Screening & Diagnostic Mammography

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Guidelines

As recommended by the American Cancer Society (ACS), annual screening mammography for women, beginning at age 40, is the key to detecting breast cancer early and saving lives. Even with no symptoms of breast disease, women should schedule their screening mammogram appointments annually with an order from their doctor. However, if you are experiencing a worrisome lump, nipple discharge, a change in breast skin, breast pain, or if you have a strong family history of breast cancer, then your physician should order a diagnostic mammogram, which is more comprehensive in nature.

Windsong Radiology Group has updated our mammography protocol to ensure compliance with the New York State Department of Health regulations, which require a direct order for Mammography and other Radiology procedures.

Planning for your Mammogram

A two-dimensional digital mammogram has limitations in a dense breast, in that dense tissue can overlay on top of each other and potentially hide small cancers. The main advantage of 3D digital mammography is that it can reveal the inner structure of a breast, free from overlaying dense tissue. Tumors can be found in an earlier stage. There will also be fewer false positives, which can reduce the number of unnecessary breast biopsies. 3D mammography is particularly helpful for women with dense breast tissue or those with high risk of breast cancer such as those with a strong family history of breast cancer. Ask your doctor if you are a good candidate for 3D digital mammography.

  • Only a physician, nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant can order a screening or diagnostic mammogram.
  • You must have an order or prescription from your physician’s office prior to the service. The order can be either written or verbal.
  • Verbal orders are typically called in directly to Windsong when your physician’s office schedules your mammogram for you.
  • Written orders come in several forms, but the most common are our Windsong pink referral slips or the provider’s own prescription. Please be sure to bring it with you on the day of your appointment.

If you schedule your own appointment and arrive without a written order (and there is no verbal order on record), Windsong will be happy to contact your provider’s office to obtain one. Unfortunately, this may result in a longer wait for you, if we cannot get in touch with your Physician’s office right away.