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  Sanford Health Walk-in Clinic
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In the United States, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women. Almost 185,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year. Only lung cancer causes more cancer deaths among women than breast cancer. Consider the following additional breast cancer facts:
  • More than 40,000 women die of breast cancer in the United States each year.
  • One in eight women in the United States may develop breast cancer.
  • Breast cancer risk increases with age. The greatest incidence of breast cancer occurs in women over the age of 50.
  • Mammography can detect over 90 percent of breast cancers before they become large enough to feel or cause symptoms.

What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

Some of the known risk factors for breast cancer include:
  • Family or personal history of breast cancer
  • Early menstrual onset/late onset menopause
  • Use of oral contraceptives
  • Use of hormone replacement therapy
  • Alcohol use (two or more drinks/day)

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an X-ray examination of the breasts, used to detect and diagnose breast diseases. Mammography is a very safe procedure that uses low doses of radiation to produce high quality X-ray images.

Who should have a mammogram?

The American Cancer Society recommends that all women have a baseline screening mammogram between the age of 35 and 40 and that beginning at age 40, women have an annual mammogram.

How is a mammogram performed?

During a mammogram, a woman's breasts are compressed with a special machine. Images of each breast are taken with special X-ray technology that is designed for breast tissue. Images are taken from different angles.

When will I receive my results?

You will receive a letter from Sanford Clinic with the results of your mammogram. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to call us. Sanford mammography department is accredited by the American College of Radiology and Food and Drug Administration.

To schedule your mammogram, please call:

  • Sanford Radiology at (701) 323-5210

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Digital mammography

Sanford Radiology also offers digital mammography. Digital mammography provides patients with the highest quality of care in the prevention and early detection of breast cancer.

What is digital mammography and how is it different from film mammography?

Digital mammography is an evolving technology that captures a digital mammography image on a computer rather than traditional film. The primary advantage from a patient's standpoint is faster exam time (90 seconds-3 minutes) since the image does not have to go through a processor to be developed. The difference between digital and conventional technology is the process utilized to acquire the image. Both technologies still require breast compression.

Why choose digital mammography?

There are a variety of reasons to choose digital mammography:
  • Digital pictures have greater picture clarity at the chest wall and the nipple line which is the second most common area to develop breast cancer.
  • The radiologist can enhance the picture by adjusting the brightness, contrast and zooming in on specific areas of interest
  • Digital mammograms give a clearer picture, there are less women called back for additional pictures
  • The picture is visualized in seconds
  • The picture is reviewed on a high-resolution monitor
  • The technologist does not have to leave the room to develop the film, eliminating wait time

Who should have a digital mammogram?

In a study of more than 40,000 women digital mammography was shown to have the most benefit for:
  • Women under age 50
  • Women of any age with dense breasts (Forty percent of women have dense breasts)
  • Pre or perimenopausal women

If my doctor finds a suspicious spot on my mammogram, won't digital mammography keep me from having to undergo as many X-rays?

It is possible that with digital mammography the number of extra images required for diagnosis could decrease, depending on the ability to satisfactorily manipulate the images on the computer monitor. The initial set of four images will still be necessary.

To schedule your digital mammogram, please call:

CAD (computer-aided detection)

The CAD (computer-aided detection) system analyzes mammographic images and marks areas that contain characteristics often identified with cancerous tissues. The system helps provide better patient care with fewer missed cancers and earlier cancer detection.

"This technology represents a major advance in the early detection of breast cancer. This program, along with regular exams, significantly improves the level of care we provide for our patients," said Wayne Muth, director of radiology at Sanford Health.

Clinical trials have shown that 39 percent of missed breast cancers could have been detected 14.8 months earlier using the mammography CAD system.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact your doctor or call Sanford Radiology at (701) 323-5210.

Radiology test information for patients

The RadiologyInfo website contains information and videos regarding how various X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, radiation therapy and other procedures are performed. It also addresses what you may experience and how to prepare for the exams. The web site does not yet cover all radiologic procedures and therapies, but is updated frequently with new information. All material on the RadiologyInfo web site is reviewed and approved by experts in the field of radiology from the American College of Radiology (ACR) and Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), as well as other professional radiology organizations.

Links to websites outside Sanford Health are provided for convenience and information only, and Sanford Health assumes no responsibility for their content. Sanford Health is not responsible for the privacy practices or content of those sites. You should always read the privacy policy at a website before revealing any personal information.


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