Mammography

MOGA: Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecological Association, P.C.

OBGYNs & Gynecologists located in East Memphis, Memphis, TN & Germantown, TN

Some 300,000 American women are newly diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and early diagnosis remains your best chance for successful treatment. The women’s health professionals at Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecological Association, PC, with locations in Memphis, Germantown, and Bartlett, Tennessee, as well as Southaven, Mississippi, recommend their in-house 3D mammography for breast cancer screening. Make an appointment today by calling the office or booking online.

Mammography Q & A

What is mammography?

A specialized medical imaging used to detect breast tumors before they become symptomatic, mammography uses low-dose X-rays to create images. As with other types of X-ray imaging, mammography permits your MOGA caregiver to examine the structures inside your breast tissue, identifying tumors or some other irregularities. Treatment may then be based on the findings from the mammogram.

Digital imaging and computer processing have brought forth advances in the mammography field. Digital mammography, computer-aided detection, and breast tomosynthesis bring new capabilities to the mammography field.

How do technical advances improve mammography?

Digital mammography is perhaps most like traditional film-based X-ray mammography. Film is, however, replaced with digital imaging sensors, much like those used in today’s digital cameras. Because of the efficiency of digital sensors, better images can be obtained with lower doses of X-ray radiation. Digital mammograms can be stored easily and transmitted electronically.

Computer-aided detection (CAD) systems can “read between the lines” of digitized mammogram images, identifying areas of abnormal density, mass, or calcification, which may indicate the presence of cancer. The CAD system can then highlight suspect areas, reducing the chances that an area of irregularity is missed.

Breast tomosynthesis is also called 3D mammography. Multiple images are taken from several angles, then synthesized into a three-dimensional image in much the same way as computed tomography creates 3D views of other parts of the body. Though the multiple images increase the dosage of X-rays, these still fall under safe guidelines, about the level of traditional film mammography.

The advantages of breast tomosynthesis are many. Detection rates are higher with fewer false-positive abnormal findings. As well, breast tomosynthesis provides:

  • Greater accuracy in locating the size and shape of an irregularity
  • Earlier detection of small cancers
  • Fewer unwarranted biopsies
  • Better performance at identifying multiple tumors
  • Clearer images of tumors in dense breast tissue

What can I expect during a mammography session?

Successful mammogram images depend on some degree of breast compression to isolate your breast tissue. This is done between a special platform and a clear plastic paddle. This makes irregularities easier to find by evening out breast tissue, stabilizing it for the images, while allowing a lower dose of radiation. Depending on the type of images being made, you may be asked to move between exposures.