Now Offering 3D Mammography

What is 3D Mammography?

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT), commonly called 3D Mammography, is a revolutionary state of the art technology approved by the FDA in February 2011, which gives radiologists the ability to view inside the breast layer by layer, helping to see the fine details more clearly by minimizing overlapping tissue.  During a 3D mammogram, multiple low-dose images are acquired at different angles.  With 3D technology, the radiologist can view a mammogram in a way never before possible.

Benefits of 3D Mammography:

•   More accurate detection and earlier diagnosis: 3D mammography can make a tumor easier to see by minimizing the impact of overlapping breast tissue that can cause distortion and shadowing. The multiple layers provide better detection in dense breast tissue.

•   Less Anxiety: The improved accuracy of 3D helps distinguish harmless abnormalities from real cancers decreasing the number of unnecessary callbacks to patients for additional scans and biopsies.

Digital Mammography

At Mountain View Hospital, we know the facts about breast cancer: it is the second leading cause of death among women. In fact, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Because this is such a prevalent disease and has affected so many lives in our community, we continue to sponsor events raising awareness about the disease — and not just during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, but we are committed to fighting the disease year-round. Do your part and encourage the women in your life to get their yearly mammogram.

For most women, a mammogram provides the best way to find breast cancer at an early stage, when treatment has a higher success rate.

In our fight against breast cancer, we have secured the latest technology and implemented a highly effective process to detect the disease in the earliest stages possible to give the people in our community the resources they need to beat the prevalent disease.

Digital Screening Mammogram

The screening mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that uses the minimal amount of radiation needed to detect breast disease. It can safely detect breast cancer at its earliest and most treatable stages and does not significantly increase the risk of breast cancer. By virtue of the images being digital, we are able to use highly specified computer diagnostic software to assist the radiologist find subtle changes that cannot be recognized with the naked eye.

Digital Diagnostic Mammogram

When a screening mammogram reveals a suspicious or unclear area of the breast, or a patient is having specific breast problems, a diagnostic mammogram is sometimes recommended. This may consist of additional views beyond the standard four included in a screening mammogram.

What to Expect During Your Mammogram

During a mammogram, your breast will be compressed between two imaging plates for a few seconds while x-rays are taken. This is necessary for a quality mammogram and decreases the amount of exposure to radiation needed for proper imaging.

Your images will be interpreted by a radiologist. If there are any new findings on your images, the radiologist may want to obtain more images, and possibly do a breast ultrasound. In this case, our office will mail you a letter and ask you to come back in. You should not be alarmed if you receive a call-back — it just means that new findings need to be looked at more closely. In most cases, such changes are found to be benign and pose no threat to a woman’s health.

If you are coming in for a diagnostic mammogram because you are experiencing a problem with one or both breasts, or if you are coming back for additional images, you will be scheduled at a time when the radiologist is available to view the mammogram and decide whether additional studies are needed.

After the radiologist interprets your mammogram, a report will be sent to your physician.

How to Prepare for Your Mammogram

  • Prior to your exam, let us know if you have breast implants so that we can customize your exam.
  • Wear a two-piece outfit with a top that is easy to remove.
  • For a clear image, do not use any powders, deodorants or creams on your underarms or breasts.

Other Breast Procedures

Breast Ultrasound
Breast ultrasounds are sometimes used to evaluate breast abnormalities that are found in a screening or diagnostic mammogram, or during a physical exam. The ultrasound evaluates some breast masses and is the only way to tell whether a cyst is present without placing a needle into it to aspirate fluid. Breast ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves to help determine whether a mass is a solid tumor or a cyst. This technology allows safe, non-invasive, quick visualization of the breast tissue and is often used along with mammography. Breast ultrasound is very specific and not used for screening purposes.

Breast MRI
(Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is one of the most advanced imaging tools available, and when partnered with your annual mammogram, provides your physician with the best chance of early detection for most types of breast cancer. A Breast MRI does not replace mammography. Instead, it supplements the information provided by your mammogram examination. Normally a Breast MRI is requested if more detail is needed about a possible abnormality and is a valuable tool when determining treatment options.

Breast Biopsies
Neither a mammogram nor an ultrasound can prove that a specific abnormality is cancer. If either exam raise suspicion of cancer, then a biopsy to obtain a sample of cells or tissues should be done in order to perform a microscopic examination. The microscopic exam is required to determine whether the area in question is cancerous. A breast biopsy is also performed when the patient or physician strongly prefers a non-surgical method of assessing a breast abnormality, while still providing patients with accurate results with little scarring and lower costs.

  • A stereotactic breast biopsy is performed when the abnormal area in the breast is too small to be felt, making it difficult to locate the lesion by hand. The common reasons for this procedure are microcalcifications (tiny clusters of small calcium deposits), distortion in the structure of the breast tissue, an abnormal tissue change, or a new are of calcium deposits is present at a previous surgery site.
  • An ultrasound guided biopsy is performed when a suspicious solid mass can be felt and/or seen on an ultrasound.