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With breast cancer, timing is everything. Studies show that when breast cancer is detected in its earliest stages, a woman's chances of successful treatment dramatically increase.

The Breast Care Program offers the most advanced technologies to provide timely, accurate
diagnoses. They include:

  • Mammography, as recommended by the American Cancer Society for women over the age of 40, is the gold standard for the early detection of breast cancer. It is a low-dose X-ray that creates an image of the breast. The Breast Care Program provides digital mammography using the most advanced systems available. Digital mammography is available at only one-third of centers nationwide and has been proven to find more early breast cancers in a certain portion of the population. Most exams take less than one hour; referring physicians are sent the radiologist's report and patients are notified of the results of their exam by a letter sent from the facility. For patients with breast problems, diagnostic mammograms and breast ultrasounds are reviewed by the radiologist and results are given to the patient at the time of their exams.
  • ImageCheckerTM computer-aided detection system, a computerized scan of mammography images that alerts radiologists to abnormal or suspicious features. This "double check" can increase early detection of breast cancer by as much as 20 percent.
  • Breast ultrasound, a method of imaging the breast used to complement mammography. Ultrasound can provide more information, such as if an area has fluid or is solid.
  • Vacuum-assisted core breast biopsywith stereotactic or ultrasound guidance, a minimally invasive alternative to breast biopsy surgery. Using X-ray or ultrasound images as a guide, a radiologist can precisely target a suspicious area in the breast, position a biopsy needle and remove tissue to be sent to the lab for analysis. This procedure, which takes one to two hours, is performed with local anesthesia for minimal patient discomfort. Biopsy results usually are available within two days.
  • MRI scans and MRI-guided breast biopsy - Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast is an effective means of looking at the entire breast. The Breast Care Program was one of the first facilities in the state to offer MRI-guided breast biopsy. Specially trained radiologists use MRI images to help them guide a needle to a lesion site in the breast to retrieve a tissue sample for analysis or to guide the surgeon in the operating room.
  • DEXA scanning- The National Institutes of Health estimates that more than 30 million Americans have osteoporosis, 80 percent of whom are women. Bone densitometry, or DEXA scanning, is a low-dose X-ray scan used to diagnose loss of bone mass and fracture risk due to osteoporosis. Post-menopausal women are at the greatest risk of developing osteoporosis. Your physician can help you decide if a scan is needed.