A Clearer Picture of Breast Imaging

Do You Understand and Know About the Various Types of Breast Imaging?Woman smiling with her arms crossed

Mammograms

Mammography is widely recognized as the “gold standard” in detecting breast cancer. A mammogram is an X-ray exam of the breast that is used to detect and evaluate breast changes. Today’s mammograms expose the breast to much less radiation compared with those in the past and are more accurate. Breast cancer develops over time and can be present before a tumor can be detected by a physical exam. Establishing a pattern of annual mammography, ongoing physical exams by your physician and being aware of any changes in your breasts are the best ways to take an active role in maintaining good breast health. The standard recommendation is an annual mammography screening for women beginning at age 40.

Screening Mammogram

Screening mammograms are used for women who are at average risk and have no signs or symptoms of the disease. The goal of a screening mammogram is to find breast cancer when it's too small to be felt by a woman or her physician. This type of mammogram usually involves two X-ray pictures, or images, of each breast. The images make it possible to detect tumors that cannot be felt as well as microcalcifications (tiny deposits of calcium) that may indicate the presence of breast cancer. Finding small breast cancers early with a screening mammogram greatly improves a woman's chance for successful treatment.

Diagnostic Mammogram

Diagnostic mammograms are performed if there are noticeable breast problems — like a lump or nipple discharge — or if abnormalities are found in a screening mammogram. Sometimes diagnostic mammograms are done for screening in women without breast problems who were previously treated for breast cancer. It is still an X-ray of the breast, but more images are taken to carefully study the area of concern. In most cases, special pictures are enlarged to make a small area of suspicious breast tissue easier to evaluate.

Digital Mammogram

Digital and conventional mammography both use X-rays to produce an image of the breast. In conventional mammography, the image is stored directly on film, whereas in digital mammography, an electronic image of the breast is stored as a computer file. This digital information can be enhanced, magnified or manipulated for detailed investigation of specific parts of the breast.

3D Mammogram (Tomosynthesis)

Three-dimensional (3D) mammography — also known as tomosynthesis — is a type of digital mammography that produces a 3D image of the breast by using several low dose X-rays obtained at different angles. For tomosynthesis, the breast is positioned and compressed in the same way as for a mammogram but the X-ray tube moves in a circular arc around the breast, and the information is sent to a computer, which produces a focused 3D image of the breast.

The 3D images enable doctors to see inside the breast more clearly than with a standard 2-view mammogram. While 3D mammograms expose the breasts to more radiation than standard mammograms, they remain within FDA-approved safe levels for radiation from mammograms.

Breast Ultrasound

An ultrasound, also known as sonography, uses sound waves to make a picture of the tissues inside the breast, including the area closest to the chest wall. Breast ultrasound is used to find the cause of the breast symptoms, check a breast lump found on breast self-examination or physical examination, and check abnormal mammogram results.

Breast MRI

Used in combination with other tests, such as mammogram or ultrasound, breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is recommended for screening women who are at high risk for breast cancer due to family history and/or a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. It is used for patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer to help measure the size of the cancer and look for any other tumors in the breast. It's also used to examine the opposite breast — to be sure that it doesn't contain any tumors.

Breast MRI Biopsy

An MRI-guided breast biopsy is helpful when MRI imaging shows a breast abnormality such as a suspicious mass not identified by other imaging techniques, and an area of distortion or abnormal tissue change. Using MRI guidance to calculate the position of the abnormal tissue and to verify the placement of the needle, the radiologist inserts the biopsy needle through the skin, advances it into the lesion and removes tissue samples.

Galactogram

A galactogram is a special X-ray exam that evaluates breast fluid. The procedure requires the insertion of a very fine plastic tube into the breast duct. This allows the radiologist to insert a contrast material into the duct so it can be seen on the X-ray of your breast.

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Stereotactic breast biopsy is a nonsurgical needle biopsy technique that may be used in place of surgery to decide whether a suspicious mammographic lesion is benign or malignant. This procedure involves an X-ray-guided needle that is controlled by a computer to obtain a tiny sampling of breast tissue.

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Medical Specialty Services at Bayonne
16 East 29th Street
Bayonne, NJ 07002
(973) 926-7280
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Howell
4013 Route 9
Suite 2S
Howell, NJ 07731
(732) 923-7700
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Colts Neck
310 Route 34 South
Second Floor
Colts Neck, NJ 07722
(732) 923-7700
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Cristie Kerr Women's Health Center
377 Jersey Avenue
Ground Floor, Medical Office Building
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(877) 393-5374
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Center for Breast Health and Disease Management - Westfield
560 Springfield Ave
Westfield, NJ 07090
(973) 322-7020
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Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center
200 South Orange Avenue
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-7000
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The Family Health Center (FHC) at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
166 Lyons Avenue
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7300
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Community Medical Center Women's Imaging Center - Toms River
368 Lakehurst Rd
1st Floor
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-3363
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Madeline Fiadini LoRe Foundation Infusion Center
414 Grand Street
Suite 9
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2730
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-7700
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Jersey City Medical Center Radiation Oncology
631 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07304
(844) 226-2376
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Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
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Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
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Clara Maass Medical Center
1 Clara Maass Drive
Belleville, NJ 07109
(973) 450-2000
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Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8000
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Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany St.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 235-2465
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Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
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The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at RWJUH
200 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
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RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Lakewood
600 River Ave
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 923-7700
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Trinitas Regional Medical Center – Williamson Street Campus
225 Williamson St
Elizabeth, NJ 07202
(908) 994-5000
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The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center
300 2nd Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-7250
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Monmouth Medical Center Outpatient Infusion Center
100 State Route 36 West
West Long Branch, NJ 07764
(732) 222-6046
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RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
1 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton, NJ 08690
(609) 586-7900
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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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Jersey City Medical Center Women's Health at Grove Street
116 Newark Avenue
(at Grove Street PATH Plaza)
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 984-1270
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Center for Breast Health and Disease Management - Livingston
200 South Orange Avenue
Suite 102
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-7020
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Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
600 River Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900
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Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
125 Paterson Street
Clinical Academic Building (CAB)
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 235-6200
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Community Medical Center Lab & Women’s Imaging Center – Barnegat
770 Lighthouse Drive
Suite 118A
Barnegat, NJ 08005
(848) 208-6203
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Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group at Monroe
800 Bunn Drive
Suite 303
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 655-5178
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Laurie Proton Therapy Center
141 French Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 253-3176
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Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group
18 Centre Drive
Clinical Academic Building (CAB)
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(609) 655-5178
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Cancer Center at RWJ Hamilton
2575 Klockner Road
Hamilton Township, NJ 08690
(609) 631-6960
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