Mammograms and other breast imaging exams play an important role in breast health.
In fact, the breast cancer experts at Henry Ford recommend average-risk women have annual mammograms beginning at age 40. Following this guideline improves the chances of early diagnosis and successful treatment
Breast exams help our doctors detect changes in breast tissue that may be signs of breast cancer or other breast conditions.
Our breast imaging specialists will help you understand each test so you can make the best decisions possible about your care.
What is breast imaging?
Breast imaging is the use of medical imaging equipment to see inside the breast. Breast imaging tests can use a variety of imaging technology, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound.
Breast imaging exams and procedures we offer
We offer a wide range of breast imaging tests and procedures as part of our commitment to our patients’ breast health.
The breast imaging test that is most familiar to patients is a mammogram. A mammogram uses X-rays to examine breast tissue. Our mammography services include:
- Digital mammography, which features greater accuracy and shorter scanning times than traditional mammograms. Digital mammography looks and feels similar to conventional mammography, but it provides physicians with clear, digital images of the breast, rather than images on film. This technology allows radiologists to adjust contrast and zoom in on suspicious areas. The digital mammograms can be quickly and efficiently stored on a computer and electronically sent to physician offices.
- Digital breast tomosynthesis mammography, which uses multiple X-ray images to create 3-D pictures of the breast for greater detail — particularly for dense breasts. While conventional mammography takes images of the breasts from two angles, the FDA-approved 3-D scanner moves in an arc over the breasts, taking images from various angles. DBT provides the radiologist with multiple-layered images that separate overlapping breast tissue. This adds clarity to the digital mammography image, which is ideal for patients with dense breast tissue (about 40 – 50 percent of women). If a patient has been notified of having dense breasts, tomography is often best suited for them.
- Our Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Breast Clinic, which allows for quick diagnosis, treatment, and wellness services relating to breast health
Additional breast imaging procedures
Besides mammograms, we offer many different types of breast imaging procedures. These include:
- Breast aspiration, an ultrasound-guided procedure that locates and removes a fluid-filled area in the breast for diagnostic testing
- Breast MRI, which uses magnetic fields to create images of the inside of the breast
- Breast needle localization, which uses X-rays to locate abnormal tissue before our doctors perform a surgery or biopsy
- Magseed, a procedure performed in radiology where a wire-free, radiation-free, magnetic seed is placed in your breast prior to your surgery, to provide an accurate surgical excision
- Breast ultrasound, which we may use in addition to a mammogram to determine if a breast mass is solid or filled with fluid
- Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy, which uses ultrasound to locate a lump or area of swelling in the breast so we can take samples for testing
- Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI), which is a secondary screening tool for breast cancer that is designed to increase early detection of invasive breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue, when used in addition to digital mammography or 3D mammography.
- Stereotactic breast biopsy, a procedure that uses mammography to identify and biopsy an abnormality within the breast, and is normally performed when a radiologist sees a suspicious abnormality on a mammogram that can't be felt.
- 3D breast biopsy, a procedure that uses breast tomosynthesis as a technique to target and biopsy abnormalities, which cannot be seen with standard 2D digital mammography but can only be identified with 3D mammography.
Henry Ford Health System’s mobile mammography bus offers screening for early stage breast cancer by providing digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) to women at various locations in Southeast and South Central Michigan. The vehicle is staffed by the same highly skilled and caring health professionals who work in our hospitals.