Women’s Diagnostic Center

Pink is the universal symbol of femininity. It also represents the 1 in 8 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year. An estimated 250,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. However, the number of breast cancer deaths is dropping thanks to early detection through advanced procedures like those offered at the Women’s Diagnostic Center at Citizens Medical Center.

The Women’s Diagnostic Center at Citizens Medical Center

Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older. About 1 out of 8 invasive breast cancers are found in women younger than 45, while about 2 of 3 invasive breast cancers are found in women age 55 or older.

Steps that women can follow to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer include:

  • having children before age 30
  • breastfeeding
  • limiting alcohol intake to one drink per day
  • maintaining a healthy weight, and
  • exercising regularly

To prepare for a mammogram, patients should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • don’t wear deodorant or powder the day of the exam — it could affect the image
  • wear a two-piece outfit — patients will need to undress from the waist up
  • schedule a mammogram seven to ten days after the beginning of your menstrual cycle

Women's CenterBREAST MRI
Breast MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) provides radiologists very detailed pictures of the soft tissue and other internal structures of the breast. MRI is beneficial as a diagnostic tool for women in high-risk categories or women with dense breasts. Radiologists also use breast MRI to evaluate breast conditions that appear suspicious on other diagnostic studies. MRI allows radiologists to further characterize suspicious areas and to accurately stage known breast carcinoma.

Digital Mammography produces high-definition, computerized images of the breast that can be viewed and maintained electronically. Benefits over film mammography include better detail, lower frequency of retakes, and electronic storage. Studies have shown digital mammography is superior in women under 40 years of age with dense breast tissue, traditionally younger women, or women on hormone replacement therapy. Women age 40 or over should have a yearly mammogram to check for abnormalities or lumps that may indicate early stages of breast cancer. Mammograms can see cancerous lesions earlier than they can be detected with a self-exam. Other factors, such as family history of premenopausal breast cancer or genetic predisposition to breast cancer may require women to start mammograms at an earlier age.

Mammography AccreditationCitizens Medical Center’s mammography program is accredited by the American College of Radiology. The Mammography Accreditation Program provides facilities with peer review and constructive feedback on staff qualifications, equipment, quality control, quality assurance, image quality, and radiation dose. The 1992 Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) requires that all mammography facilities in the United States be accredited. For more information regarding this accreditation visit the American College of Radiology website.

Dilon uses cellular and molecular information to help diagnose a patient whose mammograph results were inconclusive. A radioisotope is used to help detect areas of increased molecular activity, which can mean cancer. A specialized gamma camera images the area and determines whether an area of concern exists.

Stereotactic biopsy allows doctors to extract a suspect tissue sample in a less invasive manner than excisional biopsy. This walk-in procedure is performed in the Women’s Diagnostic Center with local anesthesia. Benefits include minimal scarring and the patient being able to return to normal activity the same day or next.

Ultrasound imaging uses high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the internal structures of the breast. Breast ultrasound helps diagnose abnormalities detected during a physical exam or mammogram. Ultrasounds are noninvasive and do not use radiation.

Needle localization biopsy uses an imaging tool and needles to pinpoint abnormal tissue that is to be removed. A radiologist threads a wire through a needle at the spot in question. The wire is secured and the patient is sent to the operating room for the actual procedure.

During this procedure, radiologists use ultrasound to help locate suspicious areas where tissue is extracted by a needle. This minimally invasive, walk-in procedure requires only local anesthetic.

Women's Diagnostic CenterFor questions or additional information regarding any of the procedures performed in the Women’s Diagnostic Center please call (361) 572-5196. To schedule your procedure contact Central Scheduling at (361) 570-7277.