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    Breast Health Services

    A tradition of quality you can trust
    Since opening in 1994, Mills-Peninsula’s Breast Center has established a reputation of clinical excellence. We perform about 25,000 mammograms a year. About 80 percent of screening detected breast cancers are discovered at their smallest sizes and earliest stages, stage 0 and stage 1, when more treatment options are available and cure rates are highest.

    The latest, most exciting new technology available at the Mills-Peninsula Women’s Center is Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (3D mammography). We also offer breast MRI and a well-established, minimally invasive breast biopsy program. All radiologist physicians are board certified and have highly specialized training in the services they provide.

    Comprehensive Breast Health Services

    Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT):
    Digital Breast Tomosynthesis, also called 3D mammography, is the newest and most important advance in digital screening mammography. DBT technology improves upon the major limitation of mammography, overlapping tissue that can hide some small tumors, as well as create a false impression of abnormality (false positive).

    The 3D image is created by an arc of exposures through the breast in two positions in compression. These are reformatted by the computer into 1 mm thin sections through the breast, almost like a CT scan. With this technology, radiologists can more definitely determine what is normal tissue and what may be a small abnormality.

    Studies show that 3D mammography reduces the number of women called back for additional imaging by 40 percent and increases the number of early stage breast cancers detected by 27 percent. Digital breast tomosynthesis uses very low-dose radiation, similar to a standard mammogram, and takes just four seconds per view. The images are available right away for the radiologist to review and can be sent instantly to your doctor.

    When should I have a mammogram?
    All major medical organizations with expertise in breast cancer – including the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, the Society of Breast Imaging, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – recommend that women have a mammogram once a year starting at the age of 40. The risk of breast cancer does go up with age – in fact the two main risk factors are gender and getting older. Read our Preventive Health Guidelines.

    Do I need a referral?
    Your regular doctor can provide you with a referral to the Women’s Center. You can also make an appointment without a referral and we will ensure that you receive information for appropriate follow-up.

    Stereotactic, ultrasound and MRI-guided biopsy:
    These procedures may be necessary if a mammogram, ultrasound or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) detects something that needs further evaluation to provide an accurate diagnosis. In these procedures, local anesthesia is provided and a tissue sample is extracted using a needle.

    Ultrasound biopsy uses sound waves that outline the tissues, creating images that help the doctor guide the needle to the site.

    Stereotactic biopsy pinpoints the area of concern using X-ray images from more than one direction. A computer plots the exact area and guides the needle insertion.

    Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging):
    MRI procedures allow specialized imaging evaluation when indicated, such as for women with newly diagnosed breast cancer for surgical planning and women who are at particular high-risk for breast cancer.

    Multidisciplinary doctor review:
    A panel of expert physicians, including surgeons, radiologists, internists, medical and radiation oncologists and pathologists, meets weekly to review all new breast cancer diagnoses.

    Second opinion service:
    The breast imaging experts at the Women's Center are glad to review and discuss your breast imaging results and follow-up recommendations from other providers.

    Genetic counseling:
    A genetic counselor can help you determine your risk for breast cancer based on family history and determine whether you should have genetic testing.

    Breast Cancer Clinic:
    Women newly diagnosed with breast cancer at the Women's Center have a comprehensive new resource – the Breast Cancer Clinic at Mills-Peninsula's Dorothy E. Schneider Cancer Center, just downstairs. In one appointment, all the doctors you need to help make treatment decisions come together for you. As appropriate, individual consultations are provided with a surgeon, medical and radiation oncologists and plastic surgeon. A nurse specialist guides you through the process.