What happens if my mammogram is normal?
Continue to get mammograms according to recommended time intervals. Mammograms work best when they can be compared with previous ones. This allows the radiologist to compare them to look for changes in your breasts.
What happens if my mammogram is abnormal?
An abnormal mammogram does not always mean that there is cancer. But you will need to have additional mammograms, tests, or exams before the doctor can tell for sure. You may also be referred to a breast specialist or a surgeon. It does not necessarily mean you have cancer or need surgery. These doctors are experts in diagnosing breast problems. Doctors will do follow-up tests to diagnose breast cancer or to find that there is no cancer.
Doctors often use additional tests to find or diagnose breast cancer following a digital mammogram. They may refer women to a breast specialist or a surgeon. This does not mean that she has cancer or that she needs surgery. These doctors are experts in diagnosing breast problems.
- Breast ultrasound. A machine that uses sound waves to make detailed pictures, called sonograms, of areas inside the breast. Bolivar Medical Center's Department of Radiology is equipped to perform breast ultrasounds.
- Diagnostic mammogram. If you have a problem in your breast, such as lumps, or if an area of the breast looks abnormal on a screening mammogram, doctors may have you get a diagnostic mammogram. This is a more detailed X-ray of the breast.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A kind of body scan that uses a magnet linked to a computer. The MRI scan will make detailed pictures of areas inside the breast. Bolivar Medical Center's Department of Radiology is equipped to perform MRI's.
- Biopsy. This is a test that removes tissue or fluid from the breast to be looked at under a microscope and do more testing. There are different kinds of biopsies (for example, stereotactic biopsy, fine-needle aspiration, core biopsy, or open biopsy).
- Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
What is a stereotactic breast biopsy?
Stereotactic biopsy is a diagnostic tool. It is a non-surgical way to obtain the tissue sample needed to make a conclusive diagnosis. The procedure is state-of-the-art and provides early, accurate results. Two digital x-ray images of breast tissue are taken at different angles. A computer uses the images to locate the abnormality and calculate precise coordinates. Then the computer guides the physician in placing the needle at the correct target area.
Advantages of this breast biopsy procedure include:
- simple, safe and painless
- local anesthesia only and no stitches needed
- highly accurate diagnosis
- capability of collecting multiple samples without needle removal