Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.
An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.
Two recent advances in mammography include digital mammography and computer-aided detection.
3D digital mammography is used at all Memorial Health System facilities, including Memorial Medical Center. 3D Mammography is similar to having a conventional 2D mammogram but proven more accurate.
Like a conventional mammogram, the technologist will position you, compress your breast and take images from different angles. During each compression, multiple images are taken. This additional information helps the radiologist make a more accurate diagnosis. A 3D mammogram requires no additional compression and takes just a few seconds longer than a conventional 2D mammogram.
Computer-aided detection (CAD) systems use a digitized mammographic image that can be obtained from either a conventional film mammogram or a digitally acquired mammogram. The computer software then searches for abnormal areas of density, mass, or calcification that may indicate the presence of cancer. The CAD system highlights these areas on the images, alerting the radiologist to the need for further analysis.