Your first step in better breast health
3D mammography with the comfort of SmartCurve™
is a more accurate, gentle mammogram at Alexandria Radiology
Alexandria Radiology has served the region with expert 3D screening and diagnostic breast health services since 1970. Board-certified and fellowship-trained, our team is highly regarded for specialized clinical care, excellence in reporting, and personal attention.
Our commitment is to provide all women with the most accurate results in a supportive environment that is comfortable and caring. We were the first in this region to introduce SmartCurve™ technology, a special curved paddle design on the mammography unit that follows the natural contours of a woman’s breast. This innovative approach helps to reduce pinching during the exam for many women.
Mammograms are a woman’s best defense in detecting breast cancer early, but we know that the fear of pain causes some women to delay scheduling their annual exams. SmartCurve™ has been shown to improve comfort in 93% of patients who reported moderate to severe discomfort with standard flat paddle compression.
Early detection is key
At Alexandria Radiology, we’re dedicated to helping you maintain your breast health. With recent advancements in 3D mammography (breast tomosynthesis), we’re now able to detect even the smallest abnormality with greater accuracy and reliability than ever before. Our radiologists can deconstruct the breast tissue images into thin slices, which means we can detect potential issues early when treatment options can be less stressful and with more favorable outcomes.
Types of mammograms we perform
At Alexandria Radiology, our standard of care is to perform 3D mammography on all screening and diagnostic patients. Research has shown that 3D, also called breast tomosynthesis, leads to lower callback rates and higher cancer detection rates as compared to 2D mammography alone.
A screening mammogram is a recommended annual exam for women who are asymptomatic, meaning they do not have any symptoms of breast disease. The primary goal of this routine exam is to detect any unusual breast issues at an early stage when treatment can very effective.
- Diagnostic mammograms can determine whether an area of concern found during a screening mammogram is cancerous or not.
- This appointment may include other imaging tests, such as a breast ultrasound.
- A biopsy may be necessary based on the results of the diagnostic workup.
- Diagnostic mammograms are generally covered by insurance for symptomatic patients.
- The radiologist will share the results of your diagnostic study at the end of your exam.
After your mammogram
For both screening and diagnostic mammograms, your referring physician will receive a copy of the finalized report within 24 hours. For added convenience, Alexandria Radiology provides a patient portal system that allows you to access your reports online within 72 hours of your scheduled appointment. In compliance with MQSA guidelines, you will also receive a letter with your results, which will be sent to the home address on file within seven days of your exam.
Remember, early detection is key to achieving the best possible outcomes.
Benefits of 3D mammography
Here are five ways 3D mammography improves breast cancer screening outcomes:
3D mammography detects breast cancers earlier, as compared to traditional 2D mammography alone
Fewer false positives:
Clearer images reduce false positives and lower recall rates, giving you peace of mind
Covered by insurance:
All major insurance companies cover 3D mammography
Our 3D mammography units feature advanced technology like SmartCurve paddles for increased patient comfort
Especially useful for detecting small tumors that may be missed by traditional mammography in women with dense breast tissue or a history of breast cancer
Know your risk with a free breast cancer risk assessment
Alexandria Radiology offers a free breast cancer risk assessment to all women at the time of their breast exam. We believe breast cancer risk screening is beneficial because it helps identify individuals who may be at higher risk and could benefit from enhanced screenings. Knowing your risk score is important because there are some breast cancer risk factors that can be lowered based on lifestyle choices such as exercise and eating healthy foods. For other risk factors, like family history of breast cancer or genetics, these are outside of your control.
The assessment tool that we use at Alexandria Radiology is called the Tyrer-Cuzick model. This model uses a detailed questionnaire filled out at the time of your imaging exam. A risk score is calculated based on your clinical, medical, and family history. The results of your breast imaging exam and risk assessment will be sent to your ordering physician for review.
Breast cancer screening for women with dense breast tissue
Breast density is a significant factor that increases the risk of breast cancer because overlapping breast tissue can mask an abnormality. Dense breasts are also composed of more glandular and fibrous tissue, which appears white on mammograms, making it harder to detect areas needing further evaluation. Therefore, women with dense breast tissue should be extra cautious and consult their healthcare provider about their screening options.
Mammography is considered the gold standard for breast cancer screening, yet it is not foolproof, especially for women with dense breast tissue. Based on genetic or family history, some women will be at a higher risk of developing breast disease. To ensure optimal screening and early detection, women should discuss their individual risk factors with their healthcare provider to determine the appropriate screening plan. In some cases, additional screening, such as breast MRI, may be recommended. Early detection is crucial to successful treatment, and personalized screening plans can increase the likelihood of detecting breast cancer in its early stages, especially for women at high risk.