Making an Appointment
To make an appointment at either the Memorial Regional Breast Care Center or Memorial Lighthouse Medical Imaging Center, you or your physician's office may call 574-647-7700 or 800-284-7700.
How do I know which test is right for me?
For both the screening and diagnostic exams, you will be asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time for the admitting process. Once admitted, you will be asked to undress above the waist. Please wear a two-piece outfit and do not use any deodorants, powders or creams on your breast or underarms since they can affect the quality of the mammograms. If you have deodorant or powder on we have washcloths available and we will ask you to remove it. If your breasts are painful prior or during your menstrual cycle, you may want to avoid scheduling during this time or take an over-the-counter pain medicine before your appointment. Your physicians will receive a report and you will be mailed a patient letter with your results.
A screening mammogram is for when you do not have any symptoms/problems with your breasts or you do not have a history of breast cancer. We do not need a physician order, but we do need the name of your physician so he/she can receive a report on your exam. We will ask you if it has been a year since your last mammogram, since Medicare/Medicaid and most private insurances will pay only once a year. We will ask you where your previous mammograms were taken, so we can request them ahead of time or know if we need you to sign a release form so we can use your previous exams for comparison. It is very important that your current mammogram and past mammograms are compared to see if there are any changes in your breasts. You should not be pregnant and have stopped breastfeeding for three months.
A diagnostic mammogram is for when you have a history of breast cancer or you have a breast symptom such as a lump, specific focal pain, nipple discharge, dimpling, nipple retraction, soreness or other problems. Also, a diagnostic mammogram may be done for additional views (taking more mammogram images and/or ultrasound views due to an area seen on your screening mammogram) or short-term follow-up of an area seen on a previous mammogram and/or ultrasound. We need a physician’s order for a diagnostic mammogram, unless our radiologists are recommending the additional views or short-term follow-up from a screening mammogram. You will need to notify your physician about your breast problem. Sometimes your physician will want to see you in his office prior to scheduling your diagnostic appointment so he can evaluate your breast problem. Mammogram views and, if indicated, ultrasound will be done to evaluate your situation. Your results will be conveyed to you by the radiologist, technologist or nurse before leaving our facility with the opportunity to ask questions or set up future appointments or procedures.
Computer aided detection (CAD) is a software program that is used with both screening and diagnostic mammograms. The program is "trained" to look for any suspicious areas on the mammography images. After the radiologist reviews the exam, he applies the CAD to the exam. Any areas that are found to be suspicious by the program are marked on the images. This allows the radiologist to re-evaluate these areas.
Your first visit
When you come for your first visit, we will ask you to sign in at the desk. Please bring your insurance card and picture ID and confirm the name of your physician(s). (Screening mammograms do not require an order, but diagnostic exams need a physician order.) After all paperwork has been processed, we will escort you to the dressing area to change into a gown. Our nurses can do clinical breast exams or breast self-exam teaching. The technologist will take your digital mammogram and, if you are receiving screening, you will be able to leave after your views are taken. The radiologist will read the mammogram later that day; the physician will receive a report and you will receive a letter with the results. If you are here for a diagnostic exam, the technologist will take your views and then show them to the radiologist while you wait. If the radiologist recommends additional views and/or ultrasound it will be done and your results given to you before you leave. Your physician will receive a report and you will receive a mailed letter regarding the results of your mammogram.