Diagnostic Breast Imaging & Mammograms

The Ackerman Cancer Center Breast Imaging team is proud to offer compassionate, personalized screening and diagnostic breast imaging services at both our Jacksonville and Amelia Island offices. 

What is a Screening Mammogram?

Breast cancer is common, affecting 1 in 8 women. It is important to know that 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. Finding breast cancer at the earliest possible stage greatly increases your chances for a complete cure. Breast cancer is often asymptomatic and undetectable on physical exam until the cancer is advanced. Screening mammography is an essential test to detect breast cancer before symptoms arise. Deaths due to breast cancer are decreased by 40% in women who receive a yearly screening mammogram compared to women who do not.  All women at average lifetime risk for breast cancer are recommended to receive a yearly screening mammogram beginning at age 40.  Women with high lifetime risk for breast cancer benefit from yearly screening mammograms beginning at age 30.

  • Digital Mammogram - The gold standard, first-choice test for early breast cancer detection is the digital mammogram. The exam involves taking images of both breasts from different angles.
  • 3D Mammogram (also called Digital Breast Tomosynthesis)3D mammography is a powerful technique that improves the power of the traditional digital mammogram for the detection of early breast cancer.  3D mammograms are performed with the classic 2D mammogram.  The 2D and 3D mammograms feel identical, except that during the 3D mammogram, the machine moves in a shallow arc. The 3D mammogram provides images of the breasts in slices as thin as 1 mm. These thin-slice pictures help to examine the breast tissues layer by layer. 3D mammography has been shown to improve detection of invasive cancers when used in conjunction with standard mammography.  Having a 3D mammogram can also clarify areas in question on the traditional mammogram, decreasing the chances that you will be recalled from your screening mammogram for a diagnostic breast imaging exam. 
What is Diagnostic Breast Imaging?

Women with an area of concern on the screening mammogram or with breast symptoms such as a lump, nipple or skin changes, or focal breast pain should have a diagnostic breast imaging exam. Women with a personal history of treated breast cancer or high lifetime risk for breast cancer may also benefit from a diagnostic breast imaging evaluation. Diagnostic breast imaging is a problem-solving tool that uses mammography, breast ultrasound, or a combination of both types of imaging tests to exclude or confirm breast cancer.

  • Diagnostic Mammogram - The diagnostic mammogram uses either traditional 2D or 3D mammography techniques to obtain customized pictures of the breast tissues.  Each diagnostic mammogram exam is uniquely tailored to the woman receiving the exam and the reason for the test. 
  • Breast Ultrasound - Breast ultrasound can add important helpful information as a part of the diagnostic breast imaging exam.  Unlike mammography, breast ultrasound does not require compression of the breasts, and is performed while lying down.  Ultrasound uses sound waves to analyze the breast tissues, and is especially helpful in determining if a breast lump is fluid-filled or solid in composition.
How Do I Prepare?

Avoid wearing deodorant as it may contain tiny particles which may appear cloudy or as areas of concern. It is suggested you wear comfortable shoes and pants as you will have to undress from the waist up.

What to Expect

The screening exam takes about fifteen minutes, with most of the exam time dedicated to a discussion of your breast health history and any current symptoms with the technologist performing the exam. The breast is under moderate compression during the screening process. Each image takes a few seconds or less, with most women requiring between four and eight images. You will be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds as each image is taken.

After Your Imaging Appointment

After the imaging, you may resume your regular routine. Results from your screening mammogram will be mailed to you and your referring healthcare provider. If there is a concern, we will contact you immediately to schedule diagnostic testing.

If you undergo diagnostic imaging, a board-certified breast imaging radiology physician will interpret your scans immediately after the images are taken, and our physicians will discuss the results in person at the end of your appointment.

 

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