Women ages 20 to 39 should have a clinical breast exam performed by a trained health care professional every two years, monthly breast self-exams, and beginning at age 40, women should schedule a yearly mammogram. Mammograms are the gold standard for detecting breast cancer at its earliest and most treatable stage.
Women age 40 and over should have an annual mammogram and clinical breast exam performed by a trained health care professional as well as perform monthly breast self-exams.
A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray of the breast used to detect breast disease. Using high-contrast, high-resolution film, a mammogram can show changes in the breast up to two years before those changes can be felt. Even if a woman has no complaints or symptoms, a screening mammogram can assist a physician in disease detection.
A mammogram will take approximately 15 minutes. During a mammogram, the breast is compressed between two plates for a few seconds while the x-ray is taken. x-rays of each breast are made from different angles so the breast tissue can be fully examined. While the breast is being compressed, a patient may experience slight discomfort, but usually not pain. If pain occurs during the mammogram, a patient should tell the technologist.
Patients at `Ohana also learn how to perform monthly breast self-exams. Our nationally registered female staff maintains sensitivity and concern for patients' privacy and comfort at the forefront of all we do.
A radiologist specially educated in mammography will study your mammograms and send a written report to your doctor. In most cases, your doctor will have the written report within two working days and will inform you of the results of your mammogram. You will also receive written results of your exam.
You may be asked to return to `Ohana for additional x-rays and/or ultrasound. This does not always mean an abnormality was found. Often the radiologist sees an area that requires additional or special x-rays for a more complete evaluation. If you have any questions, please call your doctor.