At Park Avenue Radiology, we offer the most scientifically advanced medical imaging techniques currently available for breast imaging. We offer the most effective yet minimally invasive breast imaging techniques for prompt, accurate results. At Park Avenue Radiologists, we offer breast imaging services, such as mammograms, breast ultrasounds, breast MRIs, and breast biopsies.
Mammography plays a critical role in the early detection of breast cancer. The U.S. Department of Health, the American Cancer Society, The American Medical Association and the American College of Radiology recommend annual screening mammography for women beginning at age forty. As with all radiological procedures patients should inform the technologist if there is any chance of pregnancy or if you are nursing.
There are two basic types of Mammography: 1) a screening mammogram in which two basic views of each breast are taken and 2) a diagnostic mammogram which utilizes additional views if there is a symptom, family history, or finding on screening mammography. Following a mammogram, the radiologist may recommend additional imaging such as an Ultrasound or MRI. All women should perform monthly breast examinations on themselves and have a clinical breast exam performed by their gynecologist or primary care physician annually.
- THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY RECOMMENDS ANNUAL BREAST MRI & MAMMOGRAM IF YOU:
- Have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of 20% to 25% or greater, according to risk assessment tools
- Have a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
- Have a first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, or child) with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
- Have had radiation therapy to the chest between the ages of 10 and 30 years
- Have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, or have first-degree relatives with one of these syndromes
Mammography should be scheduled after your period. On the day of your procedure, do not wear any deodorant, talcum powder or lotion in the breast or underarm area. Bring any prior mammography films you may have and give them to the technologists before your study begins. Tell the technologist if you have implants or any pain, lumps, nipple discharge etc. A letter will be sent to you informing you of your results and any necessary follow-up. Allow a week's time and contact your referring physician for instruction.
Mammography is not a perfect study. Five to 10 percent of all screening mammography result in a "false positive finding". This means that results appear abnormal and additional studies are required (ultrasound, fine needle aspiration, and biopsy) with the subsequent testing proving no cancer. Normal breast tissue appears different in each woman and the slightest movement or trace of deodorant, powder, or lotion can compromise the image. Prior breast surgery or the presence of implants (silicone or saline) can also block the view of tissue.
Ultrasound may be used to evaluate palpable findings or as an adjunct to mammography. These images are recorded and displayed on a monitor. The ability to visualize a finding on sonography greatly facilitates performing a biopsy, if required. Breast ultrasound may also be helpful in evaluating breast symptoms in younger patients, where mammography may be inappropriate.
A breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is an important adjunct to mammography and breast ultrasound. Breast MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce comprehensive pictures of the breasts and their internal structures. In many cases, a breast MRI is ordered after undergoing a mammogram or breast ultrasound. A breast MRI scan can be used to screen for breast cancer, tumors, or cysts. Radiologists can also use a breast MRI scan to monitor the breasts after breast cancer surgery or lumpectomy.
Breast MRI Biopsies
If a suspicious lump or growth is found within the breast, further testing is required to determine the cause of this irregularity. A breast biopsy is a medical test that determines if a growth is cancerous or benign. Some common breast biopsy techniques include ultrasound-guided breast biopsy, fine needle aspiration biopsy, core needle biopsy, and surgical breast biopsy.
Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy
Ultrasound may be used to evaluate suspicious masses within the breast detected via ultrasound. Tissue specimens are acquired using a vacuum assisted device. Breast biopsy can be performed as an outpatient procedure, often avoiding the need for surgery.
Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy
During fine needle aspiration biopsy, a small needle is used to take a small sample of the breast lump or growth. This sample is then examined under a microscope to determine its attributes. If the clear liquid is withdrawn, then the breast lump is most likely a cyst, but testing is still needed. A sample that is cloudy or bloody is inconclusive and must be tested for a proper diagnosis.
Core Needle Biopsy
Like a fine needle aspiration biopsy, core needle biopsy uses a small hollow needle to remove tissue from a breast lump or growth. The small cylindrical samples of breast tissue that are removed during this breast biopsy are referred to as cores or core samples. Three to six samples may be taken from the breast, which makes it slightly more accurate than fine needle aspiration biopsy.
If other breast biopsy options prove to be inconclusive or cannot be done, a surgical breast biopsy may be needed. During a surgical breast biopsy, part of (incisional) or all of (excisional) the irregular tissue or lump will be removed and then tested at a lab. In most cases of a surgical breast biopsy, stitches are required to properly close the wound.
How can I learn more Breast Imaging?
Our radiologists at Park Avenue Radiologists would be happy to discuss breast imaging with you. For an appointment or additional information, please call 212.888.1000, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or request an appointment online.