Navigation Search

Mammograms and Other Tests for Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis

 

To schedule a breast cancer screening or evaluation with a Maimonides breast specialist, call 718-765-2550 or request an appointment online

 

The breast imaging specialists at Maimonides Medical Center have advanced training in screening for breast cancer and diagnosing it. Our experts focus exclusively on identifying breast cancer and changes that could lead to it, offering all necessary tests.

Should you need treatment, our breast cancer experts specialize in a number of surgical options and help you find the one best suited to your needs. They also offer a wide range of other breast cancer therapies. Learn more about breast cancer treatments and services.

 

Breast Cancer Screening vs. Diagnosis

Recommended schedules for breast cancer screening depend on age and other risk factors such as family history. Screening typically means a mammogram but may include additional imaging. Some women then need further diagnostic testing to confirm or rule out breast cancer. If you or your doctor suspects a physical change in your breast, you may need a diagnostic evaluation.

We use the latest technology to give you fast and accurate results. Our advanced tools include:

  • 3D mammograms (tomosynthesis

  • Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

  • Breast ultrasound

  • Breast biopsy

3D mammograms (tomosynthesis)

We recommend 3D mammography because the images make cancer easier to spot than traditional mammograms capturing two dimensions. Also called digital breast tomosynthesis, this test uses low-dose X-rays to take multiple pictures from different angles. When put together, the X-rays form 3D images of your breast.

Mammograms shown in 3D tend to result in fewer false alarms for cancer, or false-positive findings. As a result, you’re less likely to undergo unnecessary follow-up imaging or biopsies.

Check with your health insurer before getting a mammogram to see if you have full coverage for 3D mammograms (you may need to pay extra). We offer free 3D mammograms to uninsured and under-insured women through the New York State Cancer Services Program. Learn more about the Maimonides Breast Cancer Screening Program.

 

Breast MRI

Breast MRIs provide an additional screening tool for women considered high-risk for breast cancer. This technology can also show the possible spread of cancer in women already diagnosed with the disease. We have the most powerful breast MRI technology available, to detect breast cancer earlier and improve your imaging experience. This 3 Tesla (3T) MRI is the first of its kind in Brooklyn.

To start an MRI, you receive an intravenous (IV) injection of contrast dye into a vein in your arm. You lie chest-side down inside a tube-shaped machine. You must remain still for 30 minutes or longer while the device uses radio waves and a magnetic field to produce 3D images of your breast.

Benefits of 3T breast MRI include:

  • Better detection of cancers at an earlier stage

  • Fast image processing, meaning less time inside the MRI machine

  • Wider, more comfortable machine opening

  • Quieter than standard MRI machines

Breast ultrasound

This noninvasive procedure uses sound waves to create images of your breast. Your doctor may order an ultrasound (also called a sonogram) to get a better look at an abnormal finding from a 3D mammogram or breast MRI.

 

Breast biopsy

A biopsy definitively diagnoses breast cancer. During this procedure, your breast surgeon removes cells or tissue from the suspicious area. Experts at our on-site pathology lab examine the sample for cancer. When possible, our radiologists use minimally invasive, image-guided procedures for biopsies. This approach means a smaller incision, as well as less pain and scarring.

Our breast imaging center has the first 3D stereotactic biopsy table in Brooklyn. This system uses 3D mammography for superior imaging and gives doctors complete access to the breast. This increased field of vision helps pinpoint small lesions with greater accuracy and more clearly distinguishes indicators of cancer. An automated system helps doctors quickly identify, target and remove tissue.

Your doctor may perform a biopsy using one of these methods:

  • Fine needle aspiration: Your doctor uses a thin, hollow needle to withdraw liquid and cells from fluid-filled cysts or cells from a lymph node.

  • Core needle biopsy: Your doctor uses a larger hollow needle to remove a small amount of suspicious tissue. Your doctor may also place a small marker at the biopsy site to make it easier for a surgeon to locate the area later, if needed.