Mammography at the Breast Care Center is a branch of radiology that focuses on the breast. It is used to detect breast cancer or to determine the cause of breast problems. The basic mammogram falls under two categories, diagnostic and screening mammogram. A mammogram screening is used to help detect breast cancer in women who may or may not have symptoms. A diagnostic mammogram is performed when the physician is diagnosing a problem. In this case additional images are often performed. For example, a breast ultrasound may be performed in conjunction with a mammogram. According to the American Cancer Society, one of the best detection of early breast cancer is self examination.

Mammography exam checks for early signs of cancerThere are a variety of x-ray exams that fall under Mammography. To name a few, there is needle localization, galactagram, and breast biopsy. Registered technologists perform your exam. A radiologist trained to read mammograms will read the procedure. On average, there are approximately 50 exams performed at the Imaging Center with dedicated equipment.

During the procedure the breast is compressed and radiographic images are taken. This process is often uncomfortable to the patient, but is necessary.

There are several reasons why compression is importantThey include but are not limited to:

  • Compression helps separate tissue that is overlapping
  • Not compressing increases the risk of missing an early cancer
  • The amount of radiation exposure to the breast is decreased by compression

West Tennessee Healthcare (WTH) does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, Limited English Proficiency or sex, including discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, sex stereotyping or pregnancy in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out by WTH directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which WTH arranges to carry out its programs and activities.

For further information about this policy, contact Amy Garner (731) 541-9914.