Hospital encourages mammography awareness

What is a mammogram? A screening mammogram helps detect early signs of breast cancer, which may allow for more treatment options and improved prognosis. Mammograms cannot determine if you have breast cancer with a single test, and potential cancer will require further examination.

What are the diff erent types of breast screening?
• Mammogram: Th e patient stands in front of the mammography unit, and a technologist uncovers the breast to be scanned and places it on a clear plastic plate. Then a second plate lowers until the breast is pressed between the two plastic plates. Images are taken of each breast from the front and the side. TIP: If your breasts are tender or swollen due to your menstrual cycle, consider rescheduling your mammogram to the week following your menstrual cycle.

• Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Breast
MRI): Used for women at higher risk of breast cancer, as a breast cancer staging tool, or to identify lesions in women who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer. Th e breast MRI creates 3-D, detailed images of the breast using a magnet connected to a computer. Sometimes doctors order a Breast MRI with contrast, meaning that a contrast dye is injected into your body through an IV. TIP:

• Breast Ultrasound: Generally used for women with lumps or abnormalities identifi ed during a breast self-exam, clinical breast exam or mammogram. Th e test bounces sound waves off the breast tissue to create a picture called a sonogram. You’ll lie down on a table, raise your hands above your head, and have a waterbased gel applied to the area. Th e radiologist or sonographer runs the transducer over your breast. TIP: A breast ultrasound does not replace regular mammograms.
What is the Recommended mammogram screening schedule?

• Average risk of breast cancer: Annual mammogram beginning at age 40
• High risk of breast cancer: Consult your physician.

Continuing its leadership in women’s health, VRMC is the only hospital in south Texas to be a designated Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR recognizes only those facilities with breast imaging centers that have earned accreditation in mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, and breast ultrasound (including ultrasound-guided breast biopsy).
Schedule your mammogram today by calling 956.350.7525.