St. Clair Hospital's Breast Care Center uses the most advanced imaging equipment including digital 3D breast tomosynthesis (3D mammography) for this procedure. A mammography can detect changes up to two years before either a physician or patient can feel them – which can lead to early detection and a higher cure rate – mammography is especially effective at detecting some (but not all) breast cancers. For this reason, the American Cancer Society advocates annual mammograms for women over the age of 40.
To schedule a mammogram, contact the St. Clair Hospital Breast Care Center at 412.942.3177.
St. Clair Hospital Breast Care Center mammography locations:
Once you have scheduled your mammogram, St. Clair Hospital asks that you follow these guidelines to prepare for your procedure:
St. Clair Hospital’s staff of board-certified radiologists will review and interpret your mammography images. Once your mammogram is completed you may resume your normal activities unless otherwise directed by your physician. If you have any additional questions, please contact the St. Clair Hospital Mammography Center at 412.942.3177.
As soon as your mammogram is reviewed by the radiologist, you and your physician will be notified by letter of the results of your exam. If the radiologist has identified an area of concern, St. Clair Hospital’s Mammography Department will contact you directly and ask that you return to the Hospital for additional testing, if needed.
3D mammography converts digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or "slices" - building what is essentially a 3-dimensional mammogram. The 3-D images allow doctors to examine breast tissue one layer at a time. Very low X-ray energy is used during the screening examination - which takes about 10 seconds to acquire - so a patient’s radiation exposure is safely below the American College of Radiology (ACR) guidelines.
With 3-D images, St. Clair Hospital diagnostic radiologists can see tissue detail in a way never before possible. Instead of viewing all of the complexities of a woman’s breast tissue in a flat 2-D image, a radiologist can examine the tissue a millimeter at a time. Fine details are more clearly visible, no longer hidden by the tissue above and below. When used together, 3-D breast tomosynthesis and digital mammography have been proven to reduce "call-backs," scenarios in which patients are asked to return for follow-up examinations to rule out any suspicious areas. The use of 3-D tomosynthesis has proven particularly beneficial in woman with dense breast tissue and has reduced the number of unnecessary invasive diagnostic procedures.
Learn more about mammography from our Mayo Clinic