Highlands Hospital has been selected as one of a handful of organizations nationally that will be participating in the Clinical Breast Care Project of the Department of Defense based at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda. The goal of this work is to identify markers that may enable early breast cancer detection, monitoring, and prediction through less invasive procedures.
As a member of this select group of organizations which includes Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland, Walter Reed, and the Chan Soon Shiong Institute for Molecular Medicine at Windber, Highlands Hospital will be participating in breast cancer risk studies looking at diagnostics, management and molecular mechanisms associated with the onset, progression, and severity of breast cancer.
Participants in this effort will be providing anonymous blood samples that will correlate with patient risk factors. Since this program is based on prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and management of breast disease, it provides the necessary framework for an integrated approach to treatment which will positively impact future management of breast cancer. Participants in this program are literally “Paying it forward” as their contribution of small samples of blood may lead to cures and early detection of breast cancer for future generations. Participation in this program will also help to keep Highlands Hospital on the leading edge of breast care treatments.
Frequently Asked Question
How do I schedule my mammogram?
• Our patients do not need an order from their doctor to get a mammogram screening. They do need a doctor to whom to send a report. Their mammogram can also be paid for by the Susan G. Komen foundation thru Adagio Health. Phone 1-800-MVP-0505
• When scheduling your mammogram inform the health care professional if you have breast implants, have had previous biopsies or surgeries, and/or are taking blood thinners.
• Do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your period if your breasts are usually tender during this time. The best time is one week following your period.
• It is important for us to have prior original mammogram and breast ultrasound films for the radiologist to interpret your exam. Our staff will assist you with requesting these films from the facility where they were performed.
• To schedule a digital mammogram at Highlands Hospital, please call 724-626-2430.
Will my insurance pay for a mammogram?
• Most insurance plans cover a mammogram every 12 months starting at age 40.
• You may want to check with your insurance carrier regarding its mammography coverage guidelines prior to making your appointment.
How do I prepare for a Mammogram?
• On the day of your mammogram do not use any deodorant, perfume, powders, or ointments to the breasts or under your arms. The residue left on your skin by these substances may interfere with the x-rays.
• You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up for the examination. If you wear a top with a skirt or pants, changing will be easier for you.
• Bring any prior original mammogram and breast ultrasound films with you.
• Make sure you have your insurance card and driver’s license as we will need to make a copy for your medical record when you register.
• If you are concerned about an area of your breast, show the technologist so that area can be noted for the radiologist.
Will I feel any pain or discomfort during my mammogram?
A mammogram is often uncomfortable but rarely extremely painful. Having your breasts flattened and squeezed is usually uncomfortable but necessary to obtain the best picture. Fear of discomfort during a mammogram has been known to prevent some women from having regular mammograms.
If I am called back to have additional views does that mean I have breast cancer?
Being called back for additional exams can be scary but it is important to keep in mind that most of the times it does not turn out to be cancer. It does, however, require action. More pictures are taken to get views of the breast from different angles and often certain areas of these pictures can be made larger. Our dedicated team of professionals is here for your questions and will work to have you scheduled for your additional exams in a timely manner.
When do I find out the results of my breast exam?
The images are reviewed and interpreted by a radiologist. A report will be dictated, typed, and sent to your physician. Your physician will contact you to discuss the findings and what to do next. You will also receive a formal letter explaining your test results and any suggested follow-up from the radiologist within a few days. The law requires us to provide you with this written report.
Once an abnormality is noted on my breast exam, what do I do next?
If you receive an abnormal result, that means that a breast change was found. It may be benign (not cancer), premalignant (may become cancer), or cancer. It is important to get all of the follow-up tests your health care professional recommends for you. Keep in mind that most breast changes are not cancer but that all changes need to be checked. If a breast biopsy is needed it can usually be performed the same day as your visit, thereby lessening your anxiety.