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Mammography & Breast Imaging

Mammography & Breast Imaging

Make a habit of scheduling your screening mammogram each year at the same time you arrange for your regular health checkups.

Experts from the Society of Breast Imaging, the American College of Radiology and OU Health’s Breast Health Network agree – women 40 and older should have yearly screening mammograms. You benefit from annual exams that provide early detection of breast cancer or other breast health issues.

Complete Breast Health Imaging Services Close to Home

For compassionate care and the latest in advanced technology for mammography and breast imaging services, you can easily move between OU Health’s Breast Health Network locations in Oklahoma City and Edmond – making appointments close to your home or work, even on Saturdays – for fast access to a full range of imaging diagnostic tools, including 3D mammography, offered at specific network sites.

Take advantage of a full range of OU Health’s breast imaging services such as:

  • Digital mammography for screening, including 3D mammograms (tomosynthesis)
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Breast MRI
  • Image-guided breast biopsy
  • Ductography
  • Risk assessment
  • High-risk breast cancer screening and prevention program
  • Genetic counseling and testing for BRCA1/2 and other genetic mutations associated with breast cancer, if appropriate
  • Male breast imaging
  • Access to clinical trials

OU Health Mobile Mammography Units in Your Area

If you live outside the Oklahoma City metro, you can get OU Health’s expert breast health care and screening mammograms through one of our statewide mobile mammography units that travel to your business, town, local hospital or anywhere in Oklahoma.

Bone Density Scan for Osteoporosis

When you arrange for a screening mammogram, you also can schedule a bone density (DXA) scan at your nearby OU Health Breast Health Network location. The scan uses dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to check for osteoporosis, a condition that weakens your bones and makes them more likely to break, especially as you get older. Learn how to prepare for a bone density scan.

Digital & 3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis)

Digital mammography captures breast images for display on a computer monitor rather than X-ray film, which offers enhanced image quality with greater contrast resolution. At OU Health, if a mammogram indicates a concern, you will undergo additional testing, including biopsy, and typically get your results within about 48 hours.

Breast Tomosynthesis

Unlike traditional two-dimensional procedures, 3D breast tomosynthesis finds breast cancer at its earliest stages by producing a series of thin slices that “see” through overlapping tissues and provide high-resolution images of your breasts using about the same amount of radiation. With greater accuracy, 3D mammography increases lifesaving early detection and decreases false positives or callbacks for additional testing, which can greatly ease your mind and save money.

Enhanced Imaging for Dense Breasts

Regardless of your age, if you have dense breasts, you also benefit from the exceptional detail offered by the digital and 3D imaging services at OU Health Breast Health Network locations. Greater accuracy in imaging and diagnosis means fewer follow-up procedures for you. Learn more about dense breasts.

What to Expect with Digital & 3D Mammography

To help minimize discomfort during your exam, schedule your mammogram during the two weeks following your menstrual cycle, when breasts are less tender.

Bring a disc or films from any previous mammograms done at a facility other than an OU Health Breast Health Network location.

Please do not wear deodorant or powders to your mammography appointment.

During Your Appointment

  • In a private dressing room, you’ll undress from the waist up and use a gown that opens in the front.
  • Your technologist asks questions to better understand your history and/or any problems you may have.
  • In the mammogram room, your technologist positions you at the scanning device, which compresses your breast to allow the low-dose X-ray to penetrate the tissue.
  • With 3D digital mammography, the scanning device rotates around the breast, taking multiple views from various angles to create an image.

After your scan, you return to the dressing room and can continue with regular daily activities.

Learn more about how to prepare and what to expect with digital/3D mammography. Watch a short video about tomosynthesis.

Breast Ultrasound

Breast ultrasound imaging helps to distinguish between solid tumors and fluid-filled cysts. In addition, breast ultrasound provides more information about palpable lesions found during a breast self-exam or a breast exam from your doctor, as well as any abnormalities seen on mammography or MRI, and allows for image-guided biopsy. Your breast ultrasound at OU Health uses advanced high-frequency broadband technology for precise imaging.

