Discovering a suspicious mass in your breast is a frightening, sometimes life-changing, experience. While the majority of breast issues will not be caused by cancer, it is critically important to have a diagnostic evaluation quickly. If you have noticed a change in your breasts – thickened nipples, discharge from the nipples, change in skin appearance, or a lump – please seek medical care immediately.
At Valley Radiology, we offer a full suite of advanced screening technologies that can identify potential breast health issues in their early stages. If you have a family history of breast cancer, are at high risk for breast cancer, or have discovered an abnormality in your breast, we offer the imaging services below.
Mammogram (Digital Breast Tomosynthesis)
Digital breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3-D mammography, is an essential tool for detecting abnormalities and cancers of the breast tissue. 3-D mammograms offer extremely precise, highly detailed images of the internal structure of the breasts. For women with dense breast tissue, 3-D mammography provides the best resource for cancer detection.
Whether you require a screening mammogram or a diagnostic mammogram, Valley Radiology offers the latest tools and technologies to assure accurate results and the very best chances of recovery.
When a mass is identified through a diagnostic screening, a biopsy must be performed to determine whether the tissue is malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). A biopsy involves extracting a sample of the suspicious tissue for further evaluation. At Valley Radiology, we perform the following breast biopsy procedures:
- Core needle biopsy: A core needle biopsy is usually less traumatic and expensive than an open or surgical biopsy because they are minimally invasive and performed on an outpatient basis. Core needle biopsies are valuable because they spare patients the stress and inconvenience of hospital stays.
A core needle biopsy will rule out cancer in most cases. The process takes roughly 30 minutes and only requires a local anesthetic. Because the procedure is minimally invasive, there is an extremely low risk of complications, such as infection, scarring, or alteration of breast shape. Patients can resume their daily activities the day of the procedure with no downtime.
- Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy: Ultrasound-guided breast biopsies use imaging technology to help clinicians access a suspicious mass within the breast tissue. This procedure allows the physician to extract a sample quickly and with minimal discomfort.
- Axillary lymph node biopsy: An axillary lymph node biopsy is the extraction of lymph node tissue to check for cancer cells.
Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an extremely effective tool for breast cancer screening in patients who are at extremely high risk. The procedure is also recommended for patients who have unusually dense breast tissue, or who have breast implants. It is also used to discover the degree to which existing cancer has spread.
Breast Ultrasound Imaging
Breast ultrasound imaging allows the clinician to assess blood flow throughout your breasts and uses sound waves to create images of their internal structure. If your radiologist detects any changes between breast screenings, breast ultrasound imaging might be recommended. Your doctor might also require an ultrasound exam if a mass or abnormality is detected by touch, but doesn’t appear on a mammogram image.
At Valley Radiology, we are proud to provide state-of-the-art imaging technologies that allow your physician to conduct in-depth diagnoses of potentially serious health conditions early and accurately.
Please note that a doctor's referral is required for all services except Mammogram.