Mammography Testing

Serving Latham & Clifton Park, NY

Capital Imaging provides women's health care services in the Latham and Clifton Park, NY area. While women have certain health concerns that are unique from men, the foundation for general wellness is similar for everyone. A healthy lifestyle goes a long way and should include eating a balanced diet, exercising routinely, limiting stress, and visiting the doctor on a regular basis. Beyond this, women should pay special attention to their breast health. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in this country, and women with a family history of it are at risk in particular. The best way to screen for signs of breast cancer is a mammogram.

A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray exam of the breasts to look for changes that are not normal. Digital mammograms can help identify changes in breast tissue that cannot be felt during a breast exam. According to the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), women who are 50 years or older should have a mammogram completed every 2 years and women under 50 should consult with their doctors.

Did You Know?

Capital Imaging Associates has been providing state-of-the-art medical imaging services since 1985 and we are the only facility in the Capital District offering Siemens High Definition Breast Tomosynthesis. This allows us to see tissue and lesions with unprecedented clarity allowing us to make confident diagnostic decisions.

Trust the women's health care experts at our facility for all of your diagnostic medical imaging needs. Request an appointment today.

  • 3-D Mammography Testing (Low Dose Digital)
  • Diagnostic Mammogram
  • Screening Mammogram
  • Stereotactic Biopsies

Exam Prep For Digital Mammography Testing

Exam Instructions

Before Exam ... please DO NOT use:

- Dusting powders

- Deodorants

- Perfumes

If you wear a two-piece garment, you will not have to fully undress for your test.

Many patients find it more comfortable to refrain from caffeine products for 3 days prior to a mammogram.

Digital Mammography Questionnaires

(Please download fill out and bring to your exam)

Breast Density Informational Brochure

Breast Imaging Questionnaire

Frequently Asked Questions About Mammography

1What is 3-D Mammography?

3-D Mammography is the newest and most advanced breast imaging currently available.

As with a digital camera, this advanced technology eliminates the need for X-ray film or an imaging plate. This translates into the radiologist having faster and clearer images with more detailed resolution.

2What are the common uses of digital mammography?

The most common use of mammography is for the early detection of breast cancer. Although, most lumps or masses found in the breast are not cancerous, early detection of breast malignancies can significantly improve the chance of successful treatment.

3What is a screening and diagnostic digital mammography?

Screening digital mammography is an X-ray examination of the breast used to detect breast changes in women who have no signs or symptoms of disease.

Diagnostic digital mammography is an X-ray examination of the breast in women who have a personal history of breast cancer or for women who have signs or symptoms of disease; examples are lumps, pain, thickening, nipple discharge or a change in breast size or shape.

4Is mammography safe?

Mammography is very safe. Although it involves X-rays, the radiation exposure is minimal. To put the risk into perspective, the American Cancer Society explains it in this way; “a woman who receives radiation as a treatment for breast cancer will receive several thousand rads. If a woman has yearly mammograms, beginning at age 40 and continues until age 90 (50 years of mammograms) she will have received only 20-40 rads.”

5Is a mammogram painful?

Our system is unique in that it has built-in biofeedback features which sense breast thickness and delivers the minimal amount of compression and radiation needed for the exam. This results in a “softer” compression, maximizing patient comfort. If at any time you experience too much discomfort during your exam, please be sure to communicate this to your technologist so she can readjust your position, making the exam more comfortable.

6Is there any preparation required for a mammogram?

You will be required to refrain from using any body powders, perfumes or deodorants before your exam. The reason for this is that these substances could mimic pathology on your mammogram images. If you have tender or cystic breasts we recommend refraining from caffeine products 2 days prior to your exam. Caffeine does not affect the images; it’s only recommended that you refrain so you may have a more comfortable exam.

7What is breast density?

Breasts are made up of a mixture of fibrous tissue, glandular tissue and fatty tissue. Your breasts are considered dense if you have more fibrous or glandular tissue than fat. Density may decrease with age, but there is little, if any, change in most women.

8How do I know if I have dense breasts?

Breast density is determined by the radiologist who reads your mammogram. There are four categories of mammographic density. The radiologist determines the breast density scale category. Capital Imaging Associates utilitzes Volpara, a software that automatically and objectively determines the volumetric density of each women's breast tissue from the information contained in her screening mammogram. Your doctor should be able to tell you whether you have dense breasts based on where you fall on the density scale.

9Why is breast density important?

Having dense breast tissue may increase your risk of getting breast cancer. Dense breasts also make it more difficult for doctors to spot cancer on mammograms. Dense tissue appears white on a mammogram. Lumps, both benign and cancerous, also appear white, making it more difficult to see those areas.

10If I have dense breasts, do I still need a mammogram?

Yes. A mammogram is the only medical imaging screening test proven to reduce breast cancer deaths. Many cancers are seen on mammograms even if you have dense breast tissue.

11Are there any tests that are better than a mammogram for dense breasts?

In breasts that are dense, cancer can be hard to see on a mammogram. Studies have shown that ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help find breast cancers that can’t be seen on a mammogram. However, both MRI and ultrasound show more findings that are not cancer, which can result in added testing and unnecessary biopsies. Also, the cost of ultrasound and MRI may have an out of pocket expense; the only way to be certain would be to contact your insurance company.

12What should I do if I have dense breasts? What if I don’t?

If you have dense breasts, please talk to your physician. Together, you can decide which, if any, additional screening exams are appropriate for you.

If your breasts are not dense, other factors may still place you at an increased risk for breast cancer, including a family history of the disease, previous chest radiation treatment for cancer and previous breast biopsies that show you are high risk. Talk to your doctor and discuss your history.

Even if you are at low risk of developing breast cancer, and have entirely fatty breasts you should still get an annual mammogram starting at age 40. The best prevention is early detection.

13Why do I still need to have a mammogram if I am scheduled for an ultrasound?

There are advantages to both. Breast ultrasound is used in conjunction with mammography to aid in diagnosing nodules, such as cysts and dense breast tissue.