Latest Technology For The Most Accurate Results

One in 8 women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, making early, accurate detection vital. At Stamford Health's Breast Center, we offer the most advanced diagnostic and imaging technology, including mammography, to detect any abnormalities in the breasts.

A health care provider (an OB-GYN or primary care provider) will help determine which test is right for you based on your unique breast health needs. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, Stamford Health will be here for you throughout every step of the journey. Through our collaboration with Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center, you’ll have access to the latest clinical trials, virtual second opinions, and more. Learn more about our comprehensive services below.


What To Know About 3D Mammography

Stamford Health is proud to have been the first breast center in the region to offer 3D mammograms to everyone.

A 3D mammogram, also known as tomosynthesis, is faster and uses less radiation than a standard film mammogram. Studies have shown that 3D mammography is better at detecting invasive cancer while limiting unnecessary biopsies and false positives. More definitive images and greater accuracy mean less time and worry for you.

  • When and how often should you get a mammogram?

    Mammography detects breast cancer long before it can be seen or felt in your breast. The current screening recommendations for people of average risk (meaning they do not have risk factors that equate to an increased risk for breast cancer) include:

    • Age 20-39: Regular breast self-exam or clinical breast exam every two to three years.
    • Age 40: Schedule a routine baseline mammography screening and then repeat each year.
    • Elderly women: Continue annual screening for as long as you are reasonably healthy and would be a candidate for breast cancer treatment.
  • What is a breast MRI? Why might you need one?

    Compared to mammography and ultrasound, breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a completely different way of looking at the breast. It is an advanced tool using MRI technology, sophisticated computers, and 3D techniques that look deeply into the breast to discover abnormalities that might not be visible in other exams.

    The following groups may require an annual breast MRI screening:

    • Women who have a BRCA gene mutation or have a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with a BRCA mutation.
    • Women who have received radiation treatment to the chest between the ages of 10 and 30.
    • Women who have a rare medical condition linked to breast cancer (Li-Fraumeni, Cowdon, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndromes) or have a first-degree relative with one of these syndromes.
    • Women with a 20-25% greater lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.
    • Other reasons for getting a breast MRI include current breast cancer diagnosis, prior to breast cancer surgery, and to detect a breast implant leak.

SEE MORE FAQS BELOW

Breast Imaging Services

Stamford Health’s Breast Center offers the most cutting-edge technology that can be performed quicker and with greater accuracy.

DIAGNOSTIC ULTRASOUND

Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves (instead of radiation) to evaluate the tissues in the breast, usually in addition to a mammogram. If you’re under the age of 35, are pregnant or nursing, or have dense breast tissue, your doctor may recommend a screening ultrasound. Breast ultrasound and mammography together provide a more comprehensive evaluation for women with dense breasts.

BREAST MRI

Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect breast cancers that are not visible with other technologies. Patients who have been told they are at high risk, women with breast implants, women who have received inconclusive tests, and women recently or previously diagnosed with breast cancer, may benefit from a breast MRI.


BREAST BIOPSIES

Our skilled breast radiologists routinely perform all types of image-guided, minimally invasive breast biopsies. These procedures are quick and relatively painless. Patients commonly receive a biopsy at the same time as an abnormal mammogram, saving time and additional worry.


Think You Might Be At An Increased Risk For Breast Cancer? We Can Help.

If breast cancer runs in your family or you’ve had abnormal tests, Stamford Health's High-Risk Breast Cancer Screening Program is your next step.

Our team of breast specialists will determine your risk after a thorough family and medical history intake and a breast exam. If you need additional care, our breast navigators will come up with a care plan created specifically for you.



Our Nurse Navigator Program


Whether you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer or need additional imaging, our nurse navigators are dedicated to helping patients navigate the health care system. They work as a liaison between doctors, patients, and family members or care partners to answer questions about appointments, test results, and more. More importantly, nurse navigators are there to let the patient know she’s not alone throughout her health journey.


What To Expect

  • How Do you Prepare for a Breast MRI or mammogram?

    For a breast MRI, normal daily routine is fine. Please do not wear any jewelry.

    For a mammogram, do not wear deodorant, talcum powder, or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of your exam as they can appear as calcium spots on your mammogram.

    If you have had previous mammograms at another location, please be sure to bring your past images with you so that the radiologist can compare them successfully. We’re also happy to obtain any past images for you.

  • How Long Will It Take for you to See the Results of your Exam?

    Results are provided typically within one business day via phone and the patient portal. A report will also be sent to your physician. To obtain copies of your scan, please complete the Authorization of Release Form.

  • What is the difference between a screening and diagnostic mammogram?

    A screening mammogram is performed to detect breast cancer in women who have no apparent symptoms.

    A diagnostic mammogram is used to more closely review the breast tissue, typically following symptoms or after a screening mammogram showed abnormal or suspicious results.

  • What Should You Expect When Getting a Breast MRI?

    Prior to the exam, an IV will be inserted into your arm to administer the contrast material. You will lie face down and very still with your breasts resting in a cushioned coil while you are moved in and out of the MRI machine. Halfway through the exam, you will receive a painless injection of contrast and more images will be taken.

    If you are claustrophobic or anxious about your MRI exam, you may want to contact your physician at least two days prior to your appointment to obtain a prescription for a mild sedative.

    After the exam is complete, the radiologist will read and interpret your MRI and your physician will be contacted with the results.

  • How Do you Prepare for a Breast MRI or mammogram?

    For a breast MRI, normal daily routine is fine. Please do not wear any jewelry.

    For a mammogram, do not wear deodorant, talcum powder, or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of your exam as they can appear as calcium spots on your mammogram.

    If you have had previous mammograms at another location, please be sure to bring your past images with you so that the radiologist can compare them successfully. We’re also happy to obtain any past images for you.

  • Do You Still Need to Have a Yearly Mammogram if you Get a Breast MRI?
    Absolutely. A breast MRI should not take the place of your annual mammogram. If you are at high-risk, you should have an annual breast MRI in addition to your annual mammogram.

Pregnancy And A Breast Cancer Diagnosis

When Alexandra Belluzzi found out she was pregnant after two miscarriages, she was filled with excitement and hope. However, when a rash appeared on her left breast and only worsened with time, her obstetrician ordered a breast ultrasound, which led to biopsies. Her doctor then delivered a devastating diagnosis: breast cancer. “I didn’t move. I didn’t say anything. I didn't know what to do,” Belluzzi said. “It felt like good things were coming, and this just totally knocks you off your feet.”

Under the care and guidance from her oncologist, Dr. Paul Weinstein, who was in constant communication with her obstetrician, Belluzzi began chemotherapy before delivering her baby early via C-section. Throughout her treatments, though, she always kept her thoughts on what matters most. “I wanted to be there for my daughter,” she says. “That was it.” Find out how the rest of her journey unfolded in the video here.



The Latest In Women’s Health

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