Notice: Screening mammograms for women receiving COVID Vaccine
Some women who receive the COVID vaccine develop a temporary normal reaction – benign swollen lymph nodes under the arm, on the same side as the vaccine injection, which can show up in mammograms and other imaging tests. This temporary reaction can be mistaken for breast cancer and having a mammogram soon after the vaccination may cause unnecessary worry. DCA is following recommended guidelines for scheduling screening mammograms for women who have received the COVID vaccine.
Screening mammograms are important for your health. If you have concerns or questions, speak with your physician for guidance.
NEW screening mammogram appointments
- During scheduling, you will be asked: have you received the vaccine, and what was the date?
- All screening mammogram patients will be scheduled 4 weeks after the second dose or first (if only one dose is required).
NEW diagnostic mammogram, and breast ultrasound appointments
- A diagnostic mammogram or breast US can be scheduled. The 4-week rule does not apply.
Already have a mammogram or breast ultrasound appointment?
- Appointments will be kept as scheduled. If you have recently been vaccinated, notify our scheduling specialists and technologists.
Digital mammography is the only screening method that is consistently proven to reduce breast cancer deaths. Current guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, American Cancer Society, American Medical Association and American College of Radiology recommend screening mammography every year for women, beginning at age 40. The National Cancer Institute adds that women who have had breast cancer and those who are at increased risk due to genetic history should seek expert medical advice about whether they should begin screening before age 40 and about the frequency of screening.
We ask all women to perform breast self-exams and have an annual screening mammography. Ask your doctor to check even a small indentation in your breast skin. Breast cancer affects one in eight women. Early detection is your best prevention. One million women are currently living with breast cancer and don’t know it. Don’t become a statistic. Have your mammogram every year.
Diagnostic mammography is performed to evaluate abnormal clinical findings in one or both breasts, such as a lump or nipple discharge, which can be found by you or your doctor. A diagnostic mammogram may also be performed after an abnormal screening mammogram to evaluate the area of concern.
3D Mammography Is Genius™
Digital mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses low-dose X-rays to examine the breasts. Most medical experts agree that successful treatment of breast cancer relies on early diagnosis. Digital mammography is critical in early detection of breast cancer because it more clearly shows changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them.
About Hologic’s Genius 3D Mammography
While digital 2D mammography is considered one of the most advanced breast cancer screening technologies available today, it of course provides only a two-dimensional picture of the breast. The breast is a three-dimensional object composed of different structures, such as blood vessels, milk ducts, fat and ligaments. These structures, which are located at different heights within the breast, can overlap and cause confusion when viewed as a two-dimensional, flat image. This confusion of overlapping tissue is a leading reason why small breast cancers may be missed and normal tissue may appear abnormal, leading to unnecessary call-backs.
Hologic’s Genius 3D Mammography exam has been shown in numerous clinical studies to significantly increase the detection of invasive breast cancers by up to 65%, while simultaneously reducing recall rates across all patient populations and breast densities. The technology was approved for breast cancer screening and diagnosis in the U.S. in February 2011 and has been available in countries recognizing the CE mark since 2008.
3D mammography can be used for routine screening mammograms and is particularly effective for women with dense breast tissue, which has fewer false-positive and false-negative readings.
Greater accuracy means better breast cancer detection and a reduced chance of being called back for additional screenings.
Why have your 3D mammogram performed at Diagnostic Centers of America?
DCA has six locations in Palm Beach County, each offering a complete and private women’s imaging center. DCA performs 3D tomosynthesis mammography at each location and we have onsite subspecialized women’s radiologists. In addition, we offer breast ultrasound, breast MRI and a complete spectrum of imaging exams to complement our breast program.
What if you have been going to another facility and they have your previous mammograms?
It is always important that your past mammograms are compared to your current mammogram. DCA can assist you with requesting your images to be directly sent to us. Simply sign a records release consent form at one of our convenient locations to start the process.
How Should You Prepare for Mammography?
On the day of your exam, do not apply underarm deodorant or powder from the waist to the neck. If you must use powder or deodorant, please let us know before the exam so we can provide you with wipes to remove it. Please wear a two-piece outfit for your ease of changing and comfort. If you have had prior mammograms at another institution, you must bring them with you or have them sent to us prior to your appointment. We’ll use these for comparison with your new exam.
Because menstruation can cause tenderness in the breast, consider an appointment at least one week after your period begins.