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Before you get a Mammogram - Imaging

It can be found anywhere in the breast. “Our goal with imaging is to try to get as much of the breast tissue in the images as we can,” explained Dr. Gail Santucci, a diagnostic radiologist with Lee Health. Doctors recommend women get yearly mammograms starting at age 40. “We only want to see people in a screening mammogram that don’t have any symptoms, so if you do have symptoms, it’s very important to tell your doctor that,” Dr. Santucci said. Symptoms can include pain, a lump, or skin changes. If a patient is experiencing any of these symptoms, doctors may recommend a different form of mammography, called a diagnostic mammogram. “All that means is that when you come in we know that you’re having an issue and we’re going to take extra care to address whatever the area of the problem is,” she explained. But things like breast implants and dense breast tissue may require health experts to take more images. “With breast implants, we have to do some extra views because the breast implants can partially obscure the normal breast tissue. We do views that include the implants and then views that push the implants out of the way,” said Dr. Santucci. If doctors notice any changes to your mammogram, they may ask for further testing. “If we found something that we thought was a change, we would notify the patient to come back and have a diagnostic workup. What that would consist of depends on what we find-sometimes it might be extra mammogram views, sometimes it might include an ultrasound as well,” she said. Needing additional images does not mean you have cancer. “About ten percent of the time, those extra views are necessary. It doesn’t mean you have cancer if you get called back for that,” said Dr. Santucci. Knowing your body and having yearly mammograms can help doctors address any concerns early. View More Health Matters video segments at Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit