Breast imaging technology is used to screen for and diagnose breast disease, including breast cancer, breast infections, breast lumps, breast pain (mastalgia), fibrocystic breast changes, nipple problems or Phyllodes tumors.
The most common procedure is a mammogram, which uses low-dose X-rays to detect breast cancer and other conditions. Mammograms can find breast cancer up to two years before a lump may be felt during a physical exam.
Screening mammograms are recommended on an annual basis for all woman over 40 years old. This is because early detection and treatment improves breast cancer outcomes so dramatically. Diagnostic mammograms are performed for younger women at higher risk of developing breast cancer, or if there are breast problems, including breast pain, a lump or nipple discharge. Breast ultrasound is typically performed instead of a mammogram for women under 30.
LifeBridge Health is proud to offer patients breast tomosynthesis technology at both Herman & Walter Samuelson Breast Care Centers at Quarry Lake and Northwest Hospital.
Breast tomosynthesis, also called three-dimensional (3-D) mammography, is an advanced form of breast imaging where multiple images of the breast from different angles are captured and reconstructed into a three-dimensional image set. In this way, 3-D breast imaging is similar to computed tomography (CT) imaging in which a series of thin "slices" are assembled together to create a 3-D reconstruction of the body.
Studies have shown that breast tomosynthesis results in improved breast cancer detection rates; earlier detection of small cancers; greater accuracy in pinpointing the size, shape and location of abnormalities; fewer unnecessary biopsies or other tests; greater likelihood of detecting multiple tumors; and clearer images of abnormalities within dense breast tissue.
Other Breast Scans
Other breast imaging services include:
- Galactography, a low-dose X-ray exam that uses mammography and a contrast material to obtain pictures, called galactograms, of the inside of the breast's milk ducts. Galactography is typically used to evaluate a woman who has a bloody or clear discharge from her breast nipple and an otherwise normal mammogram.
- Scintimammography, which uses small amounts of radioactive materials called radiotracers, a special camera and a computer to help investigate an abnormality discovered on mammography. Its ability to detect cancer is not limited by dense breast tissue or breast implants, and it can reduce unnecessary procedures by helping determine whether an abnormality requires biopsy.
If an abnormality is detected, a breast biopsy is recommended to determine whether a growth is benign or cancerous.
- Stereotactic biopsy uses mammography to help locate a breast lump or abnormality and remove a tissue sample for examination. It’s less invasive than surgical biopsy, leaves little to no scarring and can evaluate calcium deposits or tiny masses not visible on ultrasound.
- Ultrasound-guided biopsy uses sound waves to help locate a lump or abnormality and remove a tissue sample for examination. It is less invasive than surgical biopsy, leaves little to no scarring and does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation.
- MRI-guided biopsy uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to help locate a breast abnormality and guide a needle to remove a tissue sample. It does not use ionizing radiation and leaves little to no scarring.
Preeti Gupta, M.D., is medical director of breast imaging for the Herman & Walter Samuelson Breast Care Centers at Quarry Lake and Northwest Hospital. She is a fellowship-trained, board-certified radiologist who specializes in breast imaging.
Dr. Gupta received her medical degree from Maulana Azad Medical College. She completed her residency in breast imaging at Saint Vincent Hospital – Worcester and her fellowship in breast imaging at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
At LifeBridge Health, we offer breast imaging at two locations:
Schedule an appointment for breast imaging today.