Imaging (Radiology) Procedures
What is the test?
Mammography is an x-ray test of the breasts
and is the most sensitive way to identify early (small) breast cancers. The
American Cancer Society recommends that a woman have a baseline mammogram when
she is between the ages of 30 and 40, and annual mammograms after age 40. A
mammogram is not a perfect test. Both breast self-examination and an annual
physical examination by your health-care provider are important in detecting
A screening mammogram is performed
routinely on a woman with no symptoms, to help identify breast abnormalities
that are not clinically evident.
A diagnostic mammogram is performed to
evaluate a lump, mass, nipple discharge, or other breast symptom, or to evaluate
a finding that is identified on a screening mammogram.
How do I prepare?
Many women find they are more comfortable
during the exam if they have not consumed caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, and
chocolate) for at least 48 hours before a mammogram. Please plan to arrive 15
minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. On the day of the exam, do not
wear deodorant or powder, as they can cause false abnormalities on the
mammogram. You might want to wear a two-piece outfit because you will be asked
to disrobe from the waist up and given a hospital gown to wear.
What can I expect during the
For a screening mammogram, two x-ray views
of each breast are taken. In order to decrease x-ray exposure, and to better
visualize the breast tissue, the breast is specially positioned and compressed
for each mammographic view. As part of our commitment to customer service,
Cayuga Medical Center radiologists immediately review all mammograms so our
patients don’t have the anxiety of waiting for results.
For a variety of reasons, the radiologist
may request that additional films be taken. This should not be a cause for
alarm as extra views are taken often. Also it is not unusual for a breast
ultrasound to be recommended as follow-up to a mammogram. If additional, specialized
views are needed they are done right away. Mammograms are performed by x-ray
technologists who have special training and education in mammography.
How and when will I get my test
A radiologist will interpret the mammogram
while you wait and the results will be shared with you immediately. A full
written report will also be sent to your referring physician, typically within
48 hours. Additional time (3 to 5 days) may be required if we are comparing
these test results to previous findings from another hospital or health-care
Where is the test performed?
Digital mammography is available at all
three Imaging Services centers: Cayuga Medical Center at 101 Dates Drive, off
NYS Route 96 in Ithaca; Convenient Care Center in Ithaca, Warren Road at
Arrowwood Drive; and Convenient Care and Commons Imaging Center in Cortland,
Route 281 at Commons Avenue.
About our Imaging Services
Cayuga Medical Center has a commitment to
and reputation for staying abreast of changing technology and our imaging
equipment is state-of-the-art. Our range of services is comprehensive and we
offer all imaging modalities found in major medical centers. Radiologists are
on site at all three of our locations, which also distinguishes the level of
service we provide.
Imaging Services is staffed by six-board
certified radiologists, many of whom are subspecialists in areas such as
neuroradiology, abdominal CT, and interventional procedures. Assisting them are
experienced radiologic technologists, many of whom have completed advanced
training and are certified in specialty modalities.