You deserve more out of your yearly mammogram. BLMI, our breast imaging program is run by women caring for women, with a comfortable patient experience that keeps our patients coming back year after year. Drs. Lin, Mendi, and Owerczuk understand that you don't want to wait for your results--they do their best to get results out in less than 24 business hours. We offer:
- digital mammography (digital and 3D)
- breast ultrasound
- DEXA (bone density)
- breast biopsy
- breast MRI (high-field 1.5T)
- ABUS (automated 3D breast ultrasound)
What do I need to do to maintain my breast health?
Commonly asked questions answered by Dr. Mendi
Why do I need routine breast screening such as mammogram and ultrasound?
Breast Cancer affects 1 in 8 women in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, early-stage breast cancer has a five-year survival rate of 99 percent. Later-stage cancer has a survival rates of 27 percent. Mammograms and ultrasounds allow us to catch breast cancer before it has become too advanced to treat.
Do I still need mammograms if I don't have any symptoms or family history of cancer?
Yes!!! More than 75 percent of women who have breast cancer have no family history. Most breast cancers are asymptomatic. We detect breast cancers on screening mammograms at Bright Light Imaging on a regular basis. Luckily, they are often small enough that they can be treated well.
Does the compression from mammograms cause more breast cancer?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. The compression from mammograms, although somewhat uncomfortable, is very safe!! Many studies have shown women who have screening mammograms are much less likely to die of breast cancer. A recent study showed that women who participated in screening mammography had a 41% less risk of dying from breast cancer within 10 years (Mammography screening reduces rates of advanced and fatal breast cancers: Results in 549,091 women. Stephen W. Duffy MSc, László Tabár MD, et al. First published: 11 May 2020) .
Is the radiation from mammograms too much to make it worth it?
No! A mammogram is safe as long as the facility you go to is certified. Bright Light has been accredited by the ACR (the highest form af accreditation) for mammography for several years.
There is always background radiation in the world that we are exposed to every day. The radiation dose from a mammogram is equal to about 1-2 months of background radiation for the average woman.
Many studies have shown women who have screening mammograms are much less likely to die of breast cancer. A recent study showed that women who participated in screening mammography had a 41% less risk of dying from breast cancer within 10 years (Mammography screening reduces rates of advanced and fatal breast cancers: Results in 549,091 women. Stephen W. Duffy MSc, László Tabár MD, et al. First published: 11 May 2020) .
What is a 3D mammogram?
There are 2 basic types of digital mammograms.
3D MAMMOGRAMS (TOMOSYNTHESIS) is the most advanced type of mammogram currently offered. It provides more detailed pictures of both breasts, allowing for increased cancer detection and fewer false alarms, especially in patients with dense breasts. 3D mammograms slightly more costly than 2D, but this is typically covered by insurance plans.
2D MAMMOGRAMS are standard mammograms. They have been done for decades, and have been proven to SIGINIFICANTLY decrease the risk of dying from breast cancer.
I'm hearing so many different recommendations. How often do I REALLY need to get a mammogram?
Unfortunately, breast cancer is extremely common in women in the United States. I have diagnosed cancers in women ranging in age from 19 to 95. It is my passion to educate patients and my family and friends about the importance of screening early and often. The American College of Radiology continues to recommend screening mammograms for ALL WOMAN OVER THE AGE of 40 EVERY SINGLE YEAR!! This includes all women, regardless of their history. I stand by this whole-heartedly.
What other screening tools are there? What about ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a fantastic screening tool. It can catch cancers that mammogram can miss, especially in women with dense breasts. I am dilligent about getting myself a screening breast ultrasound with my mammogram every year. Automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) and handheld screening breast ultrasound are both options for this. This should not be done in place of mammograms. If you opt for a screening ultrasound, it should be done in conjunction with your yearly mammograms. This should be covered by insurance in women with dense breasts. If you have questions about this option, you can discuss with your doctor or call us!
Routine breast exams are also very important!! They should be done by you every month and by your doctor every year. Do you want to know how to do a self breast exam? Click here! You can also swing by our office to pick up an handy instruction card.
How can Bright Light Medical Imaging help me maintain my breast health?
Bright Light Medical Imaging offers breast screening at many locations! We have 2D and 3D mammography, ultrasound, and ABUS. For more advanced needs, we also offer breast MRI and breast biopsy. Our technologists are kind and gentle and here to serve you. Our doctors are highly trained in breast imaging, and we are available for consultation if you have questions.
Here's to your health!
Resham Mendi, MD
Resham Mendi, M.D.
Dr. Resham Mendi is a renowned expert in the field of medical imaging. She is a native of the Chicago area, and completed her undergraduate training Summa Cum Laude at Northwestern University. Dr. Mendi also attended Northwestern University for medical school. She did her residency training at the University of Illinois, and completed fellowship in MRI and advanced imaging.