On the day of your mammogram, do not use any deodorant, powder, or lotion on or under your arms or on your breasts, as chemicals from these products may interfere with the reading of your exam. The mammogram itself involves compression. We recommend that if you have very sensitive breasts, try to avoid scheduling your exam during the week before your period. That is the time during which the breast is the most sensitive. The technologist will work with you to adjust the degree of compression that you can tolerate.
The radiologist interpreting your mammogram will need to compare the results of your mammogram with any previous studies. If you have had mammograms at another institution, please make arrangements to get those exams and bring them with you on your appointment day.
To schedule your mammogram at the Methodist Breast Imaging Center, located at Kirby and the Southwest Freeway call 713.441.PINK.
A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray screening of the breast. It's the most valuable tool in early detection of breast cancer. A mammogram allows the radiologist to identify breast cancer before a lump or mass can even be felt. Earlier detection can mean higher success rates in treating breast cancer.
The original Methodist Breast Imaging Center was the first breast center in the country to become an all-digital facility. “Digital” means that the x-ray taken of the breast is captured by a computer. Studies continue to show that digital mammography is better than film-screen mammography, particularly on women with dense breasts.
The digital mammography we perform also includes computer-aided detection (CAD). CAD systems highlight abnormal areas of density, mass or calcification in a breast image to help alert the radiologist to the need for further analysis.
Types of Breast Imaging
The two types of imaging studies are screening and diagnostic mammograms. The type of mammogram best suited for you depends on your medical history and breast symptoms.
Screening mammograms are conducted on a basis beginning with a baseline study at the age of 35 and yearly studies from the age of 40. This study is performed on patients with no signs or symptoms of breast problems and no prior personal diagnosis of breast cancer. Two to three views of each breast are taken by a certified mammographer and interpreted by a radiologist. It is not uncommon for the radiologist to ask for additional imaging of a specific area of the breast in order to make an accurate diagnosis. In these cases, you may be called back to the Breast Center for a diagnostic mammogram and/or ultrasound.
Diagnostic mammograms are recommended for those who have noticed an area of concern or suspicious change on a clinical exam. such as a lump, nipple discharge , or a change in breast size or shape. A diagnostic mammogram may also be used to clarify the results of a screening mammogram. This exam takes longer than a screening mammogram, as the exam is monitored by the radiologist and tailored to the individual patient.
A breast ultrasound helps the radiologist to determine if a lump or mass in the breast is filled with fluid or is solid tissue. If the mass is filled with fluid, they are classified as cysts and are usually not cancer. If the mass looks solid, then often a biopsy is needed to make the final diagnosis.
An ultrasound involves applying gel to the breast and using a transducer that emits sound waves. There is no compression or radiation involved and most women find the procedure to be painless. Though ultrasounds can be very helpful, they do not take the place of mammography because most early cancers begin as microcalcifications and they are not visible ultrasound.