Elite Mamm

What is an Elite Mamm?

An In-Depth Approach to Breast Health and the Best Choice for Your Next Mammogram

  • 3D Mammography. At Delaney, we know the importance of detecting breast cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage. That’s why we recommend 3D mammography to all of our patients, for clearer views that can lead to enhanced early detection and fewer callbacks. More information for us means less worry for you.
  • Breast Density Education. Dense breast tissue is quite common, but it can make finding cancer on a mammogram more difficult. If you are identified as having dense breasts, additional studies may be required. We’ll keep you informed about what tests you’ll need and how often you’ll need them, so you’ll always be in the know.
  • Same Day, Face-to-Face Results. If you need a diagnostic mammogram (not a screening), our team will guide you through the process to make it less stressful. Any diagnostic mammogram resulting in the need for additional testing can include a one-on-one consultation with one of our breast-imaging radiologists.
  • Personal, Compassionate Care. Whether you’re coming back to see us for a biopsy, an inconclusive mammogram or a similar issue, we want you to know you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve designed a special treatment program for women in your situation, for extra support when you need it most.
  • Comfort and Convenience. We provide a unique experience for our mammography patients so your annual exam is something you might actually look forward to. We’ve created a calm, soothing in-office environment and appointment times that work for your schedule—including early morning, evening and weekend hours as well as walk-in appointments.
Mammography ACR Logo

What is Mammography?

A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray study used to examine tissues inside the breast for abnormalities that may indicate breast cancer. Today, mammography is considered “the gold standard” for detection of breast cancer at an early stage when it is much more treatable, because mammograms can often find signs of breast cancer long before an abnormality such as a lump will be detectable in a physical exam.

Delaney Radiology added 3D mammography in September of 2016. 3D mammography is also known as tomosynthesis and enhances our ability to detect breast cancer at the earliest, most treatable stage. 3D mammography also integrates the capabilities of computer-aided detection (CAD), further enhancing our ability to detect breast cancer at the earliest, most treatable stage. Supplementing the conventional 2D mammogram with multiple image “slices” showing breast tissue at different depths, 3D mammograms are especially beneficial to women with dense breast tissue, which can make tumors harder to see in a 2D mammogram.

A study in the American Journal of Radiology showed that tomosynthesis has improved detection of invasive aggressive breast cancers up to 41%, with a 29% increase in the detection of all breast cancers. In addition, there is a 15% decrease in patients recalled for additional mammographic imaging, further serving to decrease patient anxiety.

Screening mammograms vs. diagnostic mammograms: what’s the difference?

The mammogram that is recommended annually for women starting at age 40 (or younger for those with certain risk factors) is called a screening mammogram, since it is a test to have routinely when no symptoms or other signs of suspected disease, such as a breast lump, are present.

A diagnostic mammogram is a more in-depth exam that involves taking more pictures of breast tissue from different angles, so that doctors can take a closer look at any abnormalities. For example, if a mammogram is suspicious or inconclusive, doctors may order a diagnostic mammogram to obtain additional views. In some situations, such as finding an abnormality in a physical breast exam, a doctor may order a diagnostic mammogram without the prior step of a screening mammogram.

Mammography frequently asked questions

When should I have my first mammogram? And how often should I have them?

Delaney Radiology joins the American College of Radiology and other reputable medical societies in recommending that all women have their first mammogram at age 40 and continue to have annual mammograms. Research continues to demonstrate the lifesaving benefits of starting mammograms at 40 and continuing them annually for as long as a woman remains healthy.

Depending on risk factors, starting screening mammograms at an even younger age may also be warranted. For example, women who have had breast cancer before or who have risk factors such as a family history of breast cancer, or who have genetic abnormalities associated with breast cancer risk, should consult with their primary care physician or gynecologist about the age to begin screening and the frequency of screening.

Do I need any other breast cancer screenings?

Women with dense breast tissue, as well as those at higher risk of breast cancer, should also consult with their providers about whether they should have additional screenings to supplement the annual mammogram, such as breast MRI or breast ultrasound.

What about the radiation from mammograms?

Mammograms use very low-dose radiation. In addition, at Delaney Radiology, we follow rigorous protocols to verify the safety of our equipment, including equipment testing on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. Research does not suggest that mammograms increase breast cancer risk, and the demonstrated—and potentially lifesaving—benefits of annual mammograms greatly outweigh any small, theoretical risks of exposure to medical radiation.

What is the best time to have a mammogram?

The week after your menstrual period is generally best. During the week before your period, your breasts are likely to be more tender and sensitive, so we also recommend that you avoid having your mammogram during this time.

For a mammogram or any other imaging exam, if there is any possibility that you may be pregnant, it is important that you inform your technologist. Prior to scheduling your mammogram, it is also important to discuss any problems you may currently be experiencing with your breasts with your doctor. Also keep your doctor informed about your medical history, especially:

  • Hormone use
  • History of past surgeries
  • Family or personal history of breast cancer

Who will read my mammogram?

Your mammogram will be read by one of our highly experienced radiologists. All of our radiologists are certified by the American Board of Radiology, have received special training in digital mammography including 3D imaging, read a large volume of mammograms annually, undergo annual performance audits, and remain at the forefront of breast imaging through continuing medical education specific to breast imaging and disease.

When and how will I find out the results of my mammogram?

Delaney Radiology will send you a letter written in clear language detailing the results. We also send the radiologist’s comprehensive medical report to your physician. The vast majority of women receive a negative or normal report. You may receive a letter indicating that the radiologist has seen something that is clearly benign, such as a cyst. Sometimes we want to see you back before another year, such as a six-month follow-up mammogram of one breast or an ultrasound exam. It is not unusual to be called back within a few days of your mammogram with a request that you return for additional mammograms or an ultrasound exam of the breast. The great majority of such “call-backs” prove to be negative or confirmatory of benign findings such as cysts, benign calcifications, or lymph nodes, so if you get a call from us, please don’t panic!

If our radiologists see a significant or suspicious finding that will require further analysis with imaging or a biopsy, we follow-up and track your progress to ensure that a final diagnosis is established.

  • When you are called back for your exam, you will be taken to a private dressing area to undress from the waist up—this includes removing any jewelry. We will provide you with a gown to put on that opens in the front.
  • Your exam will be conducted by a female technologist who specializes in performing mammograms. She will help you into position at the mammogram unit so that the following procedure can be repeated for each breast:
    • Your breast will be placed on a special platform. A clear plastic plate will be lowered to compress your breast. This helps spread and even out the tissue so that quality images can be created.
    • Your breast will be compressed only long enough for the images to be taken—our technologists are trained to make every effort to balance your comfort with the need for quality images.
    • The technologist will go behind a glass shield to operate the mammogram unit and take the several images of the breast. You will be asked to shift position slightly between views, as the 3D mammography unit creates both a 2D image and multiple images of tissue at different depths.
    • The technologist will then return to help you reposition for imaging the other breast.

The entire exam process takes about 15 minutes.

Learn more

  • Confused about when and why to have a mammogram? Review the key facts on the American College of Radiology’s Mammography Guidelines
  • For further details about mammograms, what to expect during a mammogram, diagnostic vs. screening mammograms, and more, visit the Mammography page on RadiologyInfo.