PARK AVENUE - Radiologists
PARK AVENUE Manhattan's Premier Radiology Practice

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 40.

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 2 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 Ultrasound or MRI.

All women should perform monthly self breast examination and have a clinical breast exam performed by their Gynecologist or Primary care Physician annually.

  • Mammography should be scheduled after your period.
  • On the day of you 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, lotion can compromise the image. Prior breast surgery, the presence of implants (silicone or saline) can 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. .


Ultrasound maybe 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.

Breast MRI has become an important adjunct to mammography and breast ultrasound in recent years. While mammography detects many breast cancers, its sensitivity is limited. Breast MRI uses molecular signals to look for cancers that may be too subtle to identify on mammography or ultrasound.

Park Avenue Radiologists offers MRI guidance for core biopsy of lesions only visualized on breast MRI. Very few outpatient facilities have this capability. While breast MRI is very sensitive, it can sometimes detect lesions that mammography and ultrasound cannot see. As such, the ability to perform breast MRI biopsies makes breast MRI much more clinically relevant and we are confident that virtually all lesions identified can be sampled. Park Avenue Radiologists offers the latest breast MRI technology, including computer aided diagnostic (CAD) software.

Breast MRI may be an appropriate test in addition to mammography for patients with a strong family history of breast cancer (i.e., mother/ sister with breast cancer before age 50).

Breast MRI may also be helpful in patients recently diagnosed with breast cancer who desire breast conservation therapy or where there is concern for tumor recurrence versus scar. Non contrast breast MRI is also the best test to evaluate breast implant integrity.

Following placement in the MRI scanner, images are acquired before and following the injection of gadolinium. After the patient is imaged, computer processing of the images performs 'subtraction' of the pre-contrast images from the post-contrast images. This allows the radiologist to see cancers that mammography or ultrasound might not detect.

The procedure takes approximately 20 minutes and is noninvasive, except for the requirement of an intravenous injection. The newer MRI design results in a larger, shorter opening to the magnet. This feature vastly improves patient comfort and mitigates concerns of patients with claustrophobia.

If you would like additional information on these procedures we recommend visiting and the American Cancer Society.


Referring Physician Access