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Procedures

Mammography

Know the Basics

Mammography uses computers and specially designed digital detectors to produce detailed X-ray images of breast tissue. The purpose of mammography is to identify breast cancer early in its development when it is still very small, often years before it is large enough to be felt as a lump. Small cancers often require less aggressive treatment and have the best chance for long term survival.

Tomosynthesis “3D” mammography takes multiple x-ray images of the compressed breast using different projections and from this data reconstructs  multiple stacked thin images representing the whole  breast volume. These can be viewed one after another, allowing the whole breast to be examined slice by slice, similar to reading pages in a book.

 

While mammography often detects breast cancer in its earliest stages, approximately 10% of palpable breast lumps that may be cancerous are not detected on mammography. In these cases, annual breast examination by your doctor or healthcare provider and monthly breast self-examination are critical for early detection.

Do I need a Mammogram?

The American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology have developed guidelines shown in the table below. Over 90% of breast cancers can be detected when all three methods are used together in a planned program. The following recommendations are for women who are considered average risk for developing breast cancer.

Age Breast Self-Exam Mammography Physical Exam
20-40 Once a month, 7-10 days after onset of menstruation Initial mammogram at age 40 At least every 3 years
40+ Once a month, 7-10 days after onset of menstruation Every year Every year

What should I expect?

  • Expect to spend 45 minutes to an hour at the facility to complete the entire process.
  • Please do not wear deodorant, lotion, powder, or perfume under your arms or on your breasts the day of the procedure.
  • Prior to your exam you will be asked to undress from the waist up. A gown will be provided for your comfort. It is best if you wear shorts, pants, or a skirt to your appointment so that you can easily undress from the waist up.
  • The mammography technologist will interview you and review your medical history.
  • The technologist will visually inspect your breasts for any skin changes or puckering. They may also place markers on your skin showing where moles and/or surgical scars are located.
  • The technologist will manually place your breast in the machine for each image to ensure proper positioning while also coaching you for body placement to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.
  • There are 4 standard images that will be obtained: 2 of each breast. Additional images may be necessary in the event that the image quality was not optimal, if you have breast implants, or if the entire breast cannot be seen on a single image.
  • For each image the breast will be compressed between two plates in order to obtain the best possible image.
  • Breast compression is necessary to obtain the best possible images while exposing patients to the smallest possible amount of radiation.

For your safety and the protection of others, we do not allow anyone other than patients in our exam rooms.

Is 3D mammography safe?

There is no evidence to show that the current level of radiation exposure for annual mammograms will increase the risk of breast cancer. This is considered a low dose and well below the FDA established threshold of acceptable radiation dose. Radiology Ltd., as well as all imaging centers performing mammograms, are held to specific guidelines with frequent equipment inspections to ensure that the equipment is safe and uses the lowest radiation dose possible to produce high quality images. Bottom line, the benefits of early breast cancer detection and treatment far outweigh any theoretical harm from the low dose radiation exposure.

How 3D Mammography Works

In how many facilities is Rad Ltd offering 3D mammography?

3D mammography is currently available at the following locations:

  • Wilmot Center for Women’s Imaging
  • La Cholla Center for Women’s Imaging
  • Rincon Imaging Center
  • Radiology Ltd. – Midvale
  • Radiology Ltd. – Rancho Vistoso
  • Radiology Ltd.- Continental
  • Radiology Ltd.- Casa Verde
  • Radiology Ltd. – St. Mary’s

How do I get the results?

After your study, the images will be evaluated by one of our board-certified radiologists with expertise in breast imaging. A final report will be sent to your doctor or healthcare provider, who can then discuss the results with you in detail.

If an abnormality is found on your screening mammogram, you will be contacted to return for a diagnostic mammogram, which usually consists of both additional X-ray images and a breast ultrasound. The diagnostic mammogram is necessary for clarification and in most cases confirms that the abnormality found on the screening mammogram is benign (non-cancerous). However, if further clarification is still needed, a breast MRI or breast biopsy may be recommended.

Reports are also available on the MyRAD Patient Portal

Breast Imaging Team

Matthew L. Bell, M.D.

