram is done under the direct supervision of one of our board-certified radiologists here at one of RAH’s outpatient centers. Special views of the exam will be taken to analyze your breast symptoms or further analyze findings from the screening mammogram. In many cases, a breast ultrasound will be done to provide additional diagnostic information.

What happens if they find something in my breast?

Sometimes we find a lesion that requires a breast biopsy to find out what it is. Fortunately, the vast majority of breast biopsies can be accurately performed with a needle and do not require surgery.

Radiology Associates of Hartford performs this service in our outpatient centers.

To schedule a Softer Mammogram featuring Bella Blankets® at Radiology Associates of Hartford, please call (860)714-2725 or visit our locations page for the nearest office.

Breast Ultrasound

A breast ultrasound is a safe, non-invasive exam that uses sound waves to see the inside of the breast. No compression is necessary.

It is performed in conjunction with mammography, especially in the case of dense breasts, and for patients with breast implants, since an ultrasound can distinguish between solid and fluid-filled lumps (cysts). Cysts are very common and completely benign; about half of all women have some cysts in their breasts at some point.

In women under 30 years of age, a breast ultrasound is often used as the first diagnostic exam before a mammogram.

Web Resources

American Cancer Society
Susan G. Komen / Connecticut
Breast Self-Examination (BSE)

For more information on this topic, please visit www.Radiologyinfo.org.

RAH takes pride in taking excellent care of its patients which is why you will experience the comfort of FDA-approved Bella Blankets® during your next mammogram. These protective coverlets for mammography are designed to remove the chill from the receptor plate helping patients feel more at ease.