Early Detection for Breast Cancer with Mammograms
Mammograms are one of the most important tools in the early detection of breast cancer. This low-dose X-ray can reveal both benign (non-cancerous) and cancerous growths when they are too small to be detected by you or your health care provider. With a screening mammogram, it is possible to detect micro-calcifications (tiny deposits of calcium in the breast, which can sometimes indicate the potential presence of an early breast cancer) or a tumor that cannot be felt.
State-of-the-Art Digital Mammograms
MemorialCare Breast Centers are equipped with state-of-the-art digital mammography. During digital mammograms, a special detector is used to convert X-ray energy into a digital picture almost instantaneously. This technology makes taking mammograms faster and more convenient than film mammograms.
To help promote accuracy, all screening mammograms are double-read by a radiologist and a computer-aided detection system.
Tomosynthesis 3D Mammography
Not all breasts are the same. In fact, 40% of women have dense breast tissue which is associated with a slight increased risk of developing breast cancer. More importantly, dense breast tissue can mask a breast cancer on a traditional 2D mammogram or mimic one when none exists.
Tomosynthesis (3D) mammography is the current state-of-the-art technology for imaging dense breasts. Tomosynthesis uses digital x-ray technology to capture multiple images of the entire breast from different angles to produce high-resolution, 3D images, enabling radiologists to “see through” the dense breast tissue and find cancer that may be hiding within it.
Tomosynthesis provides more accurate results with fewer false positives, thus lowering recalls while increasing cancer detection rates.
The radiologists at the MemorialCare Breast Center at Saddleback Medical Center and Long Beach Medical Center have extensive experience interpreting 3D tomosynthesis, and our Medical Director, Dr. Gary Levine, was involved in the original clinical trials in the U.S.
Getting a Mammogram