Early Detection for Breast Cancer
Early detection is one of the best defenses against breast cancer, the most common form of cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer death among women. Scripps Mercy’ Hospital Chula Vista provides digital mammography services for the detection of breast cancers. It was the first hospital in San Diego County to be designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.
Breast imaging and diagnostic procedures available at Scripps Chula Vista include:
- Screening mammogram
Your doctor may recommend that you begin getting regular screening mammograms starting at age 40, even if you show no signs of breast disease. During a screening mammogram, your breast tissue is X-rayed to check for cancerous growths. This exam is important in evaluating breast tissue for any abnormalities, including cysts or other malignancies.
- Diagnostic mammogram
A diagnostic mammogram is used to further examine breast tissue if there are abnormal findings from other screenings. Diagnostic mammograms differ from screening mammograms in that they focus only on the area of tissue that appeared abnormal.
- Breast ultrasound
Breast ultrasounds involve exposure to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the breast. Ultrasound exams do not use X-rays. Images are captured in real-time and show the structure and movement of the breast tissue, as well as blood flowing through vessels.
- Breast needle localization
A breast needle localization procedure uses a mammogram to find the exact location of abnormal breast tissue for the purpose of performing a breast biopsy. The mammogram is performed to check the position of the tip of a specialized needle. If the needle is not at the lesion, the needle is repositioned and the imaging process repeated. When the tip is in the correct position, a small amount of dye is injected through it. The needle is removed or replaced with a wire just before the biopsy is performed.
- Stereotactic breast biopsy
In a stereotactic breast biopsy, a special mammography unit utilizing ionizing radiation helps guide the radiologist’s instruments to the site of an abnormal growth. In 2010, Scripps Chula Vista was awarded a three-year term of accreditation in stereotactic breast biopsy as the result of a review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety.