There are two categories of mammograms: Screening and Diagnostic. While they both use x-ray to detect cancer cells in the breast usually earlier than a woman may feel a lump, the Diagnostic Mammogram is prescribed or recommended if the patient is experiencing pain, lumps, or any unusual changes in the breast. Most breast x-ray used is currently Digital. Two different types of digital x-ray may be used depending on the breast tissue density (how much glandular versus fatty tissue in proportion to the overall amount of tissue). The traditional Digital Mammogram uses x-rays at two projections, oblique and vertical. A 3-D Mammogram (3-D, 3 Dimensional, Tomosynthesis) uses x-rays at various angles through the breast to capture distinct planes of tissue. The Radiologist may feel that one technique is better than another or that either is appropriate for you depending on your tissue density. 3D Mammography may use additional x-ray. If an abnormality is found on a Screening mammogram, you will be asked to return for a closer look at the area using diagnostic views. While many call back recommendations may be for lower suspicion findings related to fibrocystic or hormonal changes of the beast, the Radiologist cannot appropriate assess the area to distinguish benign versus cancerous changes without detail imaging. Basically, Screening Mammography is “the big picture” while Diagnostic Mammography is “ the detail”. If a suspicious appearing area is found, a minimally invasive breast biopsy (see separate sections on ultrasound guided needle core or vacuum assisted biopsy or stereotactic biopsy). If an area is found that is not suspicious but is recommended for follow up, more frequent diagnostic mammogram or ultrasound appointments may be recommended to ensure stability.
The Women’s Imaging Center is proud to announce that we have added 3D Tomosynthesis Mammography at our Denver/Cherry Creek location. Our other locations in Lakewood, Littleton and Westminster/Arvada all use the highest rated digital mammography systems, Hologic Dimensions and Selenia. Our main scheduling number remains 303-321-CARE (2273) for all our locations. The Women’s Imaging Center is committed to providing individualized, innovative, state-of-the-art healthcare to women.