LiveSmart: Latest Technologies, Techniques Critical for Best Breast Health

[This piece was written by Kathryn Granville, MBA, RT(R), ARDMS, Supervisor, St. Peter’s Hospital Breast Center.]

Because of new technology and advanced techniques, women have increasingly more convenient and accurate ways to detect breast cancer.

The American College of Radiology and the National Cancer Institute recommend that all women age 40 and older receive a screening mammogram every year. Younger women with a family history of breast cancer should ask their family doctor about starting screening earlier.

Options include:

Screening Mammogram: While the patient is standing, each breast is compressed between two plates for very low-dose X-rays in a procedure that takes less than 20 minutes. A specially trained physician (radiologist) examines the pictures.

Diagnostic Mammogram: In cases where a breast exam or other tests have shown some abnormalities, additional images are taken to clarify the situation. These follow-ups involve about 10 percent of mammogram patients.

Breast Ultrasound or MRI: For additional information, the physician may order an ultrasound (an image provided by sound waves) or MRI (magnetic and radio waves).

Biopsy: While images can show unusual areas in the breast, a biopsy (removal of cells or tissue) may be needed so that laboratory specialists can determine whether the sample is cancerous.

Having all the latest technologies and techniques in one location streamlines the process for patients, providing seamless, efficient care and reducing anxiety. With that goal in mind, St. Peter’s Health Partners recently unveiled its newly renovated St. Peter’s Hospital Breast Center in Albany and Women’s Imaging Center at St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy.

The updated spaces now offer a full array of services – including 2-D and 3-D mammograms, ultrasounds, breast biopsies, and DEXA bone scans – on the St. Peter’s Hospital campus in Albany and the St. Mary’s Hospital campus in Troy.

In addition to offering enhanced services, the new spaces feature more spacious waiting areas, changing rooms, and consultation areas, as well as all-new 3-D mammography units and ultrasound equipment. In Albany, the space is also right next to the offices of St. Peter’s Hospital breast surgeons.

All of St. Peter’s Health Partners’ radiologic facilities are accredited by the American College of Radiology. In addition, the St. Peter’s Hospital Breast Center and Women’s Imaging Center at St. Mary’s Hospital have accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons.

For more information, please contact St. Peter’s Hospital Breast Center at 518-525-7536, or Women’s Imaging Center at St. Mary’s Hospital at 518-268-5353. To view a complete list of SPHP mammography locations throughout the Capital District, please visit:

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