Mammo Mondays: What is an express mammogram?

Posted at 8:33 PM, Aug 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-06 20:33:40-04

Roswell Park has upgraded its Breast Imaging Center in an effort to make the patient experience as pleasant and quick as possible for the busy woman.

They call it the "express appointment."  From start to finish, Roswell aims to make the mammogram 30 minutes or less - consider it the length of a lunch break.

Women enter through the Scott Bieler Clinical Sciences Center, off to the side of Roswell's main entrance, and the elevator takes them up to a bright registration room, filled with natural light. 

Once inside the mammogram screening room, Dr. Ermelinda Bonaccio says women should expect the screening to take a few minutes. The method of performing the mammogram is called tomosynthesis, which is the process of takes pictures of the breast via compressions that last 5-10 seconds. Simply put, it can find more cancers than older technology.

"When you have your mammogram, the tube actually takes images in an arch.  It takes a series of images that are then reconstructed, and we can look through the breast in one millimeter slices," Bonaccio says.

New York State mandates that insurance providers cover a woman's tomosynthesis screening.  

"Only about 10 per cent, often times less than 10 per cent of women will have to come back for additional screening," Bonaccio says.

Women who choose the express appointment will receive a phone call the next day with their results.  Women who want to leave the building with peace of mind can wait; however, they will need to wait for results. 

Dr. Bonaccio encourages women over the age of 40 to get an annual mammogram, because if any abnormalities are found, it's less likely that they have grown to a stage of being invasive.

"We’re not only likely to cure you, but you often would need less aggressive treatment," Bonaccio says.