1. There is so much confusion on when to get a mammogram. When do I start, when do I stop and how often do I get my mammogram?
The American College of Radiology (ACR) states that yearly mammograms should begin at age 40. This was deduced after MANY years of research and we found that at that age we can detect cancer at a stage early enough to decrease morbitity and mortality while minimizing radiation exposure in the long run. If you have a first degree relative diagnosed with breast cancer (e.g., a mother or a sister), then annual screening should begin at an age 10 years younger than your relative's age at diagnosis.
2. Why is digital mammography so important and does RASF have it at all our locations?
We DO have digital mammograms at all of our locations. It is the difference between a film picture and digital picture that we now have with our personal cameras. With digital imaging we decrease radiation because we decrease the need for additional imaging. We have much better resolution and we are able to window and fine tune our images AFTER they are taken for finer details. Digital mammograms also mean we have instant access to all your prior exams, regardless of when or where they were taken, as long as they were taken at a location served by RASF.
3. Can you talk about the radiation exposure and risk to the individual seeking mammography?
Mammograms do expose us to radiation but so do many other activities in our daily lives. We are exposed to radiation from living above sea level, getting dental work done, traveling on airplanes. A mammogram exposes us to radiation once a year and it's well worth it. To put things in perspective, we all are exposed to radiation just by living on the earth, from natural background radiation and cosmic rays. The effective dose from a mammogram is equal to approximately 7 weeks of living on the earth.
4. Is there a special radiologist training to read mammography and advanced breast imaging?
YES. Radiologist have to go through 4 years of medical school, 4 years of residency AND THEN subspecialize in breast imaging for one year in order to read advanced breast imaging studies.
5. Does my Doctor receive my mammogram results?
6. I receive a letter in the mail regarding my results, why?
We like our patients to be informed and to make sure that the patients know what we are recommending, why we are recommending, and the next necessary steps.
7. Is Breast self and clinical exam important?
Yes. No doctor will ever know your breasts better than you know your own. Clinicalexamination is important to assess for any new palpable lumps.
8. When should you do self breast exam, and how often should you seek clinical breast exam?
Self breast exam should be done once a month at the same time during your menstrual cycle. Clinical breast exam should be performed at least once a year at a well or gyn visit.
9. What other Breast Imaging exams (ultrasound, Breast MRI, PEM) do we have and when should they be used?
We provide mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs and PEM imaging. Mammograms are performed on everyone. Ultrasounds are reserved for dense breast tissue, high risk patients and patients that are feeling lumps or have findings on their mammograms. MRIs and PEM are used in high risk patients, patients that have a known breast cancer diagnosis and for problem solving cases.
10. Tell me about the Breast Center, where it is and what they do?
Radiology Associates of South Florida is proud to provide the Baptist Health Breast Center with breast imaging services. The Baptist Health Breast Center in South Miami is a healing place that features the most advanced digital imaging technology and top-quality surgical and diagnostic care in a private, soothing atmosphere. At our calming center, we strive to provide exceptional care and support for you and your family's health and well-being. Our Board-certified physicians are fellowship trained in breast radiology and dedicate all of their time to interpreting advanced breast imaging studies and performing breast biopsies. We provide cutting edge technology including breast MRI and PEM imaging and perform stereotactic, ultrasound and MRI core biopsies.
11. Who are care coaches and what do they do?
We also have a unique CareCoach program at our institute. CareCoaches are available to provide compassionate, ongoing support and individualized attention before, during and after treatment. Their only job is to ease anxiety and help with whatever needs you feel you may have, whether it be finding ancillary care, making follow up appointments, questions about insurance, or just general breast care questions. If they do not have the answer they can quickly find it for you. Our caring, compassionate staff is dedicated to the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
12. Is it important to go to a breast specialist?
YES. It's important that your breast radiologists have special training in breast imaging and that they deal with breast imaging all day long. Their eyes are better trained to catch things that are important and to recognize benign findings and avoid unnecessary additional testing.
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