Mammography remains the gold standard for screening for early stage breast cancer. Digital mammography uses computer-based electronic conductors to display a picture of the interior of the breast for the clearest, most accurate images, to lead to a correct diagnosis. Our radiologists review the images and send you a letter in the mail with the results. If the physician feels you need any additional assessment, treatment, or biopsy, we schedule that as soon as possible.
The most advanced 3D Mammography Technology is located at the ARH Breast Center in Hazard, KY, Middlesboro ARH Radiology Department, and the Beckley ARH Radiology Department. 3D mammography is a revolutionary screening and diagnostic tool that captures images of the breast in thin sections. During the procedure, the x-ray arm sweeps across the breast, capturing numerous images in a matter of seconds. 3D imaging allows the radiologist to see inside the breast layer-by-layer, enhancing fine details by minimizing overlapping tissue. It detects over 40% more invasive breast cancers. The sharps images that it produces increase early detection, while reducing the number of callbacks by up to 40% and decreases the number of unnecessary biopsies.
Mammograms alone may not be enough to find breast cancer in dense tissue. That why breast ultrasounds are often performed in combination with a diagnostic mammogram. Ultrasound is useful for looking at some breast changes, such as lumps or changes in women with dense breast tissue. It also can be used to look at a suspicious area that was seen on a mammogram. Ultrasound is useful because it can often tell the difference between fluid-filled cysts (which are very unlikely to be cancer) and solid masses (which might need further testing to be sure they are not cancer).
ARH Breast Center offers a new screening tool called an ABUS, which stands for automated breast ultrasound. This is done in addition to your mammogram and helps increase breast cancer detection in women with dense breasts. Women with dense breast are at a 4-6 times higher risk of developing breast cancer than women without dense tissue. This exam is comfortable and relatively short and does not expose you to any additional radiation. The ABUS has been shown to improve breast cancer detection by 35.7% for women with dense breast tissue.
An MRI uses strong magnets instead of radiation to make very detailed, cross-sectional pictures of the body. It creates pictures of soft tissue parts of the body that would sometimes be hard to see using other imaging tests. Breast MRI is sometimes used in women who already have been diagnosed with breast cancer, to help measure the size of the cancer, look for other tumors in the breast, and to check for tumors in the opposite breast. MRI is not recommended as a screening test by itself because it can miss some cancers that a mammogram would find. Breast MRI is only located at MMIC and Whitesburg ARH Radiology Department.