What You Should Know Before Your Mammogram

Mammograms are a great way to check for breast cancer in women when they have no signs or symptoms. Screening mammograms are usually composed of two or more X-ray pictures or images of each breast. This will give the doctor a look to see if there are any tumors in the breast that can’t be felt by touch.

What Are the Benefits of Screening Mammograms?

Early detection of breast cancer means that treatment can be used early on, hopefully before it has spread. Breast cancer, like others, can go undetected, and cause preventable catastrophe for women.

Currently, the guideline for annual mammograms should begin when a woman is in her mid to late 40’s. A lot of changes are happening within your body, and to ensure that your mammary health is on track, mammograms are not to be taken lightly.

How Is a Mammogram Done?

When you go in for your appointment, you’ll stand in front of the machine and a technologist will place your breast onto a plate. From above, another plater will be placed firmly on top of your breast to flatten it while the X-ray is being taken.

You will feel pressure and will be cross-referenced with images of other angles of your breasts. From there, the doctor will be able to look at the images and detect if anything resembling a benign or malignant tumor is present.

Maintain Proper Breast Health

If you have a family history with breast cancer, then it is advantageous to start getting exams early on. Although it may not occur in your body, you are at a higher risk because of the medical history. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the earlier the treatment process can begin.

Everyone hopes for the best, and that initially starts with the imaging. Before you come in for your appointment, keep in mind that if you switch from a previous physician, it’s beneficial to bring older medical records as reference.

Understanding Ultrasound Imaging

Imaging is used for various areas of the body. It’s common to receive ultrasound imaging to produce a picture without any hassle. Ultrasound imaging is harmless and if often used for capturing images of heart, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, etc.

There are different kinds of ultrasound imaging including diagnostic, functional, and therapeutic. Whatever the need for imaging, you’ll have the opportunity to experience a low-risk yet informational exam.

What is Ultrasound Imaging Used For?

A diagnostic ultrasound is great for non-invasive imaging internal organs within the body. One of the most common uses is during pregnancy to monitor the growth and development of a fetus. There are numerous other uses including imaging the heart, blood vessels, eyes, brain, abdominal organs, muscles, and more.

How to Prepare

The preparation may include no eating or drinking for several hours beforehand. Wearing comfy, loose clothes will make it easier to remove or partially move out of the way to perform the test properly. Once the process starts, the ultrasound technologist may be looking for specific markers and make measurements for printing the images.

How Does It Work?

The transducer is the mechanism used to emit and detect ultrasound waves. It sends the waves into the body and they are reflected back to the transducer.

Because there is no radiation transmitting, the procedure is safe than other techniques such as X-rays and CT scans. They are widely accessible in private practices, hospital, urgent centers, etc. and are usually less expensive than other imaging methods. Most ultrasound exams are painless and done quickly. The entire process usually takes less than half an hour.

Medical Imaging Technology

The technological advancements in the medical industry have made this Overall, ultrasound imaging is safe because it emits low-power sound waves, but it does have its limitations. It’s not used to capture images of bones or the lungs unless in some cases for babies or in a fetus. The sound doesn’t travel well throughout those parts of the body.

CT Scan Imaging

In layman’s terms, a CT scanner is essentially an X-ray machine that is connected to a computer. The machine takes a cross-sectional picture around the patient’s body as it rotates. It utilized radiation to capture the images and needs to be done quickly to keep the exposure to radiation at a minimum.

What Are the Advantages of a CT Scan?

One of the biggest benefits of having a CT scan is that the machine can capture an image from head to toe within just a few seconds. They’re extremely useful for detecting and supporting the diagnosis of cancer, and monitoring if cancer treatments are working successfully.

CT Scan Versus MRI

What’s the Major Difference Between the Imaging Techniques?

A CT scan uses X-rays and collected data to form three dimensional images. The images will reveal any abnormalities in bone and tissues by use of radiation. A MRI captures pictures of the water molecules in the body and uses a coil as an antenna for the radio frequencies.

How Long Does Each Imaging Sequence Take?

The time frame for an MRI is normally at least 30 minutes whereas a CT is about 5 minutes. This timing is also due to the radiation the patient will be exposed to while they’re in the machine.

Which Imaging Technique is Best?

Each machine is used to examine different parts of the body. Although they both provide a look into the body, a CT is great for viewing organs and the detail in bones, and a MRI is better suited for soft tissue viewing. A physician may recommend a MRI if she or he needs to see a tumor, but ultimately, it’s a game of balancing the risks and benefits of each.

Hudson River Radiology

There are several guidelines we strongly suggest before receiving a CT scan. For all the information, you need to know prior to your appointment, please visit our CT scan prep page to learn more.

To make an appointment, please contact our schedule outline at (201) 876-1111.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

If you’re not really familiar with the term in that format, you may notice that MRI rings a bell. You may have heard of the term, or if you work in the medical field, then it may be a daily-used term. However, what do we really know about what to expect and how the image is produced? Not much!

What is an MRI?

It’s a scanning technique for creating detailed images of the human body. An MRI is another technique to generate images that cannot be seen with X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, or other imaging tests.

The ability of an MRI reaches far enough to examine internal body structures and assists with diagnosing a variety of disorders. Magnetic resonance imaging also measures brain function, and can identify if a tumor, aneurysm, or other nerve issues are prevalent.

What You Should Expect

If you haven’t already, take a look at our MRI preparation page to see a step-by-step guide on how to plan for the procedure.

When you arrive, you’ll have to lie flat on a mobile table that’ll move you into the machine until the specified portion of the body for imaging is centered. The machine will provide a strong magnetic field and radio waves around the person. You may or may not be given a contrast solution to highlight specific areas that may not show up otherwise.

What Happens When Producing the Image

The water molecules contain hydrogen protons that become aligned in a magnetic field. The MRI scanner produces a radio frequency, and the protons absorb the energy. When everything is turned off, the protons will return to their previous state. The radio signal that is recorded from this process is what captures the image.

Hudson River Radiology

We strive to provide excellent out-patient imaging services using today’s most innovative technology, but our attention to customer satisfaction that put us above the rest. Our board-certified radiologists are always on-site and ready to provide consultations.

Be sure to look at our MRI preparation page to ensure that you’re ready for imaging. If you have any questions regarding your exam, please give us a call at (201) 876-1111.