Frequently Asked Questions
Where are your centers located and what are the hours of operation?
690 Meadows Road, Boca Raton
M-F 7:00am-5:00pm, Sat 8:00am-12:00pm
1601 Clint Moore Road, Boca Raton
3313 W Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach
561.955.6201 or 954.420.0100
790 East Broward Blvd, Suite 302
561.955.6700 or 954.728.8955
What type of imaging do you perform?
The Schmidt Family Center for Breast Care offers the most advanced technologies in the fight against breast cancer. These technologies include:
- Full-field digital mammography
- Specialized dedicated breast ultrasound with Elastography
- Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
- Positron emission mammography (PEM)
- Bone mineral densitometry with or without VFA (vertebral fracture assessment)
- Minimally-invasive biopsy
- Clinical Breast Exams
What other services are offered at your site?
The Schmidt Family Center for Breast Care is only one part of the Women’s Institute. In addition to the imaging that is performed at the Schmidt Family Center for Breast Care, the facility also offers a vast array of clinical specialties-all geared toward women’s health. These specialties include:
- Primary care medicine
- Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program
- Genetic counseling/testing available
- Nurse navigation
- Second opinion service
- Osteoporosis screenings
- Cardiac risk screenings
- Pelvic floor and incontinence screening and treatment
Do I need a prescription for my mammogram?
No, for an annual screening mammogram a prescription is not needed. However, a prescription is required for a diagnostic mammogram.
What insurances do you take?
We are providers for all major commercial insurance plans including Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, Aetna, United Healthcare, and many others. In addition, we have competitive flat rate pricing and also have financial assistance available for those who qualify.
Do you offer financial assistance?
Yes, we offer financial assistance for those who qualify. Please contact the Financial Service department at 561.955.4294 directly with any questions or to inquire about obtaining assistance.
What certifications does your center have?
We proudly have been accredited by the American College of Radiology’s (ACR) highest designation as a Breast Center of Excellence
When will I get my results?
It is our standard of care to provide the patient with their results before they leave. Should any additional exams be required, we are able to complete them on all on the same day. For those who do not choose to wait for their results, they will receive a personal call within 2 business days.
What do I need for my appointment?
On the day of your appointment, you will need your prescription if you have one and your prior images if you have had a mammogram at another facility.
What are the benefits of a screening mammogram?
A screening mammogram should be part of your annual preventative care routine. Early breast cancer detection through screening mammography is the most effective way to reduce mortality from the disease and is, in fact, the only method so far proven to reduce deaths due to breast cancer. Early detection has also been shown to lead to less intensive treatments, including lumpectomy rather than mastectomy, and less of a need for chemotherapy in some cases. If you have any questions concerning mammograms, you should contact your healthcare provider.
The national recommendation for screening mammograms by the National Cancer Institute is women age 40 and older should have mammograms every 1 to 2 years. However, women who are at higher than average risk of breast cancer (for example, because of a family history of the disease or because they carry a known mutation in either the BRCA1 or the BRCA2 gene) should talk with their health care providers about whether to have mammograms before age 40 and how often to have them.
What is the best method of detecting breast cancer as early as possible?
Getting a high-quality screening mammogram and having a clinical breast exam (an exam done by a health care provider) on a regular basis are the most effective ways to detect breast cancer early. As with any screening test, screening mammograms have both benefits and limitations. For example, some cancers cannot be detected by a screening mammogram but may be found by a clinical breast exam.
Checking one’s own breasts for lumps or other unusual changes is called a breast self-exam, or BSE. This type of exam cannot replace regular screening mammograms or clinical breast exams. In clinical trials, BSE alone was not found to help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer.
Although regular BSE is not specifically recommended for breast cancer screening, many women choose to examine their own breasts. Women who do so should remember that breast changes can occur because of pregnancy, aging, menopause, during menstrual cycles, or when taking birth control pills or other hormones. It is normal for breasts to feel a little lumpy and uneven. Also, it is common for breasts to be swollen and tender right before or during a menstrual period. If a woman notices any unusual changes in her breasts, she should contact her health care provider.
When should I stop having a mammogram?
Mammograms are needed throughout the duration of your adult life. Should you have any question, please discuss them with your healthcare provider.
How much radiation will I receive during my mammogram?
Mammograms require very small doses of radiation. The risk of harm from this radiation exposure is extremely low, but repeated x-rays have the potential to cause cancer. The benefits of mammography, however, nearly always outweigh the potential harm from the radiation exposure. You should always let your health care provider and the x-ray technologist know if there is any possibility that they are pregnant, because radiation can harm a growing fetus.
Are mammograms painful?
Although not painful, mammograms can be uncomfortable for some women. In order to get a good image, the technologist must apply moderate pressure to the breast. You may feel uncomfortable while your breast is being compressed, but the pressure only lasts for a few seconds. If you experience discomfort, tell the technologist. She may be able to adjust the compression. The two of you can work together to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
Who is at risk for breast cancer and what are the risk factors?
Factors that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer include:
- Being female. Women are much more likely than men are to develop breast cancer.
- Increasing age. Your risk of breast cancer increases as you age. Women older than 55 have a greater risk than do younger women.
- A personal history of breast cancer. If you've had breast cancer in one breast, you have an increased risk of developing cancer in the other breast.
