- Imaging Associates now offers the highest resolution 3Dimensions mammography™ for 3D and diagnostic 2D capabilities – sharper images and improved visibility for detecting 20-65% more invasive breast cancer.
- Newly renovated rooms in the Mat-Su Valley and heated robes offered for patient use at both locations add to the spa-like experience for our guests. The addition of Smart Curve paddles which mirror the shape of the breast, provide more even compression and improve patient experience without compromising accuracy. Imaging Associates offers both annual screenings and full diagnostic mammograms, along with a host of other leading-edge women’s imaging services guided by caring, compassionate mammographers. Our patients know they will be treated well – and their doctors know they will get all the medical advantages of IA’s leading-edge diagnostic technology and superior trained radiologists.
Get answers to some of the most common questions about Mammography.
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE IMAGING ASSOCIATES FOR MY MAMMOGRAM?
Imaging Associates is proud to be a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (BICOE) – the newest in Anchorage and the only BICOE in the Mat-Su Valley, a designation earned by the American College of Radiology. Evidence shows that a BICOE drives a 40% better breast cancer detection rate than a non BICOE! Every aspect of Imaging Associates was designed with your comfort in mind. From the peaceful, relaxing atmosphere to the best technology available that make your procedures quick and efficient, your images crystal clear, and your whole experience a positive one. Your studies are read (and procedures performed) by physicians with specialized training in breast and women’s imaging. Led by board-certified, fellowship-trained women’s imaging specialist Heather Tauschek, M.D., Imaging Associates features an entire team of radiologists to meet your needs in a timely fashion. • Friendly and highly experienced mammographers • Free, easy parking and lots of it • Non-hospital locations – Providence Drive in Anchorage or Trunk Road near Matsu Regional Medical Center • With our 25 minute promise, we strive to have you in and out in 25 minutes or less • After-hours Mammogram Socials available at no extra charge
WHAT IS MAMMOGRAPHY?
A mammogram is a special low-dose X-ray of the breast. A physician called a radiologist uses the images to detect breast cancer, ideally as early as two years before a lump can be felt. Digital mammography has become the gold standard for breast cancer screening and is one of the most recent advances for breast cancer detection. Current guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommend screening mammography every year for women, beginning at age 40. Mammography is the only screening method that is consistently proven to reduce breast cancer deaths. In fact, it is the major reason breast cancer deaths have declined by 30% since 1990, when screening guidelines were enforced in the U.S. In addition, early detection through mammography gives women more treatment options with reduced surgery, better cosmetic outcomes, and often eliminates the need for harsh therapies. And since breast cancer found in women under age 50 is often more aggressive, it’s imperative to schedule your mammogram every 12 months.
WHAT IS SCREENING MAMMOGRAPHY?
If performed annually as recommended, screening mammography is the key to detecting breast cancer early and saving lives. Women 40 years of age and older with no symptoms of breast disease should schedule their screening mammogram appointments annually. A physician referral is not required for this exam; however we must have the name of your physician to send your results. If you are experiencing a worrisome lump, changes in the breast skin, nipple discharge, or if you have a personal history of breast cancer, your physician should order a more comprehensive exam, called a diagnostic mammogram.
WHAT IS DIAGNOSTIC MAMMOGRAPHY?
While a screening mammogram is encouraged each year for women who do not have significant breast symptoms, your doctor may order a diagnostic mammogram if you are experiencing a worrisome lump, changes in the breast skin, pain, nipple discharge, or if you have a personal history of breast cancer. Diagnostic mammography may also be performed if your screening mammogram demonstrates a possible abnormality. The type and number of mammographic views taken will be customized to your situation.
What is Risk Assessment and how does it affect me?
Early detection is a key component in decreasing the risk of death in women with breast cancer. Risk Assessment is an important tool in identifying those women at the highest risk of breast cancer. We have chosen the Tyrer-Cuzick (TC) model which incorporates hormonal factors, age and body mass index, breast tissue density and genetic factors to assess the overall likelihood of a woman developing breast cancer. Beginning August 2019, Imaging Associates will offer patients the option to participate in this risk assessment. Our breast care coordinator, Valerie Clark, will be available to patients and referring providers for questions and high-risk consultation as needed. Women with an intermediate or high calculated lifetime risk are eligible for supplemental screening ultrasound or MRI which can detect cancers that otherwise may not be seen until further advanced. Patients identified as high risk for hereditary genetic breast and ovarian cancer may be offered genetic testing and counseling ordered through Myriad.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY MAMMOGRAM?
There are no special preparations needed, other than not wearing deodorant, lotions, baby oil or talcum powder on or around your breasts or underarms on the day of your exam.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING MY MAMMOGRAM?
A typical mammogram consists of two views of each breast in which they are pressed firmly between two plastic plates. The complete procedure takes only a few minutes, performed by a board-certified mammographer who will do everything she can to make your exam as quick and comfortable as possible. After the exam, your breasts may be slightly red and tender for a few hours, but this will fade quickly.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING MY VERY FIRST MAMMOGRAM?
• If your breasts get tender around your period, avoid scheduling your mammogram for that time. • Do not wear deodorant, lotion, oils or talcum powder. • Wear a comfortable outfit, with a separate top that you can easily slip on and off. (If you forget, we have full robes you can wear instead of just our upper body cape.) • Relax and know that we’ll take good care of you!
INTERESTED IN A “MAMMOGRAM SOCIAL”?
Organize your office or get your gal pals together and come in to Imaging Associates after hours for wine, hors d’oeuvres and screening mammograms. Whether you need your annual or first (baseline) mammogram, you’re sure to have a good time. For more information and to schedule your mammogram social, call Kayla (907) 306-7755 in Anchorage or Jacob at (907) 290-4844 in the Mat-Su Valley.
HOW DO I GET THE RESULTS?
A final report, produced by one of Alaska Radiology Associate’s local specialized radiologists, will be available for most exams within two hours. Questions about your results should be directed to your referring health care provider. For any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us directly.
WHO DO I CONTACT WITH QUESTIONS?
Questions about the results of your exam should be directed to your primary health care provider. For any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us directly. For more information about breast imaging click here.