Early signs of breast cancer are often hidden within your breast tissue.
- Annual breast self exams should be practiced by women starting in their 20s.
- Clinical breast exams should be performed about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s.
- Women over 40, should have a clinical breast exam every year.
If an abnormality is detected with mammography or physical exam, a patient will typically be referred for additional breast imaging with diagnostic mammography, ultrasound or biopsy. Biopsy is the only definitive way to determine whether cancer is present.
At SSM Health Breast Care, we have multiple locations to make the process convenient and we will be with you every step of the way.
The latest technologies help to provide early detection opportunities.
Our innovative diagnostic technologies ensure you’ll receive the most accurate results. From breast ultrasound to the Picture Archival and Communication System (PACS) digital imaging storage system, SSM Health Breast Care leverages the benefits of computerized detection technologies to give you every possible advantage for a positive outcome. Take a closer look at our complete selection of advanced diagnostic technologies.
Breast ultrasounds are utilized to diagnose breast abnormalities discovered through a mammogram or detected by a physician during a physical exam. This test is effective at focusing on these abnormalities and determining if the suspicious area is a harmless fluid-filled cyst or a tumor.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) applies large magnet and radio frequencies to create highly detailed images of the breast. This non-invasive, diagnostic testing procedure offers more detailed images as compared to other imaging modalities, such as mammography or ultrasound. In addition, MRI procedures do not have the negative effects of radiation that are sometimes found in other diagnostic procedures.
An image-guide biopsy is used to remove a tissue sample through the application of an imaging method. These methods typically include ultrasound or MRI technologies to locate the biopsy site before it would be noticeable to the touch. Image-guided biopsies are not designed to remove the entire lesion, but to collect sample cells surgically or through a less invasive procedure involving a hollow needle. The sample is then tested to determine if cancerous cells are present.
Mammary ductoscopy is a medical diagnostic procedure for viewing the internal features of the milk ducts. It is used on patients who display certain types of cancer symptoms such as bloody discharge from the nipple. This procedure helps doctors find possible cancerous growths deep inside a milk duct gland that a mammogram might not see for years. By using a one-millimeter camera, a physician can see and pinpoint the exact location of the growth and then make a tiny incision to remove it along with the affected portion of the duct gland.
A stereotactic biopsy is used to collect tissue samples from a suspicious mass before it can be felt during a breast exam. After the abnormality is detected through a mammogram or ultrasound, two-dimensional images of the breast are taken from two different angles. Next, both of these images are closely examined on a computer to compare the data from each image and calculate the three-dimensional breast coordinates to check for breast abnormalities. Using this ultra-detailed information to guide the biopsy needle, a radiologist or physician can accurately sample fluid or tissue for testing purposes.