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Mammography is the most important tool in the diagnosis of breast cancer. A mammogram uses a low dose x-ray to take an image of the breast while the breast is compressed. These images are digital (on a computer) as opposed to film. Digital mammography may find abnormalities that cannot be seen or felt by you or your doctor. Most of these abnormalities are not cancer, but they must be further evaluated by a radiologist. Westcoast Radiology Imaging utilizes digital mammography with computer aided detection, or CAD to search for abnormal areas of density.
Digital mammography allows higher resolution of images and ability to manipulate image.
CAD provides a second computerized reading and highlight areas of suspected abnormalities.
While mammograms don’t prevent breast cancer, they help a doctor find it much earlier, while it is more treatable. A mammogram can identify a lump up to two years before it will become large enough for you to feel it. When breast cancer is found early, the five year survival rate is greater than 95%. Additionally, finding breast cancer early enables more women to select treatment options that allow them to keep their breasts.
Like many medical exams, mammograms are not 100% accurate, but they are the best imaging method available today for screening the population and finding breast cancer early. The American Cancer Society, The American Medical Association, and the American College of Radiology recommend that women age 40 and over have screening mammograms every year. Mammograms should be part of a comprehensive routine for checking for breast cancer that also includes monthly breast self examinations and annual clinical breast examinations.
There are two types of mammograms: screening and diagnostic.
A screening mammogram can save your life by finding breast cancer significantly earlier than it would be found without a mammogram. By finding breast cancer early, a woman’s chances of survival are higher and she may have more treatment options available to her.
The risk of breast cancer increases as a woman ages. Consequently, it is important for women who are age forty or older to have a mammogram annually. Women at high risk for breast cancer (mother or sister with pre-menopausal breast cancer, personal history of breast cancer, you carry the breast cancer gene, previous biopsy with high risk lesion previous chest radiation for lymphoma) should consider starting yearly mammograms at a younger age.
A diagnostic mammogram is done to investigate an abnormality that has been found in the breast, either in the screening mammogram or during a breast self exam (BSE) by the woman or during the clinical breast exam (CBE) by the clinician. This type of mammogram may help a radiologist exclude a problem, diagnose an abnormality or determine subsequent evaluations.
Breast ultrasonography is used as an adjunct to mammography to distinguish if a lump or mass is solid tissue or if it is simply a fluid-filled cyst.
There is no special preparation for the ultrasound except to wear comfortable clothing.
The examination is painless and usually takes less than 30 minutes.
Westcoast Radiology Imaging is committed to leading the fight against breast cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Our goal is to bring the newest and most powerful imaging tools that will enable physicians to detect breast cancer and to diagnose it more accurately. Our breast MR solution offers uncompromising imaging for increased diagnostic confidence.
MR imaging uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor or printed. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays).
MRI of the breast offers valuable information about many breast conditions that cannot be obtained by other imaging modalities, such as mammography or ultrasound.
MRI of the breast is mostly used as a supplemental tool for detecting and staging breast cancer and other breast abnormalities. MR imaging of the breast is performed to:
VIBRANT uses the GE exclusive GEM acceleration technique to further accelerate the scanning speed of GE’s patent pending VIBRANT technique. With VIBRANT you can acquire higher resolution faster. VIBRANT still allows the choice of direct sagittal or axial imaging making it easy for you to satisfy your clinicians, and automatically optimizes parameters making it easy for your technologists to give you consistent image quality.