Our Breast Health Center offers advanced tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography, proven to improve early detection of breast cancer and reduce unnecessary callbacks. The Breast Health Center is led by fellowship-trained breast radiologists.
Current Wentworth-Douglass patients can schedule their annual mammogram through Mass General Brigham Patient Gateway.
A breast biopsy is ordered when a mammogram indicates an abnormality such as a suspicious mass, calcium deposits, or areas of abnormal tissue change. Our fellowship-trained breast radiologists use advanced stereotactic, ultrasound or MRI guided needle biopsies to provide the most accurate results.
Patients who are considered at high risk for developing breast cancer meet with the specialists in the clinic to develop a personalized risk-management plan. Our clinic staff include breast radiologists, skilled breast surgeons and plastic surgeons, and medical and radiation oncologists. Your care and follow-up will be coordinated by our certified breast health navigator. Call the High-Risk Breast Clinic at 603-610-8051.
3D mammography is done much like the conventional 2D exam. The technologist will position you, compress your breast, and take a 2D image and 3D images from different angles. There’s no additional compression required and it only takes a few extra seconds for an exam.
The technologist will view the images of your breasts at the computer workstation to ensure quality images have been captured for review. An experienced breast radiologist will then examine the images and report results to either your physician or directly to you.
3D mammography has been proven to improve early detection of breast cancer and reduce unnecessary callbacks. Successful treatment and survival rates for breast cancer patients are dramatically improved by early detection. If we find breast cancer early, before it has spread to lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent.
This advanced technology takes multiple breast images in seconds. Instead of viewing all the complexities of your breast tissue in one flat image, the doctor can examine the tissue layer by layer. Fine details are more visible and no longer hidden by the tissue above or below. This technology is especially beneficial for women with dense breast tissue.
More than 200 clinical studies have shown that by using this technology, doctors can screen for breast cancer with greater accuracy.
A bone density test is a quick, painless screening that can help determine if you are at risk for bone diseases like osteoporosis. Low bone density can increase your chance for fractures. If you have low bone density, your doctor may recommend treatments to slow or stop your bone loss.
Women who are post-menopausal or age 50 and older - or a man over the age of 65 - should talk to their doctor about having a bone density test. For your convenience, bone density tests can often be scheduled on the same day as your mammogram.
Practices should utilize this form to request imaging services / diagnostic procedures to be performed at WDH. Please submit this form to WDH Financial Clearance Department to be cleared for payer authorization. If form is incomplete it will be returned to the requesting practice.Download
When should I start getting mammograms?
We believe that every woman should have an annual mammogram beginning at the age of 40. That is the recommendation of the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging.
We believe these annual screening mammograms are important because with early detection, the five-year breast cancer survival rate is nearly 100%.
We recommend talking with your primary care provider and insurance carrier to determine the screening schedule that’s best for you.
Why do I need a follow up screening?
Rest assured, a call back does not mean you have cancer. Ten out of every 100 women who get a screening mammogram will be asked to return for an additional mammogram or breast ultrasound. Of those called back, the majority will have a normal result. Less than 10% will be referred for a needle biopsy.
At your follow-up appointment, the technologist will take focused breast images to get more details of a specific area. While you are waiting, these images are carefully reviewed by the radiologist to decide the plan of action. This entire process will often take longer than your usual screening mammogram.
Does a 3D mammogram require more radiation exposure?
The radiation exposure of a 3D mammogram is comparable to a conventional 2D mammogram. Both a well below the acceptable limits set by the FDA.
What does it mean to have dense breasts?
About 40% of women have dense breasts. Dense breasts have more glandular and fibrous tissues than fatty tissues. Dense breast tissue can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, making annual mammograms even more important.
Mammograms of dense breast can be harder to read; however, 3D mammograms have been shown to improve the chance of finding cancer.
One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, and most women have no family history of the disease. Your personal risk takes into account your age, lifestyle, genetics, and other factors. A great tool to help you assess your risk is www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool.
We strongly encourage all women to discuss their cancer risks with their primary care providers, and to schedule an annual screening mammogram.
Women’s Life Imaging Center and The Breast Health Center recommend that women have annual screening mammograms starting at age 40. These recommendations are supported by:
In addition the ACR sponsors an informative website:
Two other great resources are:
For more information about bone density testing and bone-related health, contact:
Sign up to receive occasional emails about Wentworth-Douglass news and events.