Digital Mammography

Sand Lake Imaging is now offering the Genius 3D Mammography Exam, a more accurate way to screen for breast cancer.

These digital mammography systems create clearer, more accurate images than an x-ray mammography.

Our top-of-the-line Hologic Selenia Dimensions Tomographic Mammography systems allow for sharp, detailed images with superior resolution, reduced exposure, and less compression time. The fully automatic, self-adjusting, self-releasing tilt compression paddle conforms to the natural contour of the breast, making positioning easier and offering incomparable patient comfort.

Unlike other parts of the body, the breast is composed mainly of soft tissue. When breast tissue is x-rayed, it creates an image that looks something like a smoky haze, making it difficult to see tiny “spots,” called microcalcifications, and other subtle signs of early cancer.

Digital Mammogram (Left) vs. X-ray Mammogram (Right)

With digital tomosynthesis, the radiologist reviews electronic images of the breast using special high-resolution monitors. The physician can adjust the brightness, change contrast, and zoom in for close-ups of specific areas of interest. Being able to manipulate images is one of the main benefits of digital technology. Another convenience of digital mammography over film-based systems is it can greatly reduce the need for retakes due to over or under-exposure. This potentially saves additional time and reduces exposure to x-rays.

Because they are electronic, digital mammography images can be transmitted quickly across a network. Digital images can also be easily stored and copied without any loss of information, and transmitted in a more streamlined manner, eliminating dependence on only one set of “original” films. It is also more cost effective because there are no films to develop since the images are rendered digitally.

 

 

What to Expect

Mammography Screening Guidelines

In most cases, mammography can identify an abnormal breast mass as much as two years before it can be detected by touch.

The American Cancer Society recommends the following guidelines for breast cancer screening in women who have no symptoms of breast cancer:

  • Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast examination by a health care professional every 3 years.
  • Beginning at age 40, women should have a clinical breast examination by a health care professional every year.
  • Women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health.
  • Women at a greater than 20% lifetime risk (high risk) should get a MRI and a mammogram every year. The American Cancer Society recommends that this screening program should begin at age 30 and continue for as long as a woman is in good health; however, there is limited evidence about the best age to start screening.
  • Women who have been determined to be at high risk should consult their health care provider to decide on the right screening regimen for them, taking personal circumstances and preferences into consideration.
  • Women at a 15% to 20% lifetime risk (moderate risk) should talk with their health care providers about the benefits and limitations of adding MRI screening to their yearly mammogram.
  • Breast self-examination is an option for women starting in their 20s. Women should be told about the benefits and limitations of a BSE. Women should report any breast changes to their health professional right away.
  • Please visit the American Cancer Society website for more detailed information about their guidelines for breast cancer screening.

How to Prepare

Do not wear lotion, perfume, deodorant, or powder the day of exam. If you are a new patient, bring previous mammogram films and report. Do not schedule one week before menstrual period. Two-piece outfits may make you feel more comfortable during the exam.

Equipment Used for This Procedure


Hologic Selenia Dimensions

The Hologic Selenia Dimensions is used for mammographies and biopsies at Sand Lake Imaging. These machines provide tomosynthesis-guided biopsy technology, and Genius 3D Mammography. Both of these lead to more accurate readings and procedures, as they produce digital 3D images rather than standard 2D images. The Hologic Selenia Dimensions also reduces exam time and cost with its use of digital imaging. With digital scans, there is no film to develop (which can get costly), and a shorter exam time provides greater comfort on the part of the patient.