The Breast Health Center makes your experience as pleasant and easy as possible. Our team is committed to providing you care in a supportive and healing environment.
Mammography remains the single most effective tool in the detection of breast cancer. Since the advent of modern mammography in the late 1960s, studies have conclusively proven that the mortality rate from breast cancer is significantly reduced with regular screening mammograms.
2-D mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose X-ray system to examine breasts. Digital mammography is a system where the x-ray film used in screen-film mammography is replaced by solid-state detectors, similar to those found in digital cameras, which convert X-rays into electric signals. The electrical signals are used to produce images of the breast that can be seen on a computer screen or printed on special films to look like screen-film. The breast is pressed between two plates to flatten and spread the tissue. This may be uncomfortable but it’s needed to get a good, clear picture.
3-D mammography is a new technology in the fight against breast cancer that allows doctors to examine your breast tissue one layer at a time. 3-D mammography uses high-powered computing to convert digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or “slices” – building what is essentially a “3-dimensional mammogram”. A good analogy for 3-D mammography is like thinking of the pages in a book. If you look down at the cover you cannot see all the pages – but when you open it up, you can go through the entire book, page-by-page to see everything between the covers. 3-D mammography is designed with the same concept in mind.
Very low X-ray energy is used during the screening examination so your radiation exposure is below the FDA guidelines. Using 3-D mammography and digital mammography together for screening has been proven to significantly reduce “call-backs” by 20-40%. In addition, 3-D mammography finds cancers earlier than 2-D mammography alone with a 27% increase in cancer detection and a 40% increase in invasive cancer detection.
Ultrasound is useful in determining whether the mass seen on a mammogram or felt is solid versus cystic (malignant vs. benign). Ultrasound imaging uses high-frequency sound waves that a computer will analyze the difference of returning signals to generate images of the area of interest.
MRI is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets, radio waves, and computer technology to create detailed images of the breast. It is capable of finding tiny tumors, even in dense breasts. MRI is sometimes used to look for breast cancer in women who are known to be at high risk. It can be used to stage cancers, map the extent of the tumor, evaluate the effectiveness of chemotherapy, and distinguish postoperative or post radiation scarring from recurrent cancer. MRI can also be used to image implants for leakage or ruptures.
Even though imaging tests like the mammogram and ultrasound can find a suspicious area, they cannot tell whether it’s cancer. A biopsy is the only way to know for sure if a breast change is cancer. Lesions must be biopsied in the modality in which they are visualized; therefore we offer Stereotactic (mammography), ultrasound and MRI image-guided biopsies.
Bone Density Exams
Compared to many tests, the bone density exam is a breeze. It’s a touchless scan, similar to an X-ray, so it’s painless. You’ll wear clothing that contains no metal (zippers, metal buttons, and belts) around the waist area. The bone density test measures your hip, spine and/or wrist. These tests are considered the “gold standard” for measuring your bone health. The bone density test is a highly sensitive scan and is more comprehensive than the peripheral machines so the results are more accurate. This makes the bone density scan the best way to tell if you have thinning bones. The test is easy to take; you lie down and the machine scans over your body in just a few minutes.