Breast Health Services
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United Regional Offers the Latest Technology For Improved Screening and Dectecting Breast Cancer
More and more women are getting mammograms to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages. As a result, breast cancer deaths are on the decline.
Digital mammograms are still the best method to detect breast cancer early before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms and when it is easier to treat. But it is only a two-dimensional picture of the breast. Since the breast is composed of pockets of dense tissue surrounded by fat, when x-rayed, it creates an image that looks something like a smoky haze. The overlapping tissue in the image makes it difficult to see tiny “spots,” called microcalcifications, and other subtle signs of early cancer.
A suspicious area is hidden on two-dimensional “conventional” mammography
3D Mammogram layers of “slices” clearly reveals the suspicious area
Location and Hours of Operation:
Women’s Imaging is located on the first floor of the Bridwell Tower and provides services from 8:30 am to 11:30 am and 1 pm to 4 pm, Monday through Friday.
To schedule an appointment for a mammogram, please call (940) 764-5050 or visit MyChart.
3D Mammography Breast Tomosynthesis
3D Mammography, often referred to as breast tomosynthesis, 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.” During the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple breast images in just seconds.
A computer then produces a 3D image of breast tissue in one millimeter layers allowing the radiologist to see breast tissue detail in a way never before possible. Instead of viewing all the complexities of breast tissue in a flat image, the doctor can examine the tissue a millimeter at a time. Fine details are more clearly visible, no longer hidden by the tissue above and below.
This technology helps radiologists find very small cancers and rule out “false positives,” reducing the number of women who are called back for a diagnostic mammogram. It is especially helpful in detecting cancers in dense breast tissue, which 80% of women have.
This 3D mammography unit offers exceptionally sharp breast images, an advanced ergonomic design providing more patient comfort, and the ability to deliver superior screening and diagnostic performance.
The Softest Mammogram for Women:
Patient Comfort and Satisfaction
Pain, or fear of pain, is cited as one of the main reasons why 40% of women over the age of 40 do not get their annual screening mammograms. The Women’s Imaging Center in the new Bridwell Tower offers MammoPad® breast cushions, a soft, foam pad that helps minimize discomfort during a screening mammography. The cushion is placed on the imaging receptor, creating a warmer, softer surface between the breast and the mammography system.
Importance of Getting Regular Screening Mammograms
By offering women the latest technology in mammography, United Regional hopes to increase the number of area women who will be routinely screened. In 2016, United Regional performed over 6,000 mammograms.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Statistics indicate that one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her lifetime. The stage at which breast cancer is detected influences a woman’s chance of survival. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.
United Regional is committed to the fight against breast cancer. In offering 3D Mammography, we provide the latest in imaging quality. If you would like to schedule a mammogram or have questions about this important breast health procedure, please contact call 940-764-5050.
Stereotatic Breast Biopsies
If the 3D mammography does reveal an abnormality, biopsies are the only definitive way to confirm if it is benign (non-cancerous) or not. Stereotactic breast biopsy is an alternative to open or surgical biopsy and is a safe and minimally invasive form of breast biopsy, which can more accurately pinpoint the mass. It is used to obtain tiny samples from an abnormal breast mass for examination by a pathologist.
Two X-ray images of breast tissue are taken at different angles. A computer uses the images to locate the abnormality and calculate precise coordinates. Then the computer guides the physician in placing a thin hollow needle at the target.
A sample of suspect breast tissue is precisely located with a computer-guided imaging system and removed with a needle. The procedure is completed on an outpatient basis with a minimum of discomfort and recovery time.
Breast Health Navigator to Provide Help and Support
For most women, a mammogram is a routine matter, but for a woman whose exam reveals an abnormality, fear and anxiety can quickly set in.
To help alleviate the apprehension of facing the next steps alone, United Regional has a certified breast health navigator to guide women through the process of additional testing and a possible diagnosis of breast cancer. She provides reassurance and education through every step of the care cycle, and educates women about what they can expect during treatment and ongoing care.
United Regional encourages all women to have mammograms on a regular basis based upon their age and risk factors.
To schedule an appointment for a mammogram screening, please call (940) 764-5050 or visit MyChart.