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Totally Digital Mammography Center

Virginia Hospital Center now offers the latest in breast cancer screening. This new test is call breast tomosynthesis or 3D (three-dimensional) mammography. For more information on scheduling and fees, please call 703.558.8500.

What is Mammography?

A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breasts. It is used to detect tumors and cysts and to help differentiate between benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) growths.  It is the most effective way of detecting breast cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage.

Who is a candidate for the procedure?

  • Women over age 20 should be aware of the warning signs and risk factors for breast cancer
  • The American Cancer Society recommends a mammogram screening every year for all women age 40 and older.

What are the advantages of Digital Mammography over Traditional Mammography?

Traditional:

  • Uses film to capture images
  • Takes about ten minutes from the time each X-ray is taken for the film to be developed (this takes up the patient’s time and can cause worry)
  • Frequent re-shoots are necessary, resulting in additional discomfort to the patient (because of having breasts compressed between plates again and additional radiation exposure for the patient

Digital:

  • Uses digital technology (not film) to capture images
  • Takes no more than ten seconds to determine if the image is adequate (means very little waiting for the patient and much less physical discomfort for the patient)
  • Re-shoots are almost never needed, which saves the patient time, worry, and discomfort
  • Images are immediately sent to the radiologist’s computer, where they can be electronically enhanced (magnified, etc.)
  • Virginia Hospital Center has CAD, Computer-Assisted Diagnosis, which uses technology to improve diagnostic accuracy. After a digital image is acquired, a computer program scans the images and highlights abnormalities such as calcifications or irregular masses.
  • Digital mammography is at least as good as traditional mammography, and studies have shown that it is more accurate for some women (those with dense breasts)
Women's Imaging Center | 3D Mammography
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1701 N. George Mason Drive | Arlington, VA 22205-3698 | tel 703.558.5000
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