Mammography and Breast Imaging
Breast cancer statistics are staggering. One in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. Almost everyone personally knows someone who has had breast cancer. Even with the development of multiple other breast imaging technologies, mammography is still the best way to detect the majority of breast cancers as early as possible. And although it is rare to find someone who looks forward to having their mammogram, most women understand that mammograms are important in diagnosing breast cancer and that the treatment is easier, the earlier the breast cancer is found.
Piedmont Fayette Hospital (PFH) and Piedmont Newnan Hospital (PNH) provide breast imaging services from start to finish, starting with screening mammograms for women who have no breast symptoms, to diagnostic mammograms and breast ultrasounds (sonograms) for women and men currently experiencing a breast problem, to breast biopsies for those who have a suspicious breast abnormality. Additional breast imaging services include breast MRI, ductograms, and preoperative localizations to indicate the site of the abnormality to the surgeon for removal.
The mammography services at the Piedmont Fayette Women’s Center and at the Piedmont Coweta County facilities are all digital allowing better visualization of the breast tissue by the radiologist. Although compression is still required as with non-digital equipment, the compression is only mildly uncomfortable, but not painful for most women and lasts for only a few seconds. An added benefit of digital mammography is that the radiation exposure is less with digital mammography.
Current treatment methods for breast cancer are highly successful, but the treatments are more easily tolerated with earlier, smaller breast cancers which is why early detection is so important. There has been some controversy lately as to when mammography should start and how often it should be performed. At Piedmont South Imaging, we continue to strongly support the long term recommendations which are to start yearly screening mammography at age 40 (some women with family histories of early breast cancer in their mother or sister may need to start earlier than age 40).
The Piedmont South Imaging radiologists, as well as our highly experienced and empathetic technologists, look forward to working with you to optimize your breast health. Excellent resources for more detailed information about breast cancer and breast cancer screening are the American Cancer Society website at www.cancer.org and the American College of Radiology patient information websites at www.mammographysaveslives.org and for information about any radiology procedures including mammography at www.radiologyinfo.org.