Women’s Diagnostic Center Frequently Asked Questions

  • How helpful are Mammograms in the Detection of Breast Cancer?
    Breast cancer is one of the easiest cancers to detect while it is still in its early stages. Self-exams and annual check-ups with a physician are important elements of this process, but they are not enough. Mammograms are capable of detecting cancer in its early stages, before it can be felt. Through this early detection, it is likely that the cancer can be removed before it spreads.
  • How often do I need a Mammogram?
    The American Cancer Society recommends that you have your first baseline mammogram between the ages of 35 and 40, even if you have no symptoms. A significant number of breast cancers occur in women around this age. When women reach age 40, the American Cancer Society recommends a mammogram every year for as long as you are in good health.
  • Are mammograms painful?
    Because the X-ray machine compresses the breast, you may experience brief discomfort. Proper compression is essential to a high-quality mammogram.
  • How long will it take to get the results?
    We know that our patients are anxious for the results of the procedure. With this in mind, we have made the process as efficient as possible. Our radiologists read your results on site and provide your physician with a report within 24 hours.
  • How do I get a mammogram?
    See your physician and request a referral to CRMC’s Women’s Diagnostic Center. Appointments are made by physician referral only. If you do not have a physician, contact CRMC’s Physician Referral Service at (256) 737-2588 or through our online Physician Referral Center
  • What are the benefits of Digital Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) Mammography?
    • CAD enhances the digital mammography system to make it an even more powerful weapon in the war against breast cancer
    • Acts as a second set of eyes to support and enhance the radiologist’s judgment
    • Studies have shown that CAD can detect up to 19.5% more breast cancers
    • May reduce the incidence of false negatives
    • Further reduces repeat exams
    • Studies indicate that using the CAD on the Seno 2000D marked 92% of microcalcifications
  • How is the Stereotactic Breast Biopsy performed?
    In the procedure, a woman is placed in a sitting or lying position while the doctor places the probe through a small incision about the size of a match head.  Using ultrasound or x-ray guidance the doctor can accurately pinpoint the suspicious tissue and gently vacuum, cut and remove this tissue for further examination.  Only a small adhesive bandage is required to cover the incision.  The procedure typically takes less than an hour and women can return to normal activity soon after the biopsy.
  • How do I know if can have the Stereotactic Breast Biopsy versus surgical biopsy?
    Patients should consult with their doctors to see which type of breast biopsy procedure is appropriate for them. However, here are some general guidelines.

    Breast biopsies that typically qualify for this procedure include:
    • a suspicious solid mass
    • microcalcifications - a tiny cluster of small calcium deposits
    • a distortion in the structure of the breast tissue
    • an area of abnormal tissue change
    • a new mass or area of calcium deposits located at a previous surgery site

    Breast biopsies that do not typically qualify for this procedure include:
    • lesions accompanied by diffuse calcium deposits scattered throughout the breast
    • lesions near the chest wall or skin
    • If the mammogram shows only a vague change in tissue density but no definite mass or nodule
  • What services are available to me if breast cancer is detected?
    Cullman Regional Medical Center is proud to offer Nurse Navigation Services for anyone in our community affected by breast, lung, colon or prostate cancer in our community. This is a multidisciplinary treatment program to educate and support the patient and family during their battle and improves patient outcomes through education, support and monitoring. A dedicated nurse navigator helps you every step of the way during your battle with cancer from scheduling doctors visits to providing a listening ear.
  • Are there any support programs for women who have/have had breast cancer?
    Bosom Buddies Support Group offers support to individuals and those affected by breast cancer. The group typically meets on the third Thursday of each month – except May – at 6 pm in the Ave Maria Room in CRMC's Community Education Center in POB II. Contact coordinator Mary Dyer at (256) 734-8729 for more information.   
  • How do I learn more?
    The Women’s Diagnostic Center of CRMC is committed to community education. We offer speakers for a variety of groups, clubs and civic organizations. Our staff is more than happy to provide patients and family members with additional information and educational resources. Our patient education room contains both literature and videos. Contact the CRMC Women’s Diagnostic Center today at (256) 737-2270.