Vim & Vigor - Fall 2020 - GMC - 53

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What's the best way to
prepare for my mammogram?

If your breasts tend to be sensitive, you may
want to schedule your mammogram during
the week after your period, when the breasts
tend to be least sensitive. Wear a comfortable two-piece outfit so you can change
from the waist up. Do not wear powder or
deodorant on your upper body, since this
can show up on the images and may look
like something suspicious. If your previous
mammogram was performed at another
facility, have that provider send it to us or
bring a copy of the images on a disk. Having
previous images to compare with is very
important to help identify subtle changes
and detect cancers earlier.

Lynn Baxter, MD,
has been director
of breast imaging
for Northside
Radiology
Associates and
chair of the breast
care committee
of Northside
Hospital since
1998. She is
passionate about
educating health
care providers and
patients about
the importance of
early detection.

What do you look for
during a mammogram?

Finding a cancer on a mammogram is very
challenging, since cancers can look similar
to normal breast tissue and there are many
benign (noncancerous) findings in the breast
that can have patterns that look like a cancer.
Most often, a cancer will look like a mass or
a group of tiny specks of calcium clustered
together in one spot. The more irregular the
pattern, the more worrisome it is. Sometimes
cancers can be subtle-just a little distortion
of the tissue pattern or a small increase in
density in a particular area.

If an issue arises from
my results, what are the
next steps?

Because cancers and benign findings can
look so similar on mammograms, at times we
need to ask women to return for additional
imaging to look more closely at a particular
area. If you are asked to come back, don't
panic! About 80 percent of the time, a finding
can be cleared with additional mammogram
images or ultrasound. If there is still a question, it may be recommended that you have a
needle biopsy so that a pathologist can look
at a sample of the tissue under a microscope.
The majority of needle biopsies do not show
cancer and instead allow your provider to
clear the area in question. *

Talk to the
Mammogram
Experts

Every year, Northside
Hospital performs more
than 100,000 mammograms
through outpatient screenings, diagnostic exams and
ScreenAtlanta, the hospital's
mobile mammography unit.
To make an appointment
for your 3D mammogram,
call 404-851-6577.

The 3D Difference: More
Accurate, More Comfortable
Mammograms
Digital breast tomosynthesis, commonly
known as 3D mammography, is the latest advance in mammographic imaging,
improving even further on this lifesaving
technology. Northside Hospital was the
first hospital system in Atlanta to offer 3D
mammography clinically and now offers
high definition 3D across the entire system.
Northside has invested in the most
advanced 3D technology at all of its
mammography locations. This technology
offers 60 percent shorter "compression" time-now less than four seconds.
Northside also has installed flexible
compression paddles that are curved
to fit the shape of a woman's breasts.
Ninety-three percent of women who tried
this new system reported little or no discomfort during their exams.
How do 3D mammograms
compare with 2D?
Traditional mammography takes images
from only two angles for each breast.
These 2D images may capture tissue overlap that can hide a cancer or create an
artificially suspicious pattern in otherwise
normal breast tissue.
By taking images from multiple angles
around the breast, high definition 3D
technology produces sharper, more
detailed scans, allowing radiologists to
see the internal structures of the breasts
more clearly without tissue overlap.
Why are 3D mammograms
recommended?
Because 3D mammograms give radiologists a more detailed look inside the
breast, they provide a better opportunity
to identify cancers or to help identify the
source of a patient's breast symptoms.
They also reduce the chances that a
patient will be asked to return for additional imaging.
In fact, scientific studies in this
country and throughout the world have
shown that 3D mammography finds 30 to
40 percent more cancers than 2D mammography and reduces recall rate by
up to 40 percent.
Also, 3D mammograms are especially
useful for women with dense breast
tissue, where cancers can be harder
to detect.

VIM & VIGOR FALL 2020



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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2020 - GMC - Contents
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