Mammography

Overview

Duke Breast Imaging: Right from the Start.

Duke Breast Imaging, a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, offers breast cancer prevention and treatment services including digital screening and diagnostic mammography. Our mission is to provide world class clinical care, accurately detect and diagnose breast cancer and reduce patient’s anxiety by providing timely results and information for any processes that may follow.

To optimize patient care-our dedicated radiologists, physicians who are specially trained and certified in breast imaging, work closely together with a team of breast surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, pathologists, nurses and technologists to make up our Multidisciplinary Breast Program.

Women age 40 or older are recommended to have a screening mammogram once every year. Research has proven annual mammography helps detect early breast cancer when it is most curable. Women under the age of 40, who are at increased risk due to family history or have a past history of breast cancer, may want to speak with their physician whether they should begin screening before the age of 40.

What is a Mammogram?

A mammogram is a picture, or image of the breast, using low dose x-rays.

What is a Screening Mammogram?

A screening mammogram is used to examine the breast for the following:

  • To detect breast disease in women who have had no previous signs or symptoms
  • To evaluate any changes in the breast, and to detect tumors up to two years prior to them being felt.
  • To detect tiny deposits of calcium which can sometimes indicate the presence of breast cancer.

What is a Diagnostic Mammogram?

A diagnostic mammogram is used to evaluate patients with abnormal clinical findings found by the patient’s doctor or the patient herself. Such changes can include but are not limited to:

  • A lump or lumps in the breast
  • Discharge, or fluid, from the nipple other than breast milk
  • A nipple that is inverted (turned inward)
  • Skin changes
  • Swelling or thickening in the underarm area

Diagnostic mammography may also be used to further evaluate an abnormal screening mammogram or for patients with breast implants, whose breast tissue might be difficult to evaluate with a routine screening mammogram.

 

Locations

Duke Breast Imaging is offered at 3 Convenient Locations

Duke Breast Imaging is located in Clinic 2-1 of the Duke Cancer Center. The hours of operation are 7:15am – 4:00pm Monday thru Friday, and 8:00am – 12:00pm on Saturdays. Valet parking is available Monday thru Friday.

Southpoint Mammography is located in the Duke Radiology Imaging Center, at 6301 Herndon Rd, Durham.  The hours of operation are 8:00am – 4:30pm, Monday thru Friday. This site offers preventative maintenance screening mammograms. Free parking available.

Patterson Place Mammography is located on 5324 McFarland Drive, 1st Floor Suite 100, Durham. The hours of operation are 8:00am – 4:30pm, Monday thru Friday. This site offers preventative maintenance screening mammograms. Free parking available.

 

Scheduling

Screening mammography

With three convenient screening locations, including our new state-of-the art Mammography and Breast Imaging Center, patients may schedule their screening mammogram appointment by contacting our Radiology Centralized Scheduling Hub by calling (919)684-7999. Your referring physician must be provided at the time of scheduling to receive your results.

Please note that electronic scheduling for patients is not currently available through dukehealth.org or the Radiology website.

Diagnostic mammography

Your referring physician’s office must schedule your diagnostic mammogram. If you need to reschedule an existing appointment, please contact (919)684-7999.

 

 

My Exam

Prepare for my Mammogram

  • Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam.
  • Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam.
  • Obtain any prior outside mammograms and bring to your appointment so the radiologist may compare results.

What will I experience during my exam?

A specially trained and registered technologist will position your breast on a special platform, made of clear plastic. Once you are in the correct position, your breast will be held between the platform and the compression paddle. Compressing the breast is necessary in order to:

  • Even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized.
  • Allow the use of a lower x-ray dose since a thinner amount of breast tissue is being imaged.
  • Hold the breast still in order to minimize blurring of the image caused by motion.

You must hold very still and may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image.

Routinely 2 views are taken of each breast, a top-to-bottom view and an angled side view. You will need to change positions between images. The process will be repeated for the other breast. When the examination is complete, you may be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all of the necessary images have been obtained.

Length of scan

The examination process should take about 30 minutes.

When will my results be ready?

A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to your primary care or referring physician, who will discuss the results with you.

A  follow-up exam may be necessary to:
  • Clarify questionable or suspicious findings with additional views or a special imaging technique.
  • Monitor change in a known abnormality.
  • Confirm if treatment is working or if an abnormality is stable.