A mammogram, or breast X-ray, helps detect breast cancer and is a first line of defense against this disease. The mammography specialists at Allegheny Health Network’s (AHN) Breast Care Centers are skilled at making you as comfortable as possible during this sometimes stressful exam.
Mammography at Allegheny Health Network: Why choose us?
Whether you need a routine cancer screening or a diagnostic mammogram to evaluate changes in breast tissue, you’ll receive attentive, compassionate care at AHN Breast Care Centers. We offer:
AHN Cancer Institute doctors pioneer groundbreaking advances in cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatments for all kinds of cancers. These experts are respected leaders of national organizations with connections to world-class researchers.
We strive to make your exams as easy and stress-free as possible. We offer:
- Multiple locations: Our 22 Breast Care centers, including 11 3-D mammography sites, are conveniently located near where you live and work.
- Extended hours: We have early morning and evening hours to accommodate your busy work and family schedule.
The latest cancer-detecting technology
Our breast specialists use the most innovative tools to protect your health and detect disease. We offer you:
- Digital mammography: We store your X-rays electronically on a secure computer system. This technology allows our technicians to more easily compare your images year after year and identify subtle changes.
- 3D mammography: Also called digital tomosynthesis, this screening takes multiple images of your breasts from different angles to create a three-dimensional image. A 3D mammogram is often better than a standard mammogram at detecting cancer signs in breasts that are dense or have little fatty tissue.
- Breast ultrasound: This follow-up procedure after a mammogram helps determine whether a lump is fluid-filled (a noncancerous cyst) or solid. A solid lump may be noncancerous or cancerous.
- Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This imaging procedure uses radio waves to produce detailed images of your breasts. An MRI can measure tumor size and detect other tumors in women already diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s also a helpful screening tool for women who are at high risk for developing breast cancer.
- Fine-needle aspiration biopsy: Your doctor inserts a very thin needle into the suspicious area to remove a sample of fluid or tissue for testing.
- Core needle biopsy: Your doctor uses a special mammography machine (stereotactic) or ultrasound technology to guide a needle into the suspicious area and remove breast tissue for testing.
Compassionate, personalized care
If you have a questionable test result, you meet with a breast specialist to discuss options. Our team of doctors, nurses, clinicians, and counselors are here for support and guidance. We make it easier for you to get the best possible outcome.
Comprehensive cancer treatments
At AHN, you receive a fast, accurate diagnosis and a quick start to treatment. Your options may include novel therapies only available in clinical trials. Learn more about breast cancer treatments.
Types of Mammography
Experts agree that getting a high-quality screening mammogram and having a clinical breast exam (an exam done by a health care provider) on a regular basis are the most effective ways to detect breast cancer early. Mammography can actually help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer in women ages 40 to 70.
Mammogram screening, commonly referred to as a routine mammogram, can be used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. Screening mammography generally begins at age 40.
As with any screening test, screening mammograms have both benefits and limitations. For example, some cancers cannot be detected by a screening mammogram, but may be found by a clinical breast exam.
Diagnostic mammograms are used to check for breast cancer after a sign or symptom of the disease has been found. Symptoms of breast cancer can include breast pain, thickening of the skin, nipple discharge or a change in the size or shape of the breast.
Diagnostic mammograms can also be used to evaluate changes found during a screening mammogram or to view breast tissue when it is difficult to obtain a screening mammogram because of special circumstances, such as the presence of breast implants.