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Hunterdon Women’s Imaging Center
Hunterdon Women's Imaging Center features Leading-edge technology in a tranquil environment. The comprehensive diagnostic services offered at the Hunterdon Women's Imaging Center include:
Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
MRI Breast Biopsy
Bone Densitometry (DEXA)
All of our diagnostic testing is performed with the most advanced, state-of-the-art technology. Hunterdon Medical Center is accredited by the American College of Radiology as a nationally approved Mammography and Ultrasound Center. In addition, Hunterdon Medical Center is the only Breast Center in Hunterdon County to be accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray of the breast. It can detect a breast lump nearly two years before it can be felt. Screening mammograms evaluate breast health in women with no symptoms, and are used for those who seek routine breast evaluation. Mammograms are performed to examine breast tissue and recognize abnormalities.
When should I get a mammogram?
Women should start receiving mammograms every one to two years, starting at age 40.
What is the difference between a screening mammogram and a diagnostic mammogram?
Screening mammograms are used to search for breast cancer in women without symptoms or women who are expected to be without disease.
Diagnostic mammograms are used to diagnose breast disease in women with symptoms of a breast problem:
- dimpling, a change in texture of the skin of the breast
- a lump
- discharge from the nipple
How do I prepare for a mammogram?*
Do not wear lotion, deodorants, powders, or creams on your chest before a mammogram.
If your breasts are usually tender the week before your period, do not schedule your mammogram for that time.
Make sure to tell your doctor or technologist about any breast problems or symptoms, any prior surgeries, hormone use, or family/personal history of breast cancer.
What should I expect during a mammogram?*
During a mammogram, a breast technician will place your breast in the mammography unit, on a special platform.
The technologist will gradually compress your breast with a special paddle.
Your breast is compressed in order to:
- even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized
- spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities are less likely to be obscured by overlying breast tissue
- allow the use of a lower X-ray dose since a thinner amount of breast tissue is being imaged
- hold the breast still in order to minimize blurring of the image caused by motion
- reduce X-ray scatter to increase sharpness of picture
The process will be repeated for the second breast.
The whole process should take about 30 minutes.
You will feel pressure on your breast as it is being compressed, if you have sensitive breasts, you may experience some discomfort.
Always let your physician know if you are experiencing significant discomfort
Is Hunterdon an accredited mammography center?
The Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program is accredited by the American College of Radiology as a Mammography Center. Hunterdon Medical Center is also the only Breast Center in Hunterdon County to be accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
How can I schedule my mammogram?
To schedule a mammogram, call:
Hunterdon Women's Imaging Center
121 Route 31, Suite 1100
Flemington, NJ 08822
All Hunterdon Medical Center mammography is performed at our Hunterdon Women's Imaging Center located at 121 Route 31 in Flemington.
Digital mammography is the most advanced technology to date for detecting breast cancer. The digital mammography procedure is essentially the same as standard film mammography, but uses a computer and digital image instead of film.
Digital mammograms allow the image to be acquired and displayed immediately, reducing the time that the patient must remain still.
This expedited process provides the patient with a more convenient and comfortable mammogram.
A digital image can be enhanced and altered to be seen more clearly and make a more accurate diagnosis. This image manipulation eliminates the need for a woman to repeat her mammogram if the first image is deemed unusable.
Hunterdon Women's Imaging Center
121 Rte. 31
Flemington, NJ 08822
Hunterdon Women's Imaging Center is located just past Walter Foran Blvd going South towards Flemington.
A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to make a picture of the tissues inside the breast. A breast ultrasound can show all areas of the breast, including the area closest to the chest wall, which is hard to study with a mammogram. Breast ultrasound does not use X-rays or other potentially harmful types of radiation.
A breast ultrasound is used to see whether a breast lump is filled with fluid (a cyst) or if it is a solid lump. An ultrasound DOES NOT replace the need for a mammogram, but it is often used to check abnormal results from a mammogram.
For a breast ultrasound, a small handheld unit called a transducer is gently passed back and forth over the breast. A computer turns the sound waves into picture on a TV screen. The Picture is called a sonogram or ultrasound scan.
