Advanced Imaging of South Bay Los Angeles California

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In Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology!

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Mammography

We offer both 2D and now 3D exams.


Selenia® Dimensions® system’s Genius™ 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ exam: Simply a better mammogram.

Selenia® Dimensions® system’s Genius™ 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™

Hologic has always been at the forefront of breast cancer screening and offers the first and only breast tomosynthesis technology with proven superior clinical performance to 2D mammography. The revolutionary Selenia Dimensions system, which has set the new standard in mammography screening, provides:

  • Exceptionally sharp images
  • Seamless transition between imaging modes
  • Sophisticated user tools that simplify operation
  • Advanced clinical applications
  • The world’s first and only tomosynthesis-guided biopsy
  • Ergonomic design for patient comfort and ease of operation

In addition, the Selenia Dimensions system’s Genius 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™exam is the only breast tomosynthesis that offers the following advantages over 2D mammography:

  • A 41% increase in invasive breast cancer detection.
  • Up to 40% reduction in false positive recalls, minimizing patient anxiety and unnecessary costs.

Selenia® Dimensions® system


How does it work?

During a mammogram, a patient’s breast is placed on a flat support plate and compressed with a parallel plate called a paddle. An x-ray machine produces a small burst of x-rays that pass through the breast to a detector located on the opposite side. The detector can be either a photographic film plate, which captures the x-ray image on film, or a solid-state detector, which transmits electronic signals to a computer to form a digital image. The images produced are called mammograms.
On a film mammogram, areas of low density, such as fatty tissue, appear translucent (i.e. similar to the black background)., whereas areas of dense tissue, such as connective and glandular tissue or tumors, appear whiter on a black background. In a standard mammogram, both a top and a side view are taken of each breast, although extra views may be taken if the physician is concerned about a particular area of the breast.


What will the results look like?

A radiologist will carefully examine a mammogram to search for areas or types of tissue that look different from normal tissue. These areas could represent many different types of abnormalities, including cancerous tumors, non-cancerous masses called benign tumors, fibroadenomas, or complex cysts. Radiologists look at the size, shape, and contrast of a mass, as well as the edges or margins, which can indicate the possibility of malignancy (i.e. cancer).  They also look for tiny bits of calcium, called microcalcifications, which show up as very bright specks on a mammogram.  While usually benign, microcalcifications may occasionally indicate the presence of a specific type of cancer. If a mammogram is abnormal, the radiologist may order additional mammogram views, as well as additional magnification or compression, and if suspicious areas are detected, he/she may order a biopsy.  


Why does the breast need to be compressed?

Compression holds the breast in place to minimize blurring of the x-ray image that can be caused by patient motion. Also, compression evens out the shape of the breast so that the x-rays can travel through a shorter path to reach the detector. This reduces the radiation dose and improves the quality of the x-ray image. Finally, compression allows all the tissues to be visualized in a single plane so that small abnormalities are less likely to be obscured by overlying breast tissue.


What is digital mammography?

A digital mammogram uses the same x-ray technology as conventional mammograms, but instead of using film, solid-state detectors are used. These detectors convert the x-rays that pass through them into electronic signals that are sent to a computer. The computer then converts these electronic signals into images that can be displayed on a monitor and also stored for later use. Several advantages of using digitalmammography over film mammography include: the ability to manipulate the image contrast for better clarity, the ability to use computer-aided diagnosis, and the ability to easily transmit digital files to other experts for a second opinion. In addition, digital mammograms may decrease the need for the re-takes, which are common with film mammography due to incorrect exposure techniques or problems with film development. As a result, digital mammography can lead to lower effective patient x-ray exposures.

In 2005, results from a large clinical trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute found that digitalmammography was superior to film mammography for the following populations

  • Women under 50
  • Women with dense breasts
  • Women who have not gone through menopause or who have been in menopause less than one year

What are the limits of mammography?

For certain types of breasts, mammograms can be difficult to interpret.  This is because there is a wide variation in breast tissue density among women. Denser breasts are more difficult to image, and more difficult to diagnose.  For this and other reasons, the sensitivity of mammography in detecting cancer can vary over a wide range.

For many difficult cases, x-ray mammography alone may not be sufficiently sensitive or accurate in detecting cancer, so additional imaging technologies, such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may also be used to increase the sensitivity of the exam.

Finally, although the majority of abnormal mammograms are false-positives, when cancer is present, early detection can save lives.


Are there risks?

Because mammography uses x-rays to produce images of the breast, patients are exposed to a small amount of ionizing radiation. The risk associated with this dose appears to be greater among younger women (under age 40). However, in some cases, the benefits of using mammography to detect breast cancer under age 40 may outweigh the risks of radiation exposure. For example, a mammogram may reveal that a suspicious mass is benign and, therefore, doesn’t need to be treated.  Additionally, if a tumor is malignant and is caught early by mammogram, a surgeon may be able to remove it before it spreads and requires more aggressive treatment such as chemotherapy.

Different groups provide different guidelines for mammography. For instance, the American Cancer Society as well as the American College of Radiology recommend that women between the ages of 40 and 49 get mammograms every two years. However, The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force  recommends mammograms only for women over age 50.  The Task Force states that the benefits of mammographybefore age 50 do not outweigh the risks.

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