Women's Diagnostic Imaging Center
Breast Center of Excellence
Schneck's Women's Imaging Center is a designated American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. The Women’s Center received this prestigious award for our outstanding personnel and use of state-of-the-art equipment for:
· Stereotactic breast biopsy
· Breast ultrasound, and
· Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy
The AmericanCollege of Radiology is a national organization serving more than 32,000 physicians. For more than 20 years it has been the most widely recognized medical-imaging accrediting body, setting the industry's standards for excellence. Its programs focus on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology, as well as the delivery of comprehensive health care services.
A decision to take charge of your personal health.
As an active busy woman, you make important decisions every day. One of the most significant decisions you can make is to have a mammogram as a regular part of your total breast care plan.
Each year at Schneck Medical Center over 2,500 women like yourself make that decision; they decide to take charge of their personal health by opting for the simple, preventive test that is capable of detecting breast cancer at its earliest stages.
Minimally invasive breast biopsy offers women an alternative to open surgery in diagnosing breast cancer.
There's good news for women facing a breast biopsy after a suspicious mammogram or physical exam. The Suros® Breast Biopsy System helps doctors accurately diagnose breast abnormalities without the need for stitches or a trip to the operating room.
Most of the more than 1 million breast biopsies performed each year in the U.S. are still open surgical biopsies, which can leave scarring and result in disfigurement of the breast.
Here at Schneck, using the Suros Breast Biopsy System means an outpatient procedure that is performed in less than an hour and allows women to return to their normal routine immediately afterward. Patients leave with only a small bandage that covers an incision that is about the size of a match head.
This kind of breast biopsy is easier on the patient, is less time-consuming, and helps us make a highly accurate diagnosis. Women need to know they have options when faced with a breast biopsy.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in the U.S., with approximately 175,000 new cases diagnosed each year. According to the American Cancer Society more than 43,000 women die from the disease each year. A breast biopsy is the only way doctors can determine whether or not a woman has breast cancer, though eight out ten biopsies are benign.
When you choose mammography at Schneck Medical Center, an FDA-approved facility, you are assured of the utmost in professional care, comfort, and privacy. Your exam is performed by a registered mammography technologist and interpreted by a board-certified radiologist. Results are then sent to your personal physician who will discuss with you any significant findings.
What is mammography?
Mammography is a low-dose X-ray, which shows the breast's internal structure. A trained radiologic technologist positions each breast between plastic plates that compress them. Compression is necessary for the X-ray to produce a sharp, clear image and it reduces the amount of radiation necessary for the mammogram. The entire test takes only about 15 minutes, after which a radiologist studies the images to pinpoint any suspicious-looking areas.
Your doctor may request a diagnostic mammogram rather than a routine screening. This is a more comprehensive exam in which extra pictures of the breast are taken at various angles. It takes a little longer to complete, but is not significantly different from a routine exam.
Who should have a mammogram?
The American Cancer Society recommends a first, or "baseline," mammogram for all women at age 40. Thereafter, a mammogram should be performed every year.
Remember, all women are at risk for breast cancer! Even in families where there is no history of breast cancer, mammograms can and do save lives.
Will it hurt?
The pressure caused by flattening the breast may be a little uncomfortable, but should not be very painful. If you do experience discomfort, the technologist can usually ease the pressure. State-of-the-art machines, such as the one used at Schneck Medical Center, are able to obtain clear images with less pressure. For even greater comfort, it is best not to schedule your mammogram during the week prior to your menstrual period when your breasts are tender. The best time for a mammogram is seven to 10 days after your period begins.
What are the risks associated with mammography?
Mammography uses X-rays to form a picture of your breast tissue. However, the amount of radiation emitted by Schneck Medical Center's state-of-the-art mammography unit is extremely low, so the value of the mammography far outweighs any potential risk.
Though mammography is currently the best test for detecting tumors in their earliest stages, it is not perfect. In a small percentage of cases it may fail to detect a suspicious growth. This applies particularly to denser tissue, typical in younger breasts. Therefore, it is vitally important to perform monthly breast self-exams between mammograms.
What if an abnormality is detected?
First, don't panic. With appropriate follow up, the great majority of abnormalities are found to be benign (non-cancerous). The radiologist may recommend that you undergo a second mammogram, or an ultrasound examination. The latter is a painless, non-invasive test that uses sound waves to form precise images of breast tissue.
For best results:
Dress comfortably. Consider wearing a skirt or pants so you need to remove only your blouse and bra. On the day of your mammogram, avoid using powder, lotion, or deodorant; they can cloud the images. In addition, don't wear necklaces or other jewelry that might interfere with getting the best possible results.
If you have previously had a mammogram at a facility other than Schneck Medical Center, it is your responsibility to bring it with you.
Mammography does not replace your monthly self-exam! Mammography is an important step in preventive self care, but it is only one weapon in the battle against breast cancer. A breast cancer may occasionally grow fast enough to form a touchable lump before it's time for your next mammogram. Or in rare cases, the mammogram may fail to detect a growth. So all women, even those who are too young for mammograms, should examine their own breasts once a month and have them checked by a physician once every two to three years until age 40, and annually thereafter.
Your healthcare provider can help you learn how to examine your breasts. You can also get free information describing self-exams by calling the American Cancer Society at 800.ACS.2345, or the National Cancer Institute at 800.4.CANCER.
About the safekeeping of your mammograms:
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) requires that mammograms and related reports be kept on file for at least five years. If your film and report comprise the only mammogram you have had, we will retain them for 10 years, or until you request their transfer.
To schedule a mammogram, please call us at 812.522.0144. Day, evening, and weekend appointments are available for your convenience.
To contact us by email click here: Diagnostic Imaging Services (X-ray).