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What Types Of Breast Imaging Are There?


Regular breast cancer screenings can help save lives. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the treatment options and the chance of survival. Regular breast screenings also give women peace of mind that they are healthy and have no current signs of breast cancer.

At Little Silver Mammography and HerSpace, our NJ breast imaging specialists offer five types of modern breast imaging to give women the answers they need for early treatment options or the knowledge that they are in good health. Each of these breast imaging techniques yields specific benefits, and recommendations are often at different stages of screening before giving an official diagnosis. These breast screening options include:

3D Mammography

What Is 3D Mammography?

Breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography, reveals the fine details of the breast otherwise hidden by surrounding tissues. It provides this breast tissue image by converting a group of digital breast images and creating a 3-dimensional visualization of the breasts.

Research shows that 3D mammography detects 27% more cancers than 2D mammography, so at Little Silver Mammography and HerSpace, we provide our patients with 3D mammography over traditional, on their initial visit. 

What Is The Goal Of A 3D Mammography?

The goal of 3D mammography is for radiologists to find tiny signs of breast cancer, usually when a traditional mammogram reveals unusual or unexpected growths, or to search for the reasons for unexplained symptoms.

Breast MRI

What Is A Breast MRI?

Utilizing radio waves and strong magnets, breast MRIs capture multiple images combined to create a detailed picture of the inside of the breast. It is a powerful alternative to mammography for spotting abnormalities and can more accurately gauge the extent of the disease in women recently diagnosed with breast cancer. 

What Is The Goal Of A Breast MRI?

While mammograms spot abnormalities, radiologists often use breast MRI to assess the extent of breast cancer and for women considered at high risk for developing the disease due to genetics or other factors.

Breast Ultrasound

What Is A Breast Ultrasound?

By using sound waves from medical ultrasonography, breast ultrasound takes images of the breasts to assess potential problems. Ultrasounds may be done alongside annual mammogram screenings for higher-risk patients or on their own for patients who need a non-ionizing radiation screening alternative or a further analysis before diagnosis. 

What Is The Goal Of A Breast Ultrasound?

Radiologists use breast ultrasound to determine if an abnormality or lump discovered in your breast is a cyst filled with fluid or a solid tumor. If it is a tumor, a breast ultrasound can help determine if it’s benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Usually, doctors recommend a breast ultrasound in addition to your annual mammography if:

  • You are at high risk for breast cancer
  • You have dense breasts
  • Your mammogram results may be interrupted due to implants 

Since breast ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation, your doctor may recommend it for primary breast screenings rather than mammograms if:

  • You are under the age of 25
  • You are pregnant

Breast Biopsy

What is a Breast Biopsy?

During a breast biopsy, imaging specialists remove a sample of abnormal breast tissue and send it to a pathology lab for official testing and diagnosis. A pathologist will then determine if the portion of breast tissue is benign or cancerous. Cleveland Clinic says a breast biopsy is the only procedure that can accurately determine whether an area of concern is cancerous to give a definite diagnosis.

What Is The Goal Of A Breast Biopsy?

Radiologists typically recommend breast biopsy if a breast MRI, breast ultrasound, or mammogram spots an irregular lesion in the breast tissue. If you find a symptom of breast cancer, such as a lump in your breast, you may require a breast biopsy.

Schedule Your New Jersey Breast Imaging Appointment

Thinking it may be time for a breast checkup? Or maybe your primary care doctor is recommending you start getting breast imaging due to your age or genetics? Our NJ breast imagers here at Little Silver Mammography and HerSpace would happily get you the answers you need to live a long and fruitful life. Reach out today to schedule your appointment with us!