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What is a Mammogram?

What is a Mammogram?

As a woman, you have probably heard how important it is to schedule your annual mammogram. However, you may not fully understand what a mammogram is and what it entails. Put simply, a mammogram is an X-ray of the breast used to screen for breast cancer. Screening means checking for signs of cancer before there are symptoms or problems. If a problem is found more tests are needed. These are called diagnostic tests. A mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer early. When Should I Get My First Mammogram? Doctors and scientists agree that catching breast cancer early, when it can be treated more easily, is the best choice. Windsong’s breast imaging specialists recommend that all women of average risk 40 and older get a mammogram every year. Are you younger and at high risk due to a personal history of breast cancer and dense breast tissue? Talk to your doctor about getting a breast cancer screening sooner. How Does a Mammogram Work? The process of a mammogram can be divided into a few steps. The first part of a mammogram is the check in process. Here, you will answer questions such as "do you have any personal or family history of breast cancer" or "have you ever had surgery on your breasts." You will then provide personal information in order to receive the results. After checking in, you will be brought to a changing room. Depending on protocols, you will be provided with either a locker or bag to put your clothes in, and change into a gown with an open front. Once you are changed, it is time for the mammogram itself. For the mammogram, you will take two pictures of each breast. For the first picture, you will place your breasts on a surface one at a time. There is a second surface that will close over the top of your breast to take a picture or X-Ray. The second picture will be taken from the side. While it may be uncomfortable for some people, the exam is very brief and there is often little discomfort associated with a mammogram. What is the Best Mammogram for Me? Windsong has the longest background in providing 3D mammography in our Western New York community, beginning in 2011. It is offered at every one of our breast cancer screening facilities, as well as on the  mobile mammography unit, as it provides the radiologist with a more detailed picture, making it easier for them to catch breast cancer early. This technology has been shown to catch cancers earlier, and reduces the likelihood of a false positive. Diagnostic Mammograms Diagnostic mammograms are for those that are experiencing a worrisome lump, nipple discharge, a change in breast skin, or breast pain. Please contact your doctor. Screening Mammograms A screening mammogram is a recommended annual mammogram designed to catch breast cancer early before symptoms arise. Are Mammograms Painful? What most women feel is compression during the mammogram after the breast imaging technologist helps you position each breast on the machine for an x-ray. It generally entails two to four squeeze images between two plates on each breast. If you listen and follow the instructions of the technologists it is quick. It is helpful to keep in mind that this compression is a necessary part of your mammogram as it helps find breast cancer early. If your breasts are really sensitive, it can help to go during the first half of your menstrual cycle to reduce sensitivity. The x-rays are read by the radiologist who will provide a report with your results either in person, through the mail or through the patient portal. Where Can I Get a Mammogram Near Me? To help you make a decision for your breast cancer screening it is important to keep in mind that facilities like Windsong have board certified and fellowship trained radiologists who specialize in women’s imaging. Windsong was the first facility in WNY to receive status as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence from the American College of Radiology (ACR). This designation recognizes Windsong’s commitment and dedication to providing the highest standards of breast imaging quality procedures and assurance as well as employing board-certified radiologists who are experts in the field. Schedule a Mammogram Today Even if you feel healthy and have no family history of breast cancer, it is still important to schedule an annual mammogram. Our breast imaging experts make your mammogram quick, safe, and convenient. To schedule a mammogram at any of Windsong’s four breast imaging locations, please call 716.631.2500 or request an appointment today.

Windsong Radiology Acquires Buffalo MRI

Windsong Radiology Acquires Buffalo MRI

Windsong Radiology, one of the premier physician-owned radiology groups in the country, announced today it has acquired Buffalo MRI, a 13,000 sq. ft. centrally located full service diagnostic facility in Amherst, NY.

Get Back On Track With Breast Cancer Screenings

Get Back On Track With Breast Cancer Screenings

Like so much of life that was put on hold due to the pandemic, breast cancer screenings also came to a halt. While state regulations mandated a pause for non-urgent exams at imaging centers from April through June of 2020, this caused significant delays for many women and a challenge to breast cancer screening facilities as they tried to accommodate the backlog once exams could be resumed. Whether patients were nervous about being in a public office or there were competing priorities because of COVID-19, Windsong Radiology reports that thousands of women did not get screened in the past year and a half who normally would have. Coronavirus and Cancer According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, later-stage cancer diagnoses are expected as a result of the pandemic. The conservative estimate indicates there will be 10,000 more deaths from both colon and breast cancer within the next 10 years due to delays in screening and treatment. “We have noticed some tumors we’re detecting are a little bit bigger compared to the average size we were seeing two years ago,” said Dr. Anna Chen, Director of Women’s Imaging and a breast imaging radiologist at Windsong. “And we all know that early detection of breast cancer, when it is smaller and more easily treated, means a better prognosis and is critical for saving lives.” Breast Cancer Screening Facts Here are 6 things to know about breast cancer screenings: Women should be screened beginning at age 40 and every year after 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime When breast cancer is detected early, the five year survival rate is almost 100%. If there is a family history, a formal genetic screening assessment is recommended around age 25 75% of breast cancer cases have no genetic predisposition Don’t delay screenings more than six weeks following the final COVID vaccine Cancer Screenings at Windsong Radiology Don’t let COVID-19 delay your breast cancer screening. Windsong continues to accommodate our patients by adding physicians, offering evening and Saturday hours, and Mobile Mammography service – which has screened roughly 9,000 people remotely since 2018. Windsong is transitioning back to same-day results in some offices, as social distancing protocol allows. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we do our best to protect our patients and staff. Patients who are having issues can be assured they will get same-day results. If you are overdue for a mammogram, call your doctor. Most are providing scripts to ensure that screening is not further delayed. Windsong works closely with the Cancer Services Program, which is designed to assist women who are underinsured and uninsured. For more information or to make an appointment, call 716- 631-2500 or contact us online today.

Request an AppointmentIf you need to request a mobile mammography appointment, click here.

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    Windsong Locations

    Serving Western New York and Southern Ontario

    Windsong has five locations to serve our patients throughout Western New York and Southern Ontario. Our Interventional Radiology minimally invasive procedure suite is located at our Williamsville location.

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    400000Patient Exams / Year

    80000Mammograms / Year

    95Customer Satisfaction

    34Years Providing Service

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    A member of the Image Wisely Campaign. The campaign’s objective – lowering the amount of radiation used in medically necessary imaging studies and eliminating unnecessary procedures.