Why It Is Done
Breast ultrasound can add important information to the results of other tests, such as a mammogram or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It also may provide information that is not found with a mammogram. A breast ultrasound may be done to:
- Find the cause of breast symptoms, such as pain, swelling and redness
- Check a breast lump found on breast self-examination or physical examination. It is used to see whether a breast lump is fluid-filled (a cyst) or if it is a solid lump. A lump that has no fluid or that has fluid with floating particles may need more tests.
- Check abnormal results from a mammogram.
- Look at the breasts in younger women because their breast tissue is often more dense, and a mammogram may not show as much detail.
- Guide the placement of a needle or other tube to drain a collection of fluid (cyst) or pus (abscess), take a sample of breast tissue (biopsy), or guide breast surgery.
- Watch for changes in the size of a cyst.
- See how far cancer has spread in a breast.
- Check your breasts if you have silicone breast implants or dense breasts. In these situations, a mammogram may not be able to see breast lumps.
How to Prepare
Wear a two-piece outfit so that it is easy to undress above the waist. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean.
There are several breast biopsy procedures used to obtain a tissue sample from the breast. Your doctor may recommend a particular procedure based on the size, location and other characteristics of the breast abnormality. If it’s not clear why you’re having one type of biopsy instead of another, ask your doctor to explain the reasons in more detail.
Types of breast biopsy offered at the Hunterdon Medical Center include:
- Stereotactic Biopsy. This type of biopsy uses mammograms to pinpoint the location of suspicious areas within the breast. For this procedure, you generally lie face down on a padded biopsy table with one of your breasts positioned in a hold in the table. You may need to remain in this position for 30 minutes to one hour. The table is raised several feet. The equipment used by the radiologist is positioned beneath the table. Your breast is firmly compressed between two plates while mammograms are taken to show the radiologist the exact location of the area for biopsy. A small incision – about ¼ inch long (about 6 millimeters) – is made into your breast. The radiologist inserts either a needle or a vacuum-powered probe and removes several samples of tissue. The samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis.
- Ultrasound-guided core needle biopsy. This type of core needle biopsy involves ultrasound – an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce precise images of structures within your body. During this procedure, you lie on your back on an ultrasound table. Using ultrasound, the radiologist locates the mass within your breast, makes a small incision to insert the needle and takes several core samples of tissue to be sent to a laboratory for analysis.
- MRI-Guided Core needle biopsy. This type of core needle biopsy is done under guidance of MRI – an imaging technique that captures multiple cross-sectional images of your breast and combines them using a computer, to generate detailed, 3-D pictures. During this procedure you lie face down on a padded scanning table. Your breasts fit into a hollow depression in the table. The MRI machine provides images that help determine the exact location for the biopsy. A small incision of about ¼ - inch long (about 6 millimeters) is made to allow the core needle to be inserted. Several samples of tissue are taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Mammography results are sent to the patient within 3-5 business days. The results are also sent to the referring physican.
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry is a means of measuring bone mineral density (BMD). Two x-ray beams with different energy levels are aimed at the patient's bones. When soft tissue absorption is subtracted out, the BMD can be determined from the absorption of each beam by bone. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry is the most widely used and most thoroughly studied bone density measurement technology.
The DEXA scan is typically used to diagnose and follow osteoporosis as contrasted to the nuclear bone scan, which is sensitive to certain metabolic diseases of bones in which bones are attempting to heal from infections, fractures, or tumors.
DXA scans are used primarily to evaluate bone mineral density. DEXA scans can also be used to measure total body composition and fat content with a high degree of accuracy comparable to hydrostatic weighing with a few important caveats. However, it has been suggested that, while very accurately measuring minerals and lean soft tissue (LST), DEXA may provide skewed results as a result of its method of indirectly calculating fat mass by subtracting it from the LST and/or body cell mass (BCM) that DEXA actually measures.
Women over the age of 65 should get a DXA scan. At risk women should consider getting a scan when their risk is equal to that of a normal 65 year old woman.
A person's risk can be measured using the World Health Organization’s FRAX calculator, which includes many different clinical risk factors including prior fragility fracture, use of glucocorticoids, heavy smoking, excess alcohol intake, rheumatoid arthritis, history of parental hip fracture, chronic renal and liver disease, chronic respiratory disease, long-term use of phenobarbital or phenytoin, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and other risks.