Digital Mammograms for Diagnosing Breast Cancer at UH Breast Health Center
Breast cancer can’t be prevented but early detection can keep the disease from spreading and greatly increase your odds for a favorable outcome. The advanced three-dimensional mammography at University Hospitals can help find cancer earlier than other conventional methods.
University Hospitals was the first health care provider in Northeast Ohio to offer tomosynthesis, a new technologically advanced screening tool that uses three-dimensional imaging to detect breast cancer. Tomosynthesis takes images of the breast from multiple angles to provide clearer, more detailed views and helps radiologists to pinpoint the size, shape and location of abnormalities.
Tomosynthesis was shown to improve the rate of cancer detection and reduce the number of unnecessary call-backs in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, June 2014. Experts believe that this method will soon become the gold standard in breast cancer screening and detection. Tomosynthesis is offered at multiple UH locations across the region.
Patient-Centric Breast Screening Programs
To better serve our patients, we offer several innovative breast health programs at select locations, including:
- Same-Day Workup. Patients with abnormal mammogram results have the option to receive a full same-day workup or to schedule a next-day workup if preferred.
- 30-Minute Results. At some locations, patients get their screening mammogram results 30 minutes after completion of the exam. This is the only program of its kind in Northeast Ohio.
- Fast Track. Patients receive a quick and efficient screening mammogram, with the entire process taking 15 minutes from the time you are called back to the time you walk out. For convenience, follow-up appointments will be made before you leave.
- Walk-In at some locations. Patients are able to walk in at any time of the day for their screening mammogram with little to no waiting. Available Monday – Friday only. Please ask a scheduler for walk-in locations.
- Fast MRI. Patients with dense breast tissue, those who have a mildly elevated risk for developing breast cancer or those who have a family history of the disease can purchase a low-cost breast cancer screening that takes approximately 10 minutes. This supplemental screening is self-pay ($250*) and is available at all UH locations that perform breast MRIs. To learn more about the Fast MRI program, call 216-844-1700 or speak to your physician.
*Subject to change.
For more information or to take advantage of one of these programs, call 216-844-BRST.
Digital Mammography Offered at most UH Locations
When compared to traditional mammography, digital mammograms provide sharper images, leading to better and earlier detection of abnormalities. And, with digital mammography, the images are stored as computer files instead of on film, which enables the physician to manipulate and share the images with other healthcare professionals. Digital mammography is optimal for all women and significantly better for:
- Women under age 50 (regardless of breast tissue density)
- Women with dense breast tissue (about 40 percent of patients)
- Premenopausal women and perimenopausal women (who had their final menstrual period within 12 months of their mammograms)
Mammogram Screening Recommendations
A baseline (first) mammogram is recommended for women when they reach the age of 40, regardless of their risk factors, followed by annual screening mammograms every year thereafter.
A diagnostic mammogram is performed to view breast tissue that has changed since the last mammogram or if a patient discovers lumps, experiences nipple discharge or feels pain in a specific area of the breast.
Accredited Breast Health Centers
UH Breast Health Centers are recognized by the American College of Radiology for meeting extensive accreditation requirements and promoting excellent practice standards. Each center has also received the Breast Imaging Center of Excellence award and holds NAPBC accreditation. The breast imaging teams and specially trained radiologists at each center work exclusively with patients undergoing screening or diagnostic mammograms.