Mammography is a specialized form of medical imaging that uses a low-dose X-ray system to see inside the breasts, a method proven to be central in the early detection of breast cancer. As a leading provider of breast imaging services in Toronto, Valence Medical Imaging offers comprehensive mammography services to communities in Toronto, Brampton, Whitby, and Niagara Falls, integrating the latest in global health system practices.
The Importance of Breast Cancer Screening
Breast cancer remains one of the most common cancers among women worldwide, making regular screening an essential part of women’s health care. Screening mammograms can detect tumors that are too small to feel and identify cancers before symptoms develop, significantly increasing the chances of successful treatment and survival.
The BI-RADS Classification, or Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System, is an internationally recognized system used by radiologists to categorize breast imaging findings, including those from mammograms. The system aids in standardizing reporting, which is critical for interpreting and comparing results across the global health system.
Digital Mammogram: A Technological Advance
Digital mammography, also known as a digital mammogram, is a cutting-edge technology that has replaced traditional film mammograms. It captures images of the breast using an electronic x-ray detector, which converts the image into a digital picture. This advancement allows for higher image quality and ease of image storage and retrieval, making it an invaluable tool within the global healthcare framework.
Valence Medical Imaging utilizes digital mammography to ensure that our patients have access to the best available breast cancer screening technology. This method is particularly beneficial for women with dense breasts, as it provides clearer images and better detection capabilities.
Addressing the Challenge of Radiation Exposure
Radiation exposure during mammography is a concern, but it’s important to put it into perspective. Modern digital mammograms use low-dose radiation, with the risk being very small when compared to the benefits of early breast cancer detection. At Valence Medical Imaging, the health and safety of our patients are paramount, and we adhere to strict protocols to minimize radiation exposure without compromising image quality.
Dense Breasts and Diagnostic Mammograms
Dense breast tissue can make it more challenging to detect cancer on a mammogram because both dense tissue and tumors appear white on the X-ray. In such cases, a diagnostic mammogram, which is a more detailed type of breast imaging, may be recommended. Diagnostic mammograms provide a closer look at a specific area of the breast, often used when a potential abnormality has been detected on a screening mammogram or if there are concerns based on a patient’s breast symptoms.
The Emergence of Breast Tomosynthesis
Breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography, is an innovative technique that takes multiple images of the breast from different angles, providing a three-dimensional reconstruction. This technology significantly improves the accuracy of breast cancer screening, particularly for individuals with dense breasts, by reducing the overlap of breast tissues, which can hide cancers or create false alarms.
Valence Medical Imaging stays abreast of technological advancements such as breast tomosynthesis, offering it to our patients as part of our commitment to delivering top-tier breast imaging services.
Complementary Imaging Techniques
While mammography is an effective screening tool, additional imaging methods, such as breast ultrasound or breast MRI, may be used to further evaluate suspicious areas. For instance, a breast ultrasound is often utilized to investigate a lump found during a mammogram or physical exam, providing a clear picture of fluid-filled cysts versus solid masses.
In the event of a suspicious finding, a breast biopsy may be performed. This procedure involves removing a small sample of breast tissue for laboratory analysis to determine whether cells are cancerous. Valence Medical Imaging offers guided breast biopsy procedures, ensuring precision and comfort for our patients.
The Global Perspective
The integration of mammography into global health systems varies widely. In developed countries like Canada, screening programs are a routine part of health care, whereas access can be limited in low-resource settings. The World Health Organization advocates for the implementation of organized screening programs where feasible and suggests that early detection should be a public health priority.
Valence Medical Imaging’s Role
At Valence Medical Imaging, we are committed to contributing positively to the global effort to combat breast cancer through early detection and advanced imaging techniques. Our services are designed to offer peace of mind and accessibility, with locations across Toronto, Brampton, Whitby, and Niagara Falls.
We recognize the importance of individualized care and adhere to global best practices to provide our patients with quality breast imaging services. From the moment you enter our facilities for a digital mammogram, through any necessary diagnostic procedures such as breast ultrasound or biopsy, our team of experts is with you every step of the way.
We pledge to maintain a standard of excellence that mirrors the best of global health systems, ensuring that our patients receive the most effective and compassionate care possible.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit our website or contact Valence Medical Imaging. Together, we can work towards early detection and better breast health outcomes.