We have the latest state-of-the-art equipment for performing digital mammography. Mammography is a special type of imaging that uses small doses of X-ray radiation to find breast cancer in its earliest stages. Mammograms utilize specialized equipment to effectively record images of breast tissue that will record small abnormalities before you ever notice symptoms.
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It is commonly recommended that women receive yearly mammograms after the age of 40, even if they do not have any noticeable symptoms or family history of breast cancer. Annual mammograms can detect cancer early which is when it is most treatable.
Mammography has been the gold standard in breast cancer screening for many years and the technology continues to evolve. Lompoc Valley Medical Center is staying on the cutting edge of mammographic advancements, and the hospital now uses the latest technology known as breast tomosynthesis, also known as digital breast tomography (DBT) and 3D mammography.
For the patient, the experience of having a scan on breast tomosynthesis machine will seem similar to a normal mammogram.
But for a radiologist, the advanced technology is significantly better. With the digital breast tomography, the mammogram images are divided into 1mm thick slices that can be viewed individually. This allows the Radiologist to see through dense breast tissue with more clarity, resulting in improved detection of cancers, even when very small.
Using low-dose, short X-ray sweeps around a compressed breast with only nine exposures, the FDA-approved technology uses a special method that removes motion from the imaging tube, helping to reduce blur and increase image sharpness.
This imaging technique is designed to separate the tissues and to reduce the overlapping of structures.
The technology is especially useful in women with moderate or dense breast tissue on mammography. Dense breast tissue can obscure cancers on a routine mammogram. Digital breast tomography improves cancer detection by helping to separate overlapping regions of the denser breast tissue.
Another benefit of this new technology at LVMC is the ability to reduce the number of callback or “second look” diagnostic mammograms which can be stressful for patients. The reduction in call-back mammograms is again related to the 3D Mammography’s ability to see through dense breast tissue, allowing the Radiologist to better differentiate between normal overlapping breast tissue versus an actual abnormality that might need to be further evaluation.
Keeping Your Breasts Healthy
at All Stages of Life
Breast health is a key aspect of a comprehensive women’s health plan. Safeguarding the well-being of your breasts can play a large role in keeping you healthy throughout your lifetime.