Women's Imaging

Mammography

Mammograms, along with monthly breast self-exams (BSE) are tools to assist in detection of breast cancer. A screening mammogram is used for screening of asymptomatic women. A diagnostic mammogram is used if suspicious symptoms such as a lump are present, if there is a personal history of breast cancer, or if something potentially abnormal was seen on the screening mammogram. Guidelines from the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommend annual mammograms for women 40 and older.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommends that women who are increased risk due to genetic history of breast cancer, or who have had breast cancer, may need mammograms at an earlier age. Be sure to contact your physician if you have a question regarding when you should schedule a mammogram. Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder, or lotion under your arms or upper body on the day of the mammogram. These can distort images and appear on the mammogram as calcium spots. It is also important to obtain prior mammograms for comparison purposes, if this was performed at another facility. Make sure that the technologist performing the exam is aware of any symptoms or problems.

 

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive form of imaging that utilizes high frequency sound waves to obtain a medical image of soft tissue. Ultrasound of the breast can determine whether a mass is cystic or solid and can assist in characterizing whether a mass is likely to be benign or cancerous.

 

MR Imaging

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) appears to have a role in detection and management of some cases of breast cancer. Breast malignancies typically have increase blood flow. This increased blood flow can be demonstrated by injecting contrast agent and imaging the breast with MRI. The abnormality will be brighter and more intense on the image. MRI has also been shown to be the most accurate exam for evaluating breast implants for possible rupture.

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Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Most suspicious breast abnormalities found on mammograms are not malignant. Stereotactic Breast Biopsy involves the nonsurgical evaluation of nonpalpable breast lesions. A specifically designed stereotactic mammography unit provides image guidance and allows for placement of a needle into the center of a nonpalpable breast abnormality. Through the aid of an automatic biopsy device, a cylinder of tissue is removed for evaluation. The patient rests on a table while the breast is imaged digitally and the needle is placed in the center of the abnormality. The procedure accurately identifies benign and malignant abnormalities.

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Ultrasound Core Breast Biopsy/Cyst Aspiration

Ultrasound guided core biopsy has become a significant mode for diagnosing suspicious breast lesions. Breast cyst aspiration is a simple procedure designed to remove cyst fluid with ultrasound guidance. A small needle is inserted through the cyst wall to drain the fluid for further laboratory study. Tissue can also be extracted utilizing special needle, if the abnormality is solid.

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Breast Needle Localization

Breast needle localization is a procedure designed to locate for biopsy non-palpable (unable to be felt) breast abnormalities to allow the surgeon to accurately remove the abnormality.

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Osteoporosis and Bone Densitometry

Osteoporosis is a disabling disease that causes bones to become brittle, particularly among elderly women. Bones weakened by mineral loss are prone to fractures particularly in the spine and hips. Symptoms include curvature of the spine, back pain and loss of height. Low bone density is most commonly measured by Dual X-ray Absorptometry or DEXA scan which detects bone mineral density or bone mass. The scan uses very low does radiation along with highly sophisticated computerized analysis to provide reference information. The test is simple and painless.

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