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Women's Diagnostics

Health Screenings for Osteoporosis, Cancer & More

Mammography

A mammogram is a series of x-ray pictures of the breasts used to detect tumors and other abnormalities in the tissue. Both women with average and above average breast cancer risks should receive mammograms. Physicians will recommend patients receive a mammogram immediately if they discover a lump, nipple discharge, unusual breast pain, dimpling in the breast, or nipple retraction.

Atlantic General offers the latest in 3D mammography technology, to help detect cancer earlier – particularly in patients with dense breast tissue.

When to get a mammogram:

  • Regular screening mammograms are important for catching breast cancer early, but recommendations vary. It’s a personal decision based upon each individual’s current health, age and risk factors. Please discuss this with your health care provider to determine the screening schedule that is right for you.

If someone in your family has had breast cancer, you should receive a mammogram earlier than the recommended age. Experts recommend that certain women at very high risk of breast cancer should also have a breast MRI along with their yearly mammogram. Ask your doctor if you need an MRI.

Mammograms are noninvasive and non-painful. You will be asked to undress from the waist up and provided with a gown. Your breasts will be placed one at a time on a flat surface containing the x-ray plate. Another plate from above will then come down and squeeze the breast as pictures are taken.

Some discomfort is expected, but tell your doctor if you experience unusual pain.

Same-day and next-day appointments are available to patients who have discovered a suspicious spot.

Screening Mammograms offered in: West Ocean City
Diagnostic Mammograms offered in: Berlin

Breast Ultrasound

Breast ultrasound uses sound waves that cannot be heard by humans to look at the breast.

Common uses of ultrasound include:

  • Further examination of abnormalities detected in a mammogram. If a mammogram shows a growth, ultrasound can help determine whether it is a solid mass or a cyst.
  • Examining the cause of a breast lump or nipple discharge.

You will be asked to undress from the waist up and put on a gown. During the test, you will lie on your back on the examining table.

A water-soluble gel is placed on the skin of the breast. A hand-held device (transducer) directs the sound waves to the breast tissue. The transducer is moved over the skin of the breast to create a picture that can be seen on a screen.

There are no risks associated with breast ultrasound. There is no radiation exposure.

Services Offered in: Berlin

Breast MRI Scan

Breast MRIs are a noninvasive, radiation-free scan that creates detailed pictures of the breast and surrounding tissues. However, it is not a replacement for mammography.

Breast MRI may also be performed to:

  • Find cancer in the breast
  • Distinguish scar tissue from tumors
  • Examine breast lumps after a biopsy
  • Further examine abnormal findings in a breast exam
  • Check breast implants for damage
  • Find any cancer that remains after surgery or chemotherapy
  • Guide a biopsy
  • Screen for cancer

An MRI of the breast can also show:

  • Blood flow through the breast area
  • Blood vessels in the breast area

During the exam, you will lie on your stomach with your breasts hanging down into cushioned openings. The narrow table slides into the middle of the MRI machine. Some exams require a special dye (contrast). The dye is usually given before the test through a vein (IV) in your hand or forearm. The dye helps the radiologist see certain areas more clearly.

The radiologic technologist will watch you from another room. Several sets of images are usually needed, each taking 2 - 15 minutes. The examination takes approximately 1 hour to complete.

Services Offered in: Berlin

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

This test may be done if your doctor suspects cancer due to abnormal findings on a mammogram or ultrasound of the breast, or during a physical exam.

To identify whether someone has breast cancer, a biopsy must be done. Tissue and fluid from the abnormal area are removed and examined underneath a microscope. Stereotactic breast biopsy is often used when a small growth or calcifications are seen on a mammogram, but cannot be seen using an ultrasound of the breast.

During the exam, you be asked to lie facing down on the biopsy table. The table will have holes for your breast to fall through. The table will rise up so the doctor can perform the exam from below.

A stereotactic biopsy includes the following steps:

  • The radiologic technologist will first localize the area of interest using stereotactic imaging.
  • Then the radiologic technologist will clean the area on your breast, and the radiologist will then inject a numbing medicine. This may sting a little bit.
  • The breast is held down and you will be asked to hold still while the biopsy is performed.
  • The doctor will make a very small cut on your breast over the area that needs to be biopsied.
  • A needle is guided to the abnormality using a machine and samples of breast tissue are extracted.

The biopsy itself only takes a few minutes, but the procedure as a whole takes an hour.

Services Offered in: Berlin

Cyst Aspiration

Breast cysts are fluid-filled growths inside the breast that are fairly common for women. Most do not cause pain and are noncancerous.

Breast cyst aspiration is a procedure used to drain the fluid from a cyst and remove the lump from the breast. If a cyst aspiration is successful, it confirms that the lump was a cyst and not a cancerous tumor.

Services Offered in: Berlin

Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy

An ultrasound-guided breast biopsy may be done to evaluate abnormal findings on a mammogram or breast ultrasound, or during a physical exam. To determine whether someone has breast cancer, a biopsy must be done. Tissue and fluid from the abnormal area are removed and examined under a microscope.

Before the procedure, you will be asked to undress from the waist up. You will wear a robe that opens in the front. You will be awake during the biopsy. You will lie on your back. The Breast Health Navigator will first clean the area on your breast, and the radiologist will then inject a numbing medicine.

The procedure:

  • The radiologist will make a very small cut on your breast over the area that needs to be biopsied.
  • The radiologist will use an ultrasound machine to guide the needle to the abnormal area in your breast that needs to be biopsied.
  • Several biopsies may be taken through the same needle.
  • A small metal clip may be placed into the breast in the area of the biopsy to mark it, if needed.

The biopsy is done using fine needle aspiration, a hollow needle (called a core needle), or a vacuum-powered device, depending on the area and the radiologist’s preference.

Services Offered in: Berlin

Wire/Needle Localization Biopsy

When a breast imaging exam reveals an abnormality, your care provider will mark it with a wire. A radiologist will use that wire as a marker for performing a biopsy.

The procedure involves two steps:

  • Step 1: Wire/Needle Localization – A small needle is guided into the breast and touches the abnormality. This should only cause minor discomfort. A wire will then be guided through the needle to mark the abnormality as the needle is removed.
  • Step 2: Surgical Biopsy – With the wire in place, the biopsy can be performed. This will be completed under general anesthesia.

You will rest in a recovery suite when the biopsy is complete.

Services Offered in: Berlin [link to Women’s Diagnostic Center page]

Bone Density Test

A bone mineral density (BMD) test measures calcium and minerals in the bone. This test is used to predict a patient’s risk of bone fracture and osteoporosis.

BMDs are usually recommended for patients with high risk factors for osteoporosis:

  • Individuals over the age of 65
  • Individuals who have had bone fractures
  • Individuals with chronic rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, and eating disorders
  • Individuals in the early stages of menopause
  • Individuals who have received hormone treatment
  • Individuals who smoke
  • Individuals with a family history of osteoporosis
  • Individuals who drink alcohol several days out of the week

BMD testing will tell your doctor how well you are responding to osteoporosis treatment.

Services offered in: West Ocean City

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