A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray image created of your breast or breasts. Physicians use the mammogram to regularly screen healthy women for breast cancer. It plays a key role in the early detection. Often, the mammogram can pick up findings years before they would be identified by breast self-examination or clinical breast examination.
In addition to standard screening and diagnostic mammograms, Women & Infants was the first facility in the state to offer the latest breast mammography technology called digital breast tomosynthesis. Tomosynthesis, which is now available in two Women & Infants locations, gives radiologists a three-dimensional look at breast tissue, versus the traditional two-dimensional images, which means they have a clearer and more comprehensive view. The result is a 15 percent increase in early detection of breast cancer and a reduction in false positives, which require further testing and cause you unnecessary anxiety.
Although mammography cannot identify abnormality as breast cancer, any concerning findings can be further investigated by a minimally invasive biopsy to determine if they are benign or malignant. Finding breast cancer early, when the cancer is small, improves the patient's response to treatment and often requires less surgery, radiation, or drug treatment.
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Care New England Medical Group Primary Care and Specialty Services
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P: (401) 736-1988
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The new low-dose mammography technology makes mammography screening safe and accurate.
These guidelines are for women at average risk for breast cancer. Women at high-risk because of family history, a breast condition, or another reason may need to begin screening earlier and/or screen more often. Talk with your medical provider to be sure.
Did You Know? 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.
Early detection saves lives.
Women & Infants is a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, as designated by the American College of Radiography. We offer the latest technology for imaging the breasts, including:
In addition to standard mammograms, Women & Infants was the first facility in the state to offer the latest breast mammography technology, called digital breast tomosynthesis.
Tomosynthesis, which is now available in two Women & Infants locations, gives radiologists a three-dimensional look at breast tissue, versus the traditional two-dimensional images, which means they have a clearer and more comprehensive view. The result is a 15 percent increase in early detection of breast cancer and a reduction in false positives, which require further testing and cause you unnecessary anxiety.
It is true that mammogram screenings will see the maximal effect in terms of "lives saved" in the 50 to 70 age group, in part because the incidence of breast cancer increases with age and also because younger women have denser breasts which limits the sensitivity of mammography. The maximal effect is actually for women ages 60 to 69. However, there still remains a role for screening mammogram in the 40 to 50 age group, although more women will need to be screened to achieve one life saved when compared to the 50 to 70 age group.
Ideally, a physician would discuss screening with his patients aged 40 to 50 and they together would decide whether to order a mammogram. While my bias rests with screening in this age group, if the woman has no personal or family history issues that would raise the concern for breast cancer, deferring screening would be reasonable. If there are personal or family history issues, I would continue to favor screening for women ages 40 to 50.