It’s no secret that early breast cancer detection saves lives.

That’s why Tower Health facilities offer a wide range of screening and diagnostic tools. Our use of the latest imaging technology helps us find breast cancer in any type of breast — even if you have dense breast tissue or breast implants. We offer comprehensive breast health services.

The Importance of Mammograms

Mammography is an imaging procedure that takes x-ray images of the breast. There are two main types of mammograms:

  • Routine screening mammograms look for the first signs of cancer in women who don’t have symptoms. They can help find breast cancer before it may be large enough to be felt.
  • If you develop breast cancer symptoms — or if there is a questionable finding on your screening mammogram — a diagnostic mammogram (and possibly a diagnostic ultrasound) helps our team further evaluate your breast concern or screening result.

Most women begin having yearly mammograms at age 40 (or sooner if you’re high-risk).

Advanced 3D Mammography Helps Ensure Accuracy 

In addition to 2D mammographic images of the breast, we also offer 3D images, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis. 3D mammograms are the next generation of breast imaging, and provide increased detection of breast cancer compared to 2D mammograms. 3D mammograms have also been shown to decrease the need for follow-up mammograms by decreasing callback. 

Additional Breast Imaging Services

Some patients need tests that can show suspicious areas in more detail than a mammogram alone. For women with breast implants, dense breast tissue, or a strong family history of breast cancer, advanced breast imaging procedures may improve detection. These include:

  • Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Breast MRI takes detailed, 3D pictures of the breast, which are often enhanced with contrast. In higher-risk women, it can provide a supplemental testing option to mammograms, particularly in women with dense breast. It can also help evaluate the extent of breast cancer and help surgeons with treatment plans. It also can assist doctors with seeing how well chemotherapy or radiation treatments are working. In addition, breast MRIs are used to evaluate silicone implant rupture. Unlike a mammogram, a breast MRI uses no x-rays.
  • Breast ultrasound. Our team may use this test to further evaluate a specific area as part of a diagnostic study or use it as supplemental screening in high-risk women, particularly those who cannot have an MRI. Unlike a mammogram, a breast ultrasound uses no x-rays. It can help doctors evaluate benign (noncancerous), fluid-filled cysts vs. solid or suspicious masses.

Breast Biopsies

If your breast imaging test shows an abnormality, your doctor will need to see if there are cancer cells in that part of the breast. To do this, they will take a small amount of tissue from your breast and look at it under a microscope. This procedure is called a biopsy.

In most cases, we use imaging technology to make sure we’re collecting tissue from the right spot. And we use minimally invasive techniques to remove the tissue. This combination, known as image-guided biopsies, includes:

  • Ultrasound-guided biopsy. A radiologist uses ultrasound imaging to locate the target area, then a small piece of breast tissue is removed so it can be evaluated with a microscope. 
  • MRI-guided biopsy. Uses an MRI to guide the biopsy needle to the correct location, then a small piece of breast tissue is removed through a needle.
  • Stereotactic biopsy. Uses mammography to find the area of concern and guide the biopsy needle into place, then a small piece of breast tissue is removed through a needle.

A Leader in Safe, Sophisticated Breast Imaging

Tower Health has locations accredited by the American College of Radiology for the following breast imaging services:

  • Mammography
  • Breast MRI
  • Breast ultrasound

This distinction confirms we meet or exceed strict standards for image quality and patient safety.