Your breasts change throughout your life.
They change from puberty through pregnancy and breastfeeding. They’re different during every period. And they change again during menopause.
Understanding what’s normal along the way is the key to breast health. And we’re with you at every step.
Yearly screening mammograms start at age 40 unless you have a family history of early breast cancer. If that’s the case, your doctor may recommend starting earlier.
Virginia Women’s Center provides screening mammography for all women, including breast cancer survivors and women with implants. We also perform diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasounds and biopsies, and cyst aspirations.
HOW WE CARE FOR YOU
Screening tests detect cancer before it causes any signs or symptoms.
Detection begins during your annual well woman exam, when your doctor examines your breasts and underarm area.
Then there are screening mammograms – the most effective breast cancer screening tool available today. These yearly x-ray exams are recommended for women starting at age 40.
At Virginia Women’s Center, we also offer tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography. This new imaging tool allows the radiologist to view your breast one thin slice at a time – almost like looking at pages in a book. Fine details are no longer hidden by tissue above or below. Tomosynthesis detects 40% more breast cancers while reducing false positives by almost 40%.
While screening tests can’t prevent breast cancer, they can help find it early—making it easier to beat.
A diagnostic mammogram lets our radiologist examine areas of concern more closely, with extra images or magnified views. Sometimes, a breast ultrasound is needed for further clarification.
Most of the time everything is fine. Sometimes there are areas that need to be watched more closely with repeat images in three to six months.
During a biopsy, breast cells or tissue is removed and sent to be examined under a microscope for signs of cancer.
Needle biopsies are quick, safe and accurate and are performed under a local anesthetic. There are two types: fine needle aspiration and core needle biopsy. Your radiologist will choose the least invasive option that will ensure the best possible results.
The procedure itself takes roughly 15-20 minutes, and you can get back to normal activity within a few days.
We review your results with you, in person, typically within two to three days.
Instead of trying to sort through the complexities of your breasts in a flat 2D image, the radiologist can review a 3D image of your breasts layer by layer, one thin slice at a time. Fine details are more visible and no longer hidden by the overlapping layers of tissues.
3D technology is highly recommended for all women, particularly those with a high risk of breast cancer or a personal history of breast cancer and women with dense breast tissue or implants.
You’ll experience the 3D mammogram in much the same way you do a regular mammogram. Our technologist will position you and compress your breast. The X-ray arm will then move in an arc over your breast, taking multiple images at different angles, creating a 3D image of your breast in one-millimeter slices.
It’s clear. Tomosynthesis is simply the most accurate breast screening tool available at this time.
When your personal and family history puts you in a different cancer risk category, we’ll help you develop a plan of survelliance that’s right for you.
We offer these testing panels on site:
- Myriad myRisk Panel
- Ambry CancerNext Panel
- LabCorp BRCAssure Panel
At Virginia Women’s Center, we know that early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. That’s why we use the Tyrer-Cuzick screening breast health evaluation tool to calculate the overall risk of developing breast cancer in your lifetime. At each mammogram, we’ll calculate your risk based on your personal and family history. Then depending on your score, we’ll let you know if additional screening is recommended.
RAF’s on-site certified specialty-trained breast radiologists review all mammograms and ultrasounds and perform breast biopsies themselves.
And if they find anything of concern, we’re right here to help you with any additional breast health needs or concerns.