Diagnostic Breast Procedures
Mammography is a special type of x-ray imaging used to create detailed images of the breast. Mammography uses low dose; high contrast, high-resolution film; and an x-ray system designed specifically for imaging the breasts.
Successful treatment of breast cancer depends on early detection. Mammography can show changes in the breast well before a woman or her physician can feel them.
The Breast Care Center provides digital mammograms. A digital screening mammogram is conducted the same way as a traditional film-based mammogram, taking two views of each compressed breast.
The benefits of digital mammography:
- Digital mammography allows the radiologist to review your test on a computer screen
- High image quality with the ability to enhance and manipulate the image for further evaluation
- High quality image makes it easier to differentiate cancer tissue from normal tissue
- Digital mammography is ideal in detecting breast abnormalities in women under 50 or women with dense breast tissue, who are often at higher risk for breast cancer
- The images can be magnified to better visualize calcifications
- Digital images are obtained with up to 60% less radiation exposure to the woman than film images
- Digital mammography is faster so the mammogram exam is shorter
- Digital images can be stored permanently, with the ability to print on film
This diagnostic procedure studies a specific area found on the mammogram or on a lump discovered by the woman. This exam can determine the difference between a cystic or solid mass. Breast ultrasounds are used in conjunction with a mammogram. Due to their limited scope, they cannot be used as a replacement for a mammogram.
An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) procedure involves the use of a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to produce two-dimensional and three-dimensional pictures of the inside of the body. MRI of the breast is used to supplement mammography to detect breast cancer and other abnormalities of the breast. There is evidence that breast MRI can detect some lesions that may be missed by mammography.