Uncertain whether your patient needs a screening or diagnostic mammogram? The EJGH Breast Care Center radiologists offer the following information to help you decide which is appropriate:

  • A screening mammogram is intended for asymptomatic women; it includes a minimum of 2 views of each breast (craniocaudal and mediolateral oblique). A report is generated within one working day of the exam, or as soon as prior outside films are obtained for comparison. If additional work-up of the findings on this exam is needed, the patient and doctor's office are contacted by phone, to arrange additional imaging.
  • A diagnostic mammogram includes a minimum of 3 views of one or both breasts (the screening views as well as a mediolateral view); the images are reviewed by a radiologist at the time of the exam and additional spot compression, magnification, rolled or tangential views may be obtained if necessary. An ultrasound is typically performed in conjunction with a diagnostic mammogram for work-up of a palpable abnormality or a mass on mammography. Results are discussed with the patient at the time of exam. Diagnostic mammograms are recommended for symptomatic patients (with a lump, thickening, nipple discharge, etc), for work-up of an abnormal screening mammogram, and for women with a personal history of breast cancer, breast surgery or other risk factors for breast carcinoma.

The Breast Care Center accepts standing orders from staff physicians for screening mammograms for their patients 40 and older. With this process, patients of doctors with standing orders are able to call and schedule a mammogram without the need to physically bring in or fax over their physician order. Interested physicians are urged to contact Amy Edwards, Physician Representative for the Radiology Department, at (504) 456-8493 (office) or (504) 913-8445 (cell), or via email at aedwards@ejgh.com. Please note that diagnostic mammograms and ultrasounds still require a written physician order.

Breast Cancer Nurse Navigators Anna Heim and Shawn Neely are available at (504) 883-8989 to answer questions from patients and physicians' office staff regarding breast imaging procedures and orders.