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- What is Breast Self-Exam (BSE)?
- How Often Should I Perform a BSE?
- What is a Clinical Breast Exam?
- When Should I Receive a CBE?
- What is a screening mammogram?
- What is a diagnostic mammogram?
- Who reviews the mammography images/results?
- What is digital mammography?
- How do I prepare for a mammogram?
- What is a breast ultrasound?
A. A breast self-exam (BSE) is a technique used by women to become familiar with the normal look and feel of their breast. BSEs are important in keeping you aware of changes in your breasts. Knowing how your breasts normally look and feel is crucial in detecting abnormalities.
A. A monthly BSE is recommended for all women beginning at age 20.
A. A clinical breast exam (CBE) is similar to a BSE, except it is performed by your health care provider. If you have questions about how to perform a BSE, your health care provider can discuss and demonstrate the proper technique during your CBE.
A. Depending on your family history and whether or not breast cancer has affected someone in your family, CBEs should be performed at least once every three years beginning at age 20. After age 40, CBEs are recommended at least once a year. Generally, CBEs are performed during annual Pap smear and pelvic exams.
A. A screening mammogram is a low dose x-ray of the breast. A mammogram consists of two images of each breast. The images are used to detect changes in the breasts of women who have no signs or symptoms suspicious for breast cancer.
An annual screening mammogram is recommended for all women over the age of 40.
A. A diagnostic mammogram is used for problem solving. For example, a diagnostic mammogram would be performed if a lump is found in the breast, or if there are other signs suspicious for breast cancer. A diagnostic mammogram might also be used to follow a particular finding over time.
Diagnostic mammograms are tailored to each patient's case and are monitored by a board certified radiologist who interprets the images and determines whether further testing is needed.
A. All mammography results are reviewed a minimum of two times. The first review is performed by one of our board certified radiologists. The second review is performed by the R2 ImageChecker. The R2 ImageChecker is a Computer Aided Detection (CAD) system that analyzes mammograms giving a computerized "second opinion."
A. Digital mammography is a system where x-ray film pictures of the breast are replaced by solid-state detectors that convert x-rays into electric signals. These detectors are similar to those found in digital cameras. The electrical signals are used to produce images (similar to a digital photograph) of the breast that can be viewed on a computer screen or printed on special films.
The dramatic difference in the quality of that picture allows Lourdes radiologists a better opportunity to discover abnormalities.
A. See "Preparing for Your Mammogram."
A. Ultrasound is a noninvasive test that uses sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the breast. Breast ultrasound is used as a supplemental tool in detecting and diagnosing fluid-filled versus solid abnormalities in the breast.