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Mammogram & Diagnostic Services

Tarzana Mammogram & Diagnostic Services for Early Breast Cancer Detection

pap smear and cancer screening
A mammogram is a low-level x-ray of the breasts that can detect cancer at its earliest stage. It can also show other changes in the breast that doctors believe may suggest cancer. At our Center For Comprehensive Women's Health we offer a full spectrum of services, including:

    Screening Mammograms For those with no current breast problems. Screening mammograms can be scheduled with or without a physician referral. To offer easier access than ever, we have expanded the hours on Monday and Tuesday evenings at Mercy Hospital.

    Diagnostic Mammograms For a follow-up from a screening or for those with a current breast problem. If a screening mammogram indicates a potential problem, your physician will want to schedule for a more sophisticated test.

    Diagnostic Ultrasound Using sound waves to produce an image, today's advanced equipment can image all soft tissue organs in the body, as well as veins and arteries, in a safe and painless procedure. Mercy's Accredited Vascular Laboratory works closely with the Breast Health Resource & Lymphedema Center and Mercy's Mammography Centers to provide patients with the most complete array of care possible.

Why is a Mammogram performed?

A mammogram is performed to screen healthy women for signs of breast cancer. It is also used to evaluate a woman who has symptoms of a breast disease, such as a lump, nipple discharge, breast pain, dimpling of the skin on the breast, or retraction of the nipple.

Screening mammograms are important for early breast cancer detection. The American Cancer Society recommends mammogram screening every year for all women age 40 and older. The National Cancer Institute recommends mammogram screening every 1 to 2 years for women age 40 and older. Experts recommend that certain women at high risk of breast cancer should also have a breast MRI along with their yearly mammogram. Ask your doctor if you need an MRI.

Guidelines from the American College of Physicians, however, debate whether women with a low risk for breast cancer should begin mammogram screening at age 40. The 2007 guidelines, instead, recommend that women in their 40s ask their doctor when they should begin having the test.

In addition to mammography, clinical breast exams (where the clinician palpates with the fingers) and breast self-examinations are important for breast cancer screening. Women age 20 and older should receive clinical breast exams every 3 years; women age 40 and older should receive clinical breast exams every year. The American Cancer Society recommends that all women age 20 and older perform monthly breast self-examination.

These are general recommendations for mammography, clinical breast exams, and breast self-exam. Women should discuss with their personal physician how often to receive breast cancer screening, including mammography and clinical breast exam. Recommendations vary depending on personal risk factors such a strong family history of breast cancer.

Contact Dr. Torbati for a Detailed Consultation.