In this week’s Brazos Valley Physician’s Organization Journal of Medicine Report, Dr. Eric Appelt discusses mammography.
Currently based off the American College of Radiology, the American Cancer Society , The American College of Surgeons, recommendations should be that patients begin yearly screening mammograms at the age of 40 and that mammograms should start 10 years prior to the diagnosis of a first degree relative.
For instance, if you had a mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35, you should start your mammograms at age 25 or 10 years prior to when she was diagnosed. A screening mammogram is a once a year study you come in for. You come in, you have your mammogram images and you leave.
Later, the physician or radiologist interprupts that exam and you get a report. A diagnostic mammogram is more of a problem solving tool. If you have a parable lump in your breast or if you see something on your screening mammogram that you’re concerned about, the radiologist will call you back for a diagnostic mammogram.
Often with a diagnostic mammogram, you also get a breast ultrasound. It gives you a little more sensitivity for evaluation of a potentially suspicious liaison on a mammogram of a palpable finding and we can tell you with more certainty whether it’s benign or malignant. I want to make it clear that a screening mammogram is just as adequate as a diagnostic mammogram for detection of liaisons.
A diagnostic diagram is only for problem solving, and we do additional views only because of a specific problem but some people feel that a diagnostic mammogram might be better than a screening diagram. That is not actually the case. A screening mammogram is more than adequate for cancer screening.
The Brazos Valley Physician’s Organization is a group of independent physicians who are determined to preserve the choice and the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship. Our vision is that the patient always comes first.