Mammography at Touchstone Medical Imaging
Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in the U.S. Annual screening mammograms greatly increase your chances for detecting this disease at earlier, more treatable stages. Touchstone Medical Imaging provides screening and diagnostic mammogram services, delivering results you and your doctor can feel confident about.
We offer mammography at locations in Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas, making it easier to schedule an appointment near where you live and work. Touchstone Medical Imaging schedules same-day and next-day appointments, often with early morning, evening and weekend hours, to accommodate your busy schedule.
Screening and diagnostic mammograms
A mammogram—a diagnostic and screening tool that uses low-energy X-rays to examine the breast—helps doctors monitor breast health and detect breast cancer early. In fact, a mammogram can identify cancer as soon as two years before you can feel a lump.
Receiving an early diagnosis allows your doctors to initiate a treatment plan in the most effective manner possible, before the cancer has a chance to spread. Cure rates approach 100% for breast cancer still confined to the breast ducts, according to the American Cancer Society. Digital mammograms, like the ones we perform at Touchstone Medical Imaging, have become the gold standard for breast cancer screening.
Your doctor may order a diagnostic mammogram if your screening mammogram points to abnormalities in your breast or if you have dense breast tissue that requires additional images for further analysis. A diagnostic mammogram, like a screening mammogram, takes images of your breast using X-ray technology. However, a diagnostic mammogram captures additional images to provide even more detailed information about your breast health.
During a diagnostic mammogram, a radiologist reviews images as they are taken. If the radiologist needs additional pictures to more closely examine an area of concern, our technologist can take them before you leave the mammography room.
A Touchstone Medical Imaging radiologist may interpret your diagnostic mammogram in one of three ways:
- An area that looked abnormal on a screening mammogram turns out to be normal. You can go back to routine yearly screening.
- An area of concern probably is not cancer, but the radiologist may want to watch the area closely. We may ask you to return for another screening in four to six months.
- The results suggest that you need a biopsy to find out if an abnormal area identified on the mammogram is cancer or benign tissue. Most biopsies come back negative for cancer according to the American Cancer Society.
Who needs a mammogram
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women ages 40 years and older receive a screening mammogram annually, although some women may need screenings earlier. Women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer should talk with a doctor about when to start screenings and how frequently to get them. Most health insurance plans cover an annual screening mammogram.
Preparing for your mammogram
The following tips can help make your mammogram go smoothly.
Time your test.
Schedule your mammogram appointment after your period when your breasts will be less sensitive and/or swollen. This will help to minimize any discomfort and improve the quality of the images.
The first time you visit Touchstone Medical Imaging for a mammogram, bring a list of important details about previous mammograms with you. Include dates and locations of those visits (if they were performed at another facility), as well as information about biopsies and treatments.
Tell the technologist performing your mammogram about any changes in your breasts or problem areas you have noticed. Describe any breast surgeries you have had, as well as your personal and family history of breast cancer. Also, let the technologist know if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or using hormone therapy.
Know what not to wear.
Do not wear antiperspirant, deodorant or talcum powder to your appointment. These products can show up on your X-ray as white spots, which may resemble areas of abnormal breast tissue on the radiology images. Avoid one-piece outfits, such as a dress or jumpsuit. Instead, opt for a two-piece outfit so you only need to remove your shirt and bra for the mammogram.
How a mammogram works
A screening mammogram takes approximately 20 minutes. We will provide a wrap for you to change into prior to the test. During the test, the technologist will position your breasts in order to take images from multiple angles. Two views of each of your breasts are taken for a screening mammogram. The breast compression portion of the mammogram lasts only for a few brief seconds for each view.
A diagnostic mammogram may require more time than a screening mammogram. Your technologist takes a higher number of images so the radiologist can closely examine the area of concern.
Advanced breast screening services in a compassionate environment
Our technologists strive to make your experience as pleasant and convenient as possible, whether you’re here for a screening mammogram or a diagnostic mammogram. In addition to a positive patient experience, expect the Touchstone Medical Imaging team of subspecialized, fellowship-trained radiologists to deliver prompt, precise results you and your doctors can trust.
Do you need a screening mammogram, or has your doctor ordered a diagnostic mammogram for more information about a suspicious finding? Touchstone Medical Imaging offers mammography at multiple locations, with same-day and next-day appointments available. Find the Touchstone Imaging Center closest to you, then call to schedule an imaging appointment.