Grapevine Radiology Associates
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer found in women today. It has been estimated that one in nine women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. However, if diagnosed and treated early, survival rates for women with breast cancer can be as high as 90 percent.
A mammogram is simply an X-ray of the breast. The state-of-the-art technology in use at GRA facilities exposes you to an ultra low dose of radiation and can detect cancers and irregularities smaller than those the hand can feel.
The American Cancer Society recommends a baseline mammogram screening for women between 35 and 40 years of age. This first-time mammogram will be used as a comparison with future X-ray screenings. Women between 40 and 49 should have a mammogram every two years. Women age 50 and older, as well as those considered at high risk, should have a mammogram annually.
During the mammogram, the breast is positioned between two pieces of plastic. The plastic flattens the breast tissue and allows all of the breast to be imaged. Each breast is then X-rayed from above and both sides.
The resulting mammogram is interpreted by a radiologist. This physician is specially trained to evaluate X-rays and recognize lumps or other abnormalities. After evaluation, the radiologist sends the results of the test to the primary care physician.
Digital Mammography has been shown to increase the rate of breast cancer detection in some women. We know offer digital mammography at our Keller location.
COMPUTER ASSISTED DETECTION
We utilize this technology at all our locations. A computer takes a second look at your mammogram in addition to the radiologist and marks suspicious areas for the radiologist to take another look. This technology has been shown to increase cancer detection.
Preparing for a mammogram
Mammography is a simple procedure. Please bring your old mammograms with you if they were done at another location or arrange for them to be sent to our office well in advance of your visit. Having old mammograms for comparison is extremely important as some cancers will only cause subtle changes that are only visible when comparing to previous mammograms.
On the day of your mammogram, please do not use any deodorant, perfume, powders or ointments on the underarm area or on your breasts. Residue on the skin may interfere with the equipment. You may, of course, bring these items with you for use after the procedure is complete.
Since it is necessary to undress to the waist for a mammogram, you will be more comfortable in a two-piece outfit.
When you visit, you will first complete a medical history form. The information given in this report will help us assess your risk of developing breast cancer. In addition to having a mammogram, you can receive personal instruction on breast self-examination (BSE). You will be given materials to use at home.
Mammograms are only one way to detect abnormalities of the breast. Professionals agree that the combination of monthly BSEs and mammography is the most effective way to detect these abnormalities. Early detection is a woman's best weapon in the fight against breast cancer. It is important that all women learn how to perform BSE and examine their breasts each month. Studies indicate that over 80 percent of cancerous lumps are found by women themselves. The better your training in BSE, the better your chances are of discovering a cancerous lump when it is small and at a curable stage. Remember, too, that most breasts feel "lumpy" at times and that 8 out of 10 breast lumps are not cancer.