Screening and diagnostic mammograms are performed at North Oaks Diagnostic Center, which is located at 15837 Paul Vega, MD, Drive in Hammond on the campus of North Oaks Medical Center, as well as North Oaks-Livingston Parish Medical Complex located at 17199 Spring Ranch Road in Livingston. Digital technology provides you with faster, more accurate testing and results, while our facility provides you with expert staff, privacy and comfort.
Awareness is your best defense in fighting cancer.
Breast cancer is a disease that all women should be concerned about. It is one of the most common cancers among women. Breast cancer frequently can be cured if detected and treated early. The Mammography Program offers affordable, high quality screening and diagnostic services to help women detect cancer.
What is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is a safe, low-dose X-ray picture of the breast. There are two kinds of mammography exams – screening and diagnostic. Both require a physician’s order.
A screening mammogram is used to help detect breast cancer when it may be too small to be felt. To be eligible for a screening, you must meet the following requirements:
- No lumps, nipple discharge or skin abnormalities
- No prior history of breast cancer
- No other symptoms of possible breast cancer.
If you are not eligible for a screening mammogram, your doctor may recommend a diagnostic mammogram. The diagnostic mammogram is performed if there is the possibility of a problem. Diagnostic mammography takes a little longer than screening mammography because more X-ray pictures are usually taken. At your request a radiologist will personally discuss your diagnostic mammography results with you.
Choosing a Quality Facility
The North Oaks Mammography Program is staffed by board-certified radiologists and certified, licensed mammography technologists, who meet all requirements set forth by the FDA and American College of Radiology.
North Oaks Diagnostic Center offers an all-female staff and a suite designed for patient comfort. The private mammography waiting room allows for patient education on proper breast self-examination techniques and consultations with mammography technologists. Each dressing room features a Queen Anne-inspired bench, a choice of full or half dressing gowns, wall mirrors and toiletries.
The North Oaks Diagnostic Center is equipped with the digital mammogram system Senographe 2000D, developed by General Electric Medical Systems, an acknowledged worldwide leader in mammography technologies. The Health System’s Senographe 2000D is the only digital mammography system in Tangipahoa and Livingston Parishes.
This new mammography system produces digital breast images through computerization rather than on X-ray film. The GE Senographe 2000D provides better visibility of the breast, particularly near the skin line, the chest wall, and in women with dense breast tissue.
When to Have a Mammogram
Authorities estimate that one out of eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. The American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association and the American College of Radiology have agreed that at:
- Age 20, you should start performing breast self-exams each month.
- Ages 40 and older, you should have an annual screening mammogram and a physician examination of your breasts.
Education and Support
The North Oaks Mammography Department offers printed information and an 8-minute instructional video on Breast-Self Examination (BSE) technique. Our technologists are also available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to offer tours of the facility and free, private instruction on the proper way to perform a BSE. The instruction is demonstrated on a realistic breast model.
On the Day of Your Mammogram
- Wear a two-piece outfit so you only have to remove your top.
- Don’t use deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or near the breasts before the exam. These products can show up on the image.
- Bring a list of the places and dates of previous mammograms, biopsies or other breast treatments.
- Bring any previous mammography images so they can be compared with your new mammogram.
- Arrive 20 minutes prior to your appointment time to register for your mammogram.
- Schedule the mammogram one week after menstruation begins. Your breasts are less tender at this time.
Answers to Common Questions
Q. How many women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year?
A. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer (other than skin cancer) in American women and is the second major cause of death after lung cancer. Approximately 182,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. According to the National Cancer Institute, 80 percent of women who develop breast cancer are over age 50.
Q. What are the risk factors for developing breast cancer?
A. Simply getting older and being a woman puts a woman at risk. The risk also is increased if a woman has a history of breast cancer in her family, has never had children, had her first child after age 30, began menstruating before age 12 or completed menopause after age 55.
Q. Are there any warning signs of breast cancer?
A. The most common warning signs are: a lump or thickening in the breasts, swelling, nipple discharge, pain, retraction (the nipple or skin being pulled in), or a change in the color or texture of the skin of the breasts or areola (skin around the nipple). You should contact your doctor if you detect any of these changes.
Q. Does a mammogram hurt?
A. The mammogram only takes a few minutes. You may feel slightly uncomfortable, but the examination should not be painful.
Appointments are available from:
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
To schedule an appointment, call: (985) 230-7777
between 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.