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Photo by Brandy Gill, CRDAMC PAO

The Patients’ Role: Deciding Where to Have Your Mammogram.
  • Make certain the mammography suite at the medical facility is accredited by the ACR (American College of Radiology) and is approved to perform mammography exams by the FDA (The US Food and Drug Administration). This can be determined by searching the Web. Just click here and search for mammography facilities by your zip code or state.
  • After you have chosen the facility that performs mammography, look for a clearly visible ACR and FDA certificates posted on the wall of the mammography suite.
  • Now that you have become comfortable with your facility choice, the next step is to test your comfort level with your mammography technologist.
  • Does your mammography technologist greet you warmly and attempt to put you at ease when she makes her introduction? Does she seem to care about you?
  • Tell the technologist any concerns. Does she address them in a way that inspires confidence?
  • When you are ready to start your exam, does your intuition begin telling you maybe this is not the right facility for you to have your mammogram? If so it’s not too late to stop the exam. This is where you should trust your “I (s)”, your Intellect and your Intuition. It is never wrong to change your mind. Everything inside of you must be in concert when it’s time to have what could be a life changing exam.
The Mammography Experience:
  • Prior to your exam, a brief history pertaining to your breast health will be taken.
  • During your mammography exam the Mammography Technologist will guide you into the proper position as she places your breast on a platform.
  • A compression paddle will be placed upon your breast and a firm compression will be applied for less than a minute. While you are compressed a digital image is taken of your breast. This process will be repeated at least four times, as two images are taken of each breast.
  • The Mammography Technologist will review each carefully for proper positioning and image quality before the patient is released.
  • The patient should ask the Technologist before, during and after the exam about any questions or concerns she might have regarding breast health.
  • The patient should ask the Technologist when she can expect the results of her mammogram.
  • (If you are having a “screening mammogram” the Radiologist generally will not review the images of your mammogram during your visit. The standard of care is for the exam to be reviewed within five business days. Your report will be mailed to you and your healthcare provider.
I would suggest the following websites as excellent resources of information for patients that might have questions regarding their breast health. Additionally, a patient is wise to balance this information with the advice of a trusted healthcare provider.


American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Michele J. Rolle, RTRM
Chief Mammography Technologist at Virginia Women’s Center

(R) Registered (T) Technologist in (R) Radiography and in (M) Mammography

Ms. Rolle is registered by the (ARRT) American Registry of Radiologic Technologist, and with the Virginia Board of Medicine as a Radiologic Technologist. She is also a recognized writer with her recent book, Invisible Warrior, available here.

Copyright 2012 by CancerDancer