A mammogram is a special x-ray of the breast.
Mammography can detect lumps and other forms of breast disease, including breast cancer, that may be too small to be felt by an experienced examiner. This early detection is your best opportunity for a total cure.
X-ray equipment dedicated exclusively to performing mammograms is used. This allows us to use x-ray levels that are three to nine times lower than normal x-ray levels.
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Unlike standard mammography, which records images on film using an x-ray cassette, digital mammography captures images using an x-ray phosphorous detector, which converts the image into a digital picture. After the exam, the radiologist can alter the magnification, brightness or contrast of an image to see areas more clearly.
Digital imaging provides superior image quality so that subtle differences between normal and abnormal tissues are easily identified.
Digital mammograms are available at:
Analog (non-digital) mammograms are available at:
A prescription from your physician is required. If you do not have a physician, click here to find a physician near you or call our HealthConnection service for a referral. Our representatives may be reached at (716) 706-2112 from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday - Friday.
Cancer Services Programs of Western New York (CSPWNY) provide free breast, cervical, and colon cancer screenings to uninsured women and men in all seven counties of Western New York. With enrollment in this program, free screenings, diagnostics, and treatment services are available at most Catholic Health sites. Please call CSPWNY to enroll.
Menstruation: If you are pre-menopausal, try to schedule your mammogram the week after your period, when your breasts will be the least sensitive. Avoid having your mammogram the week before your period.
Records: If you have mammography films or images from another hospital or clinic, contact their radiology records department and make arrangements to pick them up prior to your mammogram. You will need to bring these to your appointment.
Beverages: Avoid caffeinated beverages 48 hours prior to your exam, as caffeine could make your breasts more sensitive.
Do not wear deodorant or any other powders, perfumes or locations under your arms or breast area on the day of your appointment. Residues produced by these items could show up on and interfere with your images.
Wear comfortable clothing to your appointment. Because you will be asked to remove all of your clothes from the waist up, you may wish to dress in two pieces. Gowns will be available for you to wear prior to your exam.
Bring all previous mammography images to your appointment if you had them taken outside the Catholic Health network.
Once in the mammography room, a specially trained breast technician will perform an initial examination of your breasts for abnormalities. She will then position one breast on the mammogram system. A soft plastic paddle will compress the breast. This compression is necessary to even out the breast tissue so that the entire breast is X-rayed and small tumors are not obscured by overlapping tissue. Compression also provides better images by reducing motion and X-ray scatter.
The technician will stand behind a glass plate and take the first breast X-ray. She will then reposition you to take a side view of the same breast. The procedure will then be repeated with the other breast, for a total of four X-rays or two of each breast. If your breasts are very large or if you have implants, four X-rays might be taken of each breast.
You may leave immediately following the procedure.
The radiologist will study the mammography images collected and report the results to your physician.
If you are called back for a follow-up breast ultrasound, MRI or additional mammogram views, it means only that the radiologist needs more complete information – it does not indicate that you have breast cancer. Most of the spots detected by mammography are benign.
We will bill your insurance company directly. Please bring your insurance card and referral/authorization form on the day of your exam.