Detecting Tumors. Protecting Your Life
Mammography puts time on your side. It can show changes in your breast up to two years before your or your doctor can feel them.
Mammography is used to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms. It can also detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge.
Research has shown that annual mammograms lead to early detection of breast cancers, when they are most curable and breast-conservation therapies are available.
What is digital mammography?
Digital images can be viewed on a computer, so they can be lightened or darkened, and certain sections can be enlarged and looked at more closely. The ability to control images on a computer can make digital mammography more accurate than film mammography.
What is 3D mammography?
Our advanced 3D technology goes one step further by allowing radiologists to view inside the breast layer by layer, helping to see the fine details more clearly to detect cancers earlier. During a 3D mammogram, multiple low-dose images known as "slices" of the breast are acquired at different angles.
The benefits of 3D mammography include:
- Improved imaging to detect cancer at its earliest stage.
- Fewer call backs for additional screening.
- Greater accuracy in pinpointing size, shape and location of abnormalities.
- Greater precision-enabling physicians to more easily detect abnormalities, including multiple breast tumors (occurring in 15% of breast cancer patients).
Preparing for Your Mammogram
- Deodorant, talcum powder or lotion should not be applied on the day of the exam - they may show up on the X-ray as calcium spots.
- The radiologist will want to compare the new mammogram images with any previous images. If your previous exam was at another facility, please bring the previous films with you.
- Previous mammogram images and reports from another facility may also be sent to us before your appointment:
OSF Saint Luke Medical Center
Attn: Radiology Department
1051 West South Street
Kewanee, Illinois 61443
What to Expect During Your Screening Mammogram
- During a mammogram, a technologist will X-ray each breast twice, once from above and once from the side. To do this, each breast must be compressed between two flat plates so that an accurate image can be taken.
- The exam, including history questions, may take up to 30 minutes. You will get a letter containing the results of your mammogram within 10 days and your primary care provider will also get a written report.
Will you need a diagnostic mammogram?
- After a screening mammogram, there can be concerns which can't be resolved with the information available. You would then be called back for a "diagnostic mammogram."
- During this session, the radiologist will be monitoring each of the scans as they are taken. Depending on the findings, an ultrasound may be used at this point as well.
- The results of the diagnostic mammogram will be given to you verbally and in writing at this time. Your primary care provider will also receive a written report of the examination
Will a biopsy be recommended?
More often than not, the cause of the unusual appearance is found to be benign (not cancer). If the cause cannot be determined to be benign with certainty, a biopsy will be recommended.
During the biopsy, a local anesthetic, like the kind given at the dentist's office, will be given and small pieces of tissue will be gathered from the area of concern. A pathologist will examine the tissues to determine the cause.
Scheduling Your Mammogram
- You may call the Central Scheduling Department at (309) 852-7550 to schedule your screening mammogram.
- Walk-in screening mammograms are also available on Wednesday afternoons from 1 - 5:30 p.m. - no appointment necessary.
- Do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your menstrual period if your breasts are usually tender during this time. The best time for a mammogram is one week after your period.
- Women with breast implants need to notify the scheduler so that adequate time is allowed for the appointment
- Diagnostic mammograms require an order from your health care provider and need to be scheduled when a radiologist is present in the department.
How to Reach Us
If you have questions, please call the Radiology Department at (309) 852-7680. Our technologists will be happy to assist you.