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Breast Cancer Detection & Diagnosis

At Holy Cross Hospital Breast Center, the very latest technologies quickly and accurately detect and diagnose possible breast problems, including breast cancer. These tests also help your doctor determine the best treatment plan for your diagnosis and gauge how well your treatment may be working.

The Holy Cross Hospital Breast Center and our specially-trained radiologists and technologists offers the most advanced diagnostic tests available today, including the following most common procedures:

A mammogram may identify a problem, but a high percentage of abnomalities are not cancerous and pose no health risks. For Breast Cancer patients, a digital mammography is the most common imaging test. X-rays identify tumors or suspicious areas, and by collecting the image on a computer, the image can be computer-enhanced or magnified for a bigger and more detailed view. 

At the Holy Cross Breast Center tomosynthesis or 3-D mammography is now offered. This new screening and diagnostic tool is designed for early detection of breast cancer. Breast tomosynthesis obtains a series of images that are reconstructed into thin 1-millimeter slices creating a 3-dimensional mammogram. 3-D mammography complements standard 2-D mammography and is performed at the same time with the same system. Previous research shows that mammography with 2-D imaging together with tomosynthesis is associated with improved breast cancer detection and a reduction in the number of so-called "false positives" (tissue overlap that initially appears to be suspicious but then is found to be normal) by approximately 40 percent.

A biopsy is the most common lab test used to diagnose breast cancer. The doctor removes a tissue sample from the breast and sends it to the pathology lab to determine if cancer is present.

  • A needle biopsy withdraws tissue or fluid; a surgical biopsy may take a small amount of tissue or the entire tumor, along with some normal tissue around the tumor.
  • With stereotactic breast biopsy, a special computer guides a needle to an abnormality seen on a mammogram. This biopsy is a non-invasive, accurate way to obtain the tissue sample required for diagnosis and requires little recovery time.
  • An MRI breast biopsy is a procedure that uses computer technology to guide a needle to an abnormality seen on MRI.  The abnormality usually cannot be felt on breast self-examination or clinical examination by your primary care physician or seen by mammogram or ultrasound of the breast.

Imaging Tests
Your doctor may request a more advanced test to diagnose breast cancer. Imaging tests create images of areas inside your breast that help your doctor see whether there is a tumor and, sometimes, to help with staging –figuring out how advanced the cancer may be.

At Holy Cross Hospital Breast Center, we offer additional state-of-the-art imaging tests including ultrasound, MRI and CT scan. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan and a combined PET CT scan is offered through an imaging center located in the office building adjacent to the hospital.

Let Holy Cross Hospital Cancer Institute help you. Call 1-855-HCH-HOPE (424-4673) for all your breast cancer care needs.



© 2014  Holy Cross Health | 1500 Forest Glen Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910 | 301-754-7000