Partnering with you for breast health
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women. Sparks Health System provides helpful services to educate women on breast health, and encourage self-exams and routine screenings. We utilize highly sophisticated imaging technology that can detect breast cancer at the earliest stages, when treatment can be most effective. The combination of highly trained, caring technologists and the latest imaging technology allows us to deliver the highest quality of care.
Mammography is an x-ray exam of the breasts used to screen for or diagnose breast cancer. Sparks Health System offers state-of-the-art digital imaging technology for mammograms. With digital technology, radiologists can zoom in on particular areas or change brightness or contrast for even greater visibility, and results can be read immediately. It offers numerous benefits to women, including:
- Improved accuracy of screening exams, especially for women with dense breast tissue.
- Less radiation exposure.
- Superior image quality, reducing the need for repeat exams.
Along with mammography, breast MRI can be an effective diagnostic tool. Breast MRI is often used for women who are at greater risk of developing breast cancer or who have dense breast tissue or implants — cases in which mammography is less effective at detecting abnormalities. This technique offers a more comfortable experience for women, and is used to:
- Assess the extent of breast cancer.
- Determine the effectiveness of chemotherapy or radiation therapy during breast cancer treatment.
- Further evaluate abnormalities that were found during a mammogram or clinical exam.
- Provide additional detail for treatment planning.
Breast ultrasound (sonography)
A breast ultrasound is often used to further evaluate an abnormality found during a mammogram. Ultrasound allows doctors to see the area closest to the chest wall, which can be difficult to see using mammography. This technology also helps doctors determine whether a breast lump is filled with fluid (a cyst) or is a solid mass.
When a lump or abnormal area is detected during screening, a biopsy can determine whether cells are cancerous. Advanced imaging technology — such as MRI, mammography or ultrasound— can be combined with minimally invasive techniques to obtain tissue samples. Sparks Health System offers digital stereotactic biopsies, and women can choose to be seated or lying down during the procedure for maximum comfort. This last sentence can be removed if this option is not offered
To schedule a mammogram or other screening exam, please call (479) 709-1913.