- A family history of breast cancer. If you have a mother, sister or daughter with breast cancer, you have a greater chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Still, the majority of people diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.
- Inherited genes that increase cancer risk. Certain gene mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer can be passed from parents to children. The most common gene mutations are referred to as BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes can greatly increase your risk of breast cancer and other cancers, but they don't make cancer inevitable.
- Radiation exposure. If you received radiation treatments to your chest as a child or young adult, you're more likely to develop breast cancer later in life.
- Obesity. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of breast cancer because fat tissue produces estrogen that may help fuel certain cancers.
- Beginning your period at a younger age. Beginning your period before age 12 increases your risk of breast cancer.
- Beginning menopause at an older age. If you began menopause after age 55, you're more likely to develop breast cancer.
- Having your first child at an older age. Women who give birth to their first child after age 35 may have an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Postmenopausal hormone therapy. Women who take hormone therapy medications that combine estrogen and progesterone to treat the signs and symptoms of menopause have an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. Experts recommend no more than one alcoholic beverage a day for women.
At the Women’s Institute, we offer B.R.A.’s-Breast Risk Assessment. This is personalized visit with one of our practitioners who will perform a comprehensive assessment of your individual risk factors to determine your personal risk for breast cancer. The practitioner will work with you to determine the appropriate surveillance plan based on the outcome of the consultation. For more information, please call 561.955.4HER.
Are there any signs or symptoms of breast cancer?
Although the majority of breast changes don't turn out to be cancer, make an appointment to see your doctor if you find a lump or other change in your breast. Even if you've just had a mammogram with normal results, it's still important to have your doctor evaluate any changes. Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:
- A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
- Bloody discharge from the nipple
- Change in the size or shape of a breast
- Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
- Inverted nipple
- Peeling, scaling or flaking of the nipple or breast skin
- Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange
I was told I need Additional Imaging. What does that mean?
‘Additional imaging’ means that although you have had a mammogram, the radiologist has observed some changes in your breasts that require them to take a different look. That can entail more images using the same mammography unit but in a different position, or it can mean using ultrasound or MRI to look at the changes.
When will my doctor receive my report?
If you have supplied the Center with the name of your physician, they will receive a faxed copy of your report within 2-5 business days.
Who gets my report if I did not give you a doctor for the record?
If you did not have a prescription and did not provide us the name of your physician, we will provide you with a copy of their report within 30 days of your visit. That report should be kept as a part of your medical record and brought to any medical appointments. Should the report be misplaced, we will gladly fax or mail the report at any time to the physician of your choice.
Can I have a mammogram if I have breast implants?
Absolutely. A woman with implants should follow the same breast-care guidelines as a woman without implants. It is very important that you tell the scheduler and the technologist that you have implants to ensure the proper techniques are used to preserve the implant during the exam. Be advised that the mammogram will take a bit longer for those who have implants.
How can I request my images?
You may request your images by contacting the center where you images were performed. (Please refer to the top of the page for phone numbers.) Typically we require 2 business days to prepare the images to be loaded onto a CD. For more information, you can contact 561.955.3383.
Do I need to obtain my mammography images from a prior facility?
Yes, it is very important to obtain any and all prior breast images and bring them with you to your appointment. In order to detect changes and deem them normal or abnormal, the radiologists need a point of comparison. Without previous images, the radiologists may need to perform additional imaging in the form of extra mammography images or an ultrasound. To avoid these additional tests, your prior images are needed. If you need assistance obtaining your prior images, you can call the film department at 561.955.3383.
Do I need to bring in my previous reports from another facility?
In addition to your previous images, the associated reports are also very important for the technologists and radiologists.
How many years of prior mammography films do I need to bring with me?
You should bring all your prior mammography images and reports.
Do you accept CDs?
Yes, we do accept both films and CD’s.
Do you offer/provide second opinions?
Yes, we do offer second opinion services where you and one of our radiologists will review your images and medical history, then discuss your options. To schedule this service, please contact 561.955.5735. It will be very important to have all your breast imaging and reports available for the visit.
I was told “I have dense tissue”, what does that mean?
Breast density has been a hot topic in the medical community and media recently, and with good cause. Breast density is a very important matter for women to know and understand as it affects each of us in a different way. Breast density is a way to describe the composition of a woman’s breasts. This measure compares the area of breast and connective tissue seen on a mammogram to the area of fat. Breast and connective tissue are denser than fat and this difference shows up on a mammogram. As such, it is important to know that determining true breast density can only be determined through the use of mammography and not only based on a physical breast exam.
If you are told you have high breast density, it means there is a greater amount of breast and connective tissue compared to fat. Those with low breast density means there is a greater amount of fat compared to breast and connective tissue. It is important to know your density as it affects your personal risk for breast cancer. In fact, women with high breast density (as seen on a mammogram) are four to five times more likely to get breast cancer than women with low breast density
Should you have any questions about your breast density, please discuss them with your healthcare provider or call the schedule an appointment with one of our nurse practitioners for Breast Risk Assessment by calling 561-955-4HER. This is personalized visit includes a comprehensive assessment of your individual risk factors to determine your personal risk for breast cancer. The practitioner will work with you to determine the appropriate surveillance plan based on the outcome of the consultation.