Improved Convenience and Care
NHRMC has enhanced care options to help you take better care of your breast health.
Breast health is an important part of your overall well-being. If you have anything abnormal in your breasts, you want it to be detected and treated as early as possible. Mammograms help to identify breast cancer. Regular mammograms offer a strong defense against this disease.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) wants to be your partner in protecting against breast cancer.
NHRMC uses 3D Mammography as our screening standard of care. The Genius 3D mammography delivers superior performance to the 2D mammography at the comparable patient dose.
3D Mammography captures multiple images of a breast from several angles. Then, a computer produces a 3D image of breast tissue in 1-millimeter slices. Our radiologists can view the images one slice at a time, so we can better see if there's any reason for concern.
Clinical studies show that all women can benefit from 3D Mammography screenings. This improved technology has advantages over digital and film mammography:
- Detects more invasive cancers
- Returns fewer false positive results
- Requires no more compression than digital mammography
If you have additional questions about the clinical benefits of 3D Mammography, ask your doctor.
Who Needs Mammograms?
The American Cancer Society and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend these general guidelines:
- You have a baseline (first) mammogram at age 40.
- You have a mammogram every year after that.
If you have a family history of breast cancer or another factor that increases your risk, talk to your healthcare provider about when you should have mammograms.
Scheduling an Appointment
To make getting a mammogram more convenient, NHRMC does not require women ages 40 and older to have an order from their physician to schedule a screening mammogram. You do need to have a primary care provider or OB/GYN, however, to receive your results. If you do not already have a primary care or OB/GYN doctor, we will help you establish a relationship with one. Women at least 40 years old and due for an annual screening mammogram can schedule the test through NHRMC's MyChart without a physician order. Those screening mammograms can be scheduled at any of NHRMC Health & Diagnostics' five locations. Click here for locations, hours and phone numbers for our imaging locations.
If you have commercial insurance, please contact your insurance provider to determine if your plan covers 3D screening mammography. If 3D screening mammography is not covered by your insurance provider, there may be an additional fee for the interpretation of the 3D screening mammography from an independent radiologist practice.
If you do not have health insurance and cannot afford a mammogram, the Pink Ribbon Project of the New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) Foundation might be able to help.
What to Expect in Mammograms
You can be more relaxed at your mammogram if you know what to expect.
A female registered mammography technologist performs your exam in a private mammography suite.
Your breasts are placed on a flat surface of the equipment and then compressed between the X-ray detector and a plastic paddle. The compression spreads out your breast tissue to provide us with the best image. You may feel some discomfort from the compression, but it only lasts for a few seconds. If you are very uncomfortable, the technologist can reposition you.
The technologist takes X-rays of your breasts from several angles.
The entire mammogram process takes about 10 minutes.
The radiologists will analyze your images and compare them to your prior mammograms.If you have prior mammograms outside if the local area, please bring the images and reports to your appointments to expedite the reading of your exam.
We may ask you to come back for more images if the radiologist wants to check an area. This does not mean you have breast cancer. It could mean you have a breast cyst or benign calcification, or that an area has changed.
You receive a letter with your results within seven to 10 business days.
The report also provides information about your breast density classification. The following classifications will be used:
A: Mammogram indicates a Breast Density Value (BDV) of A, almost entirely fatty breast tissue.
B: Mammogram indicates a BDV of B, which includes areas of fibroglandular breast tissue.
C or D: Mammogram indicates dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue is relatively common and is found in more than 40% of women. The presence of dense breast tissue may make it more difficult to detect abnormalities in the breast and may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
NHRMC provides this information to raise awareness of the importance of breast density and to encourage our patients to talk with their physician about this and other breast cancer risk factors.