Mammography at MacArthur Medical Center
Screening mammography and early detection saves lives. When caught early, breast cancer is highly treatable. Mammography is the first step in catching breast cancer before it spreads to other parts of the body.
MacArthur Medical Center has mammography as an important part of our imagining services. Located on our main Irving campus, patients can enjoy the easy access and convenience of screening mammography soon after seeing their provider for regular Well Woman care.
Early Detection: The first step
One in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer – the most common form of cancer in women. Breast cancer does not present any symptoms during its early stages, when the tumor is still small and the risk of it spreading is significantly lower. Physicians recommend annual screening exams to detect cancer as soon as possible.
What is Mammography? How Does It Work? What Should I Expect?
Mammography is a non-invasive imaging procedure that uses an image like an x-ray to examine the inside of the breast.
In the past, most exams were done on standard systems that produce 2D images of breast tissue. Doctors would review the images to detect suspicious lesions or tumors (lumps). It was a challenge because lesions are often hidden overlapping or dense layers of tissue.
This exam is different. It uses digital 3D mammography imaging. Here’s how it works:
The x-ray tube of the system will move around the breast and take 25 images. The images are assembled int a 3D rendering so your doctor can review your breast tissues one layer at a time.
During your mammogram the breast is positioned between the x-ray tube and the detector and, for a short time, while the images are being created, the breast is gently and carefully compressed down and flattened. This is necessary in order to get a concludsive, high quality image. The eam is tailored to each patient, with the machine stopping as soon as optimal breast compression is achieved.
At MacArthur Medical Center, we use only the most up-to-date technology and equipment to provide the most comfortable experience possible for our patients. Not all mammograms are painful and it isn’t necessarily true that you will feel any discomfort at all. But, everyone is different. Because compression is the most important part of getting a good image of the breast, it’s unfortunately a necessary step in the processes.
The American College of Radiology recommends annual mammography screenings beginning at the age of 40 for women with average risk of developing breast cancer.
How to Prepare for Your Mammogram
- Inform your doctor at your regular Well Women appointment of any family history of breast cancer and follow your doctor’s guidance of screening.
- Do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your period if your beasts are usually tender during this time. The best time to schedule is the week after your period.
- Always inform your doctor or imaging technologist if there a possibility you may be pregnant.
- Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder, or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam. These can appear on the mammogram as spots.
- If possible, obtain prior mammogram images and make them available to your doctor or technologist at the time of the exam or before.
For more information on Mammography at MMC, call us today to schedule an appointment at 972.256.3700.
Monday-Thursday: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Friday: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm