*Evening appointments now available! Open until 7:00 pm Monday – Thursday*
More women trust AMI’s Women Center to perform their mammograms than any other clinic in Nebraska. The all-female staff and private, spa-like setting make these appointments as comfortable as possible. The American College of Radiology (ACR) recommends an annual screening mammogram beginning at age 40, for women with an average risk of breast cancer. Women with an increased risk for breast cancer may need to start mammography sooner or include other imaging in their screening plan. Screening mammogram appointments do not require a physician’s referral and can be requested by calling 402-484-6677.
Mammography is the taking of low-dose x-ray images of breast tissue that can be used to detect breast cancer.
- Screening mammograms allow radiologists to find breast abnormalities even before they can be felt during a physical exam. The successful treatment of breast cancer is often linked to early detection and diagnosis. AMI uses 3D mammography (also as known as Digital Breast Tomosynthesis or DBT), the new standard for annual screening, that is covered by all major insurance companies. To learn more about this test, read the frequently asked questions below.
- Diagnostic mammograms are used to evaluate a patient with abnormal symptoms such as a breast lump, nipple discharge or “cystic” breasts that may have been noticed during an exam or screening mammogram
What to Expect
Patients should discuss any new findings or breast issues with their primary care provider (PCP) before a mammogram appointment. Patients will also be required to list a PCP whom the mammogram results can be sent to. Suggested appointment times are a week after a menstrual cycle in an attempt to avoid breast tenderness. Patients should always inform the technologist of any breast symptoms, issues or if there is any possibility of pregnancy. Patients will need to undress from the waist up. Wipes are provided to remove deodorant/antiperspirant. At AMI’s Women Center, a special top and a robe is provided for modesty and warmth.
Radiologic technologists, known as mammographers, perform the exams. The breast is placed on a special platform and compressed with a paddle from above. The compression is required to spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities won’t be covered by overlying breast tissue and to hold the breast still to decrease blurring of the image. An x-ray image will be taken and patients will be asked to change positions between images. The routine views are a top-to-bottom view and a side view of both breasts.
Screening mammogram patients can leave immediately after their exam and will receive their results in the mail. It is important to remember that when a patient is asked to have additional images for a perceived abnormality, the large majority of the time, there are no cancer cells present. Patients should not be concerned if they are asked to return for additional screening such as a diagnostic mammogram and/or ultrasound.
Diagnostic mammogram patients will be asked to wait after their scan, because the AMI radiologists can usually have a result not long after the images are taken.
3D Screening Mammogram Frequently Asked Questions
Is a 3D mammogram appointment different from a 2D mammogram?
The time it takes and number of scans/compressions performed are the same – two per breast on average. The only difference you will notice is that, while taking the image, the camera above will move. This allows images from multiple angles. Instead of simply giving the radiologists four images to view like the former 2D scans, 3D shows them an image for every millimeter of breast tissue with no additional time away from your busy schedule.
Do I have to wait for results after my exam?
Unlike 2D mammograms, you will no longer need to wait after your scan for results. Due to the additional images to look at, our physicians need more time to read your scan. They are dedicated to getting the result to you via our patient portal and your referring provider as soon as possible.
Is there more radiation used during a 3D scan than a 2D scan?
Not at AMI. We specifically selected equipment that does not utilize more radiation during a 3D mammogram.
If you are concerned about radiation, don’t be. Here is some information from the American Cancer Society to help ease your mind.
“Mammograms expose the breasts to small amounts of radiation. But the benefits of mammography outweigh any possible harm from the radiation exposure. Modern machines use low radiation doses to get breast x-rays that are high in image quality. On average the total dose for a typical mammogram with 2 views of each breast is about 0.4 millisieverts, or mSv. (A mSv is a measure of radiation dose.)
To put the dose into perspective, people in the US are normally exposed to an average of about 3 mSv of radiation each year just from their natural surroundings. (This is called background radiation.) The dose of radiation used for a screening mammogram of both breasts is about the same amount of radiation a woman would get from her natural surroundings over about 7 weeks.”
At what age should I stop receiving screening mammograms?
Our doctors follow the recommendations of the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR recommends that women do not stop screening until they have reached a point in their life where, if they found out they had breast cancer, they would not take any action to treat it. The ACR has no age limit on breast cancer screening – it is all based on health and quality of life. Your primary care provider can help you make the decision of when is right for you.
What if I don't have insurance?
Most patients without insurance can also receive access to a free 3D screening mammogram at AMI through our partners at Every Woman Matters (EWM). To enroll in this program, women can visit the EWM website or call (800) 532-2227.