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Mammography

A mammogram is an examination of the soft tissue of the breast. Midwest Radiology offers both screening and diagnostic mammography as well as ultrasound and needle guided biopsy/aspiration to evaluate the breast.

Four Tips for a Pain Free Mammogram


Who Should Have a Mammogram?


The American Cancer Society recommends the following Breast Screening Guidelines:

  • Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.
  • Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or continue yearly screening.
  • Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.

Women should also know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast changes to a health care provider right away.

Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRIs along with mammograms. (The number of women who fall into this category is very small.) Talk with a health care provider about your risk for breast cancer and the best screening plan for you.

Screening Mammograms


Screening mammograms are meant for women with no breast symptoms and normal clinical exam (the exam performed by your healthcare provider). Screening mammography uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine breasts and plays a central part in early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them. It is recommended that women age 40 and older have a screening mammogram each year.

Diagnostic Mammograms


Diagnostic mammograms are meant to further evaluate an abnormality that was found during breast self exam, an annual physical with a healthcare provider or on a screening mammogram. It is also used to evaluate breast symptoms. Symptoms or abnormalities may include pain, swelling, lump, redness, nipple discharge or changes in the appearance of breast tissue.

About Breast Density


Breast tissue can be fatty, fibrous/glandular, or a combination of both. The more fibrous tissue you have, the more dense your breast is. A mammogram is the only exam that enables the radiologist to determine your breast density. If you are classified as having dense breasts, it is recommended that you continue to have annual screening mammograms. Dense breast tissue slightly decreases the ability of mammography to find breast cancer and also slightly increases the risk of breast cancer. Mammography is still the best screening tool available. Along with mammography, women who have additional risk factors for breast cancer may benefit from exams such as tomosynthesis, ultrasound or MRI. Discuss these supplemental options with your healthcare provider.

Computer Aided Detection (CAD)


Midwest Radiology is equipped with state-of-the-art Computer Aided Detection (CAD). This technology aids the radiologist in identifying very subtle changes in the breast. CAD, as the name implies, uses a computer to assist in analyzing your mammogram. The computer utilizes breakthrough technology to highlight any potential areas of concern on a mammogram, calling attention to subtle changes in the breast tissue that may indicate the presence of cancer. The computer does not replace the radiologist who reads the mammograms. The radiologist determines if marked areas need further evaluation. With CAD, the radiologist still makes the final interpretation of your mammograms and you receive the benefit of a second opinion.

Common Procedures


X-Ray Mammogram

The standard of care in breast cancer screening. A screening mammogram involves two X-rays of each breast and is the recommended modality for early detection of breast cancer.

Procedure Prep

Breast MRI

MRI of the breast is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging but rather a supplemental tool for detecting and staging breast cancer and other abnormalities.

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Procedure Prep

Tomo (3D) Mammogram

Tomosynthesis, also known as tomo or 3D, is an advanced type of mammogram that uses the same x-ray technology as standard 2D mammograms. Recommended for women with dense breast tissue.

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Procedure Prep

Breast Biopsy

A small sample of tissue is removed for laboratory testing. It is a way to evaluate suspicious areas to confirm breast cancer and can help determine whether treatment is needed.

Procedure Prep

Scheduling a Procedure


Midwest Radiology maintains dedicated scheduling resources for all outpatient imaging center locations. We offer same-day scheduling and accept most forms of medical insurance. Call us today!

Schedule a Procedure

Locations


Our outpatient imaging services are provided through St. Paul Radiology and Suburban Imaging clinics conveniently located throughout the Twin Cities area. We offer top quality imaging services that generate high-resolution imagery using state-of-the-art medical imaging equipment.

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Our Physicians


All of our breast imaging specialists are board certified and fellowship trained physicians. Midwest Radiology plays a major role in breast cancer screening in the Twin Cities area, providing administrative, imaging, and procedural expertise to major breast care centers; and imaging support to many smaller breast imaging sites. Our radiologists actively participate in breast care conferences, helping to formulate treatment plans for patients in concert with oncologists, surgeons, and pathologists. We strive to detect breast cancer at its earliest, most successfully-treated stages and provide compassionate, timely care for our patients, using state-of-the-art technology.

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