  • Specialties:
    Breast Imaging, General Radiology
  • Education:
    B.S. – University of California at Irvine, 1996
    M.D. – Medical College of Wisconsin, 2001
  • Internship:
    Transitional, Aurora Health Care/St. Luke’s Medical Center (Milwaukee), 2002-2003
  • Residency:
    Diagnostic Radiology, Aurora Health Care/St. Luke’s Medical Center (Milwaukee), 2003-2007
  • Fellowship:
    Cross-Sectional Imaging, University of Arizona, 2007-2008
  • Board Certifications:
    ABR 2007

With Radiology Ltd. since 2008

Danielle M. Carroll, M.D.

  • Specialties:
    Breast Imaging, General Radiology
  • Education:
    B.S. University of Arizona, 1997
    M.D. University of Arizona, 2007
  • Internship:
    Tucson Hospital Medical Education Program, 2007-2008
  • Residency:
    Diagnostic Radiology, University of Arizona, 2008-2012
  • Fellowship:
    Breast Imaging, University of Arizona, 2012-2013
  • Board Certifications:
    ABR 2012

Marcus J. Dill-Macky, M.D.

  • Specialties:
    Breast Imaging, General Radiology
  • Education:
    M.B.B.S. – University of Western Australia, 1988
    M.D., 2006
  • Internship:
    Transitional, Royal Perth Hospital (Australia), 1988
  • Residency:
    Diagnostic Radiology, Western Australia Radiology Training Scheme, 1993-1998
  • Fellowship:
    Body Imaging, University of Toronto, 1998-1999; MRI, Monash Medical Centre (Melbourne, Australia), 1999
  • Board Certifications:
    MRCP 1992; FRANZCR 1998; RCPSC 2006; ABR 2006

Assistant Professor in Medical Imaging, University Health Network and the Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto), 2002-2007
With Radiology Ltd. since 2007

Christine N. Eppelheimer, M.D.

  • Specialties:
    Breast Imaging, General Radiology
  • Education:
    B.S. - University of Arizona, 2006
    M.D. - University of Arizona, 2010
  • Internship:
    Internal Medicine, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center (Phoenix), 2010-11
  • Residency:
    Diagnostic Radiology, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center (Phoenix), 2011-14; Mt. Sinai Beth Israel (New York), 2014-15
  • Fellowship:
    Body and Breast Imaging, North Shore University Hospital (Manhasset, NY), 2015-16
  • Board Certifications:
    ABR 2014

Robert F. Rauch, II, M.D.

  • Specialties:
    Breast Imaging, General Radiology, Interventional Radiology
  • Education:
    B.A. – Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois), 1974
    M.D. – Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland), 1978
  • Internship:
    Internal Medicine, Good Samaritan Hospital (Phoenix), 1978-1979
  • Residency:
    Diagnostic Radiology, University of California at San Francisco, 1979-1982
  • Fellowship:
    Ultrasound/CT, Duke University, 1982-1983
  • Board Certifications:
    ABR 1982; CAQ Interventional Radiology 1997, 2007

With Radiology Ltd. since 1984

Paul R. Strautman, M.D.

  • Specialties:
    Breast Imaging, General Radiology, Pediatric Radiology
  • Education:
    B.S. – University of Arizona, 1978
    M.D. – University of Arizona, 1985
  • Internship:
    Transitional, Good Samaritan Medical Center (Phoenix), 1985-1986
  • Residency:
    Diagnostic Radiology, University of Arizona, 1986-1990
  • Fellowship:
    Interventional Radiology, Brown University, 1990-1991
  • Board Certifications:
    ABR 1990

With Radiology Ltd. since 2010

Marisa H. Borders, M.D.

  • Specialties:
    Breast Imaging
  • Education:
    B.S. - Pepperdine University, 1995
    M.D. - Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, 2000
  • Internship:
    Internal Medicine, St. Joseph's Hospital, 2000-2001
  • Residency:
    Diagnostic Radiology, University of Arizona, 2001-2005
  • Fellowship:
    Breast and Body Imaging, University of Arizona, 2005-2006
  • Board Certifications:
    ABR 2005

Meet Dr. Marcus Dill-Macky
Tucson physician

Dr. Dill-Macky joined Radiology Ltd. in 2007 and is the Medical Director of Breast Imaging. He is committed to providing exceptional patient care, and views 3D mammography as a valuable adjunctive tool in the fight against breast cancer. 3D mammography was adopted by Radiology Ltd. as part of a comprehensive new approach to personalized screening for breast cancer. Each of our screening patients now receives a personalized breast screening program, designed by our radiologists. The program is tailored to the patient’s personal and familial risk factors for breast cancer.