What to Expect with Breast Ultrasound

You don’t need any special preparation before a breast ultrasound. During your 15- to 30- minute appointment, expect the following:

  • In a private dressing room, you’ll undress from the waist up and use a gown that opens in the front.
  • Your technologist asks questions to better understand your history and/or any problems you may have.
  • You’ll lie down on a table and an application of hypoallergenic, water-soluble gel on your breast allows the ultrasound to travel through skin.
  • A small probe passes over the breast surface, creating a painless sensation of light pressure, and images appear on the ultrasound screen.

After the test, the technologist removes the gel, you return to your dressing room and you can carry on with your regular activities. Before you leave, you will discuss your results with an OU Health imaging specialist or doctor.

Learn more about what to expect with breast ultrasound.

Breast MRI

A breast MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create a computer image of the breast for detecting breast cancer, evaluating breast implants and evaluating the extent of known disease.

What to Expect with Breast MRI

Bring all previous imaging items or information about access to films, pathology reports, mammograms, ultrasounds and MRIs from other breast imaging facilities. If your doctor prescribed claustrophobia medication to take before your procedure, make arrangements for someone to bring you to the Breast Health Network location and take you home. Notify the facility ahead of time if you have any implantable devices.

Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time and plan for the process to take about an hour or less.

  • Eat as usual, but remember you’ll lie face down for the entire scan.
  • Take all medications as prescribed.
  • Remove all jewelry/body piercings before the MRI.

During Your Exam – Approximately 15-30 minutes

  • In a private dressing room, you’ll change into a gown and remove all metallic objects such as jewelry, body piercings, glasses, hairpins and removable dentures. Anything that contains metal may distort MRI signals.
  • The MRI technologist helps position you on your stomach with breasts placed through two openings on the contoured MRI table.
  • You get earplugs to help block the machine noise.
  • Depending on your specific situation, you may receive a contrast-enhancing agent midway through the scan to help highlight various structures in the breast tissue.

After your test, you can return to your day’s activities or have someone take you home.

Learn more about what to expect with breast MRI.

Image-Guided (Core Needle) Breast Biopsy – Nonsurgical

If you or your doctor discover a suspicious lump or if imaging identifies an abnormality in your breast, you may get a biopsy – a procedure that samples the area of concern and removes tissue for more testing. Most biopsies show no malignancy upon examination.

When needed, biopsies determine the presence of cancer or the need for surgery. Options for biopsy include:

  • Ultrasound-guided
  • MRI-guided
  • Stereotactic breast biopsy / tomosynthesis-guided – Noninvasive visual imaging technologies to guide instruments and examine difficult-to-reach areas

Learn what to expect with nonsurgical needle breast biopsy.

Genetic Testing

Although uncommon, inherited BRCA1/2 (BReast CAncer) gene mutations and other mutations associated with breast cancer account for about five percent of breast cancers and about 10-15 percent of ovarian cancers. You may receive the BRCA1/2 gene test only if your personal or family history shows an inherited mutation or if you have a specific type of breast cancer. Women at average risk of breast and ovarian cancers do not routinely receive this genetic test.

The test examines a number of genes for an inherited BRCA gene mutation and provides an estimate of your personal risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The testing process also involves valuable genetic counseling.

Learn more about the BRCA1/2 gene test or take the Hereditary Cancer Quiz.

High-Risk Breast Cancer Assessment & Diagnostic Services

Empower yourself to make sound decisions about your breast health by taking a no-cost assessment that helps determine your individual risk of developing breast cancer.

During your risk assessment interview, an OU Health breast health specialist asks about your family and personal health history, including any family history of cancer, and develops recommendations for specific screenings and tests that fit your particular situation. If you qualify for high-risk screening, you’ll join a risk-based surveillance program that combines mammography, ultrasound and/or MRI to monitor your breast health.

You also gain access to clinical experts who discuss chemoprevention options and a number of prevention trials through the Stephenson Cancer Center.

Your Mammography & Breast Imaging Team

Count on OU Health’s Breast Health Network to connect you with highly regarded board-certified and fellowship-trained breast radiologists who apply their years of education, skill and experience to interpreting your breast imaging results. Whether your screening takes place at one of our Oklahoma City metro locations or through our mobile mammography units, you receive accurate information and compassionate guidance to support your health and help you take your next steps.

Get a bone density test, too
When you schedule your annual mammogram through your preferred OU Health Breast Health Network location, ask about also scheduling a bone density test to check for osteoporosis and make your visit even more productive.

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