Medical Imaging Northwest | Digital Screening Mammography

Digital Screening Mammography

There are two reasons women choose not to get a mammogram: fear of pain and fear of learning a cancer diagnosis. "It's better to know than not to know because the quicker we find out if you have breast cancer, the sooner you can get treatment and the more likelihood that you'll be a survivor," said Cindy, Diagnostic Imaging Northwest's Mammography tech.

"I'm going to call everyone I know and tell them to go get a mammogram," said Mary. "All they do is take your breast and put it in a machine and squeeze it. It doesn't hurt, just go have one done."

Mary's mammogram will guide doctors if changes occur in the future. As for now, she no longer has anything to be afraid of. "I'm tough now," said Mary. "I have had my mammogram so I'm brave."

What is Digital Screening Mammography?

Digital Mammography is an x-ray examination of the breasts. The breasts receive a very low dose of radiation. The value of mammography is its ability to detect irregularities that are extremely small, many times too small to be felt by touch in the breast tissue.  The American Cancer Society recommends the following mammography guidelines for women without symptoms: 35-39 years - Baseline Mammography; 40+ years - every year after 40 years old.

Women with a family history of breast cancer or who smoke cigarettes should consult with their physician or healthcare provider about their recommended frequency for mammography.
Each mammography examination serves as a basis for future comparison. By detecting any indication of breast cancer in the earliest stages, it can be treated with a significantly higher degree of success.

Be assured that our mammography services are among the most accurate and advanced available. Among these offerings is the use of a computer assisted detection (CAD) system called CADStream, which minimizes the possibility of false negative readings during the review of screening mammograms.

What should I expect?

After checking in with the receptionist, you will be escorted to your dressing booth. Please wear a two-piece outfit because you will be requested to remove all clothing above the waist. You will then be accompanied to a mammography room where you will be given instructions about the examination.

During the examination a female Technologist will position your breast in a compression device, which will be used to decrease the overall thickness of each breast during filming. This helps provide not only a better image, but also allows us to use a lower radiation dose. For some women the compression may be uncomfortable, but this only lasts a few seconds and the compression is released immediately following the image exposure.

Once the exam has been completed, you may be asked to wait a few minutes before dressing. This will allow us to ensure that no additional images will be needed. Once cleared to get dressed, you may return home.

When will I receive results?

Results are usually available three business days after the procedure. Please contact your referring physician if you have specific questions at that time. Typically, a report will be sent to you describing the results of your mammogram, or indicating whether there is a need for you to return for additional breast imaging. 

Medical Imaging Northwest is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) in mammography.

Which locations provide the service?

Puyallup Imaging Center
Sunrise Imaging Center
Bonney Lake Imaging Center

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