Mammogram is the most common breast imaging tool used in Australia and one most women over the age of 40 are familiar with.
There are two types of mammography; screening and diagnostic.
Screening Mammograms are performed if you have no breast abnormality or family history. Diagnostic exams are performed when you do have a symptom such as a lump. There is no technical difference in the actual mammogram you will undergo.
At Queensland X-Ray 3D mammography is standard in all practices and provided automatically with no extra cost to patients.
A breast Tomosynthesis exam or 3D Mammogram is very similar to a traditional mammogram, however it shows the breast tissue in thin ‘layers,’ typically one millimeter thick. Much like a X-ray compares to a CT.
Multiple low dose images of each breast are taken from different angles, whilst an X-ray tube moves around the breast in an arc. 3D imaging reduces the overlap and uncovers distortions and speculated masses. A better outcome with no extra radiation!
- Proven to detect twenty to sixty-five percent more invasive breast cancers compared to 2D alone, which is an average increase of forty-one percent.
- Proven to reduce callbacks by up to forty percent compared to 2D alone.
How do I prepare?
Please arrive early for your exam as you will be asked to change into a gown. Wearing a two piece outfit can make this easier for you.
On arrival, please present to reception. You will be asked to complete a short questionnaire about your medical history.
We recommend you have an appointment one week after your period has finished as this is when your breasts are less tender.
Please bring any previous examinations performed outside of Queensland X-Ray with you. If you have had your previous Mammograms with us, we will have your images already stored.
Please shower before the appointment and don’t use deodorant, antiperspirant, talcum powder, perfume or lotions after. These can affect the images.
Technology and Team
Each of our practices use different equipment including a Holgic system which is considered the gold standard in Breast Imaging by Specialists.
Your Mammogram will be performed by a Mammographer who is a trained medical professional. The images the Mammographer captures are then viewed by a Radiologist who makes a diagnosis.
All of our Mammographers who perform Mammograms are female.
What happens during my examination
You will be asked to remove the robe from one shoulder at a time and lean towards the machine, placing your breast on a flat plate which is moved to your chest height.
A plastic paddle is then lowered onto the breast, essentially compressing the breast. It will be done as quickly as possible and be as discreet as possible for your comfort. The compression only lasts for a short amount of time, and although it may be a little uncomfortable is essential to the success of the examination.
This is usually repeated on both breasts.
In most cases, we recommend you have an Ultrasound straight after the Mammogram. These two imaging modalities work hand in hand to allow the Radiologist the best chance of seeing the smallest lesions, and making an accurate diagnosis.
Following the Mammogram, we will ask you to stay robed whilst our Mammographer and Radiologist review the images, to make sure we have captured everything they need.
Any tenderness experienced after the examination should settle within a few days. It is advisable to wear a well supporting bra during this time.
After your examination
The results of your Mammogram will be sent directly to your referring Doctor. Please ensure you book a timely follow-up appointment to discuss your results with them.
The cost of a Mammogram will depend on the reason for your scan. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.