Lab Tests & Radiology
What is a Mammogram and how long will it take?
A mammogram is an X-ray exam of the breast. It is used to detect and evaluate breast abnormalities in women who have no breast complaints or symptoms and in women who have breast problems such as a lump, skin changes, or nipple discharge.
During the exam, the breast is compressed between two plastic plates attached to the mammogram unit. This compression ensures there will be very little movement, that the image is sharper, and that the exam can be done with a lower X-ray dose. Although this compression may be uncomfortable, it only lasts a few seconds and is needed to produce a good mammogram. The entire procedure for a routine mammogram usually takes about 20 minutes.
If you have had mammograms at another facility, you should make every attempt to get those mammograms to bring with you to the new facility (or have them sent there) so that they can be compared to the new ones.
What is an Annual Screening?
A screening mammogram is an X-ray exam of the breast in a woman who has no symptoms. The goal of a screening mammogram is to find cancer when it is still too small to be felt by a woman or her doctor. Finding small breast cancers early by a screening mammogram greatly improves a woman's chance for successful treatment.
A screening mammogram usually takes two X-rays (views) of each breast. For some patients, more pictures may be needed to included as much breast tissue as possible.
What is a Diagnostic Mammogram?
A diagnostic mammogram is an X-ray exam of the breast in a woman who has a breast complaint (a breast mass, nipple discharge, etc.) or has found an abnormality during a screening mammogram.
During a diagnostic mammogram, more pictures are taken to carefully study the breast. In most cases, special images involve magnification to make a small area of suspicious breast tissue easier to evaluate. Many other types of X-ray pictures can be obtained, depending on the types of problem and its location in the breast. These X-rays are tailored to the patient's needs.
How do I get a Mammogram?
The Mammography Department policy is for the patient to have a Clinical Breast Exam (CBE) prior to having a mammogram.
Please visit your Primary Care Manager (PCM) or your OB/GYN Physician for a Well Woman Exam, including a breast exam. Your PCM will order a Mammogram if they think it is needed or is time for your Annual Screening.
The American Cancer Society believes the use of regular mammograms, clinical breast exams, and women's awareness about changes in their breasts are important parts of every woman's breast health plan, and are the best approach to detecting breast cancer early when treatment is most successful and treatment options are greatest. This combined approach is better than any one test. Without question, breast physical exam without mammograms would miss many breast cancers that are too small for a woman or her doctor to feel but can be seen on mammograms. Although a mammogram is the most sensitive screening method, a small percentage of breast cancers do not show up on mammograms but can be felt by a woman or her doctors.
How do I make an appointment?
After your Clinical Breast Exam, patients make their appointment in the Department of Radiology at the Mammography Front Desk, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. or you can call the mammography front desk for scheduling.
Annual Screen Appointment: 337-531-3376.
Diagnostic Appointment: 337-531-3376.
The day of your appointment
Do not wear:
Deodorants, Antiperspirants, Lotions, Creams, Powders, or Perfumes on the upper part of your body (from your neck to your waist). Some of these products may contain chemicals that interfere with the study by casting unusual shadows, which may be mistaken for breast abnormalities.
A two-piece outfit. Our drapes only go to the waist and will not cover the entire body.
Please No Children:
The current policy for the mammography clinic is no children allowed unless the child is here for breast imaging. Child care is not available, and children may not be left unattended in the waiting area.
10-15 minutes prior to your appointment.
Canceling your appointment:
Please cancel your appointment within 24 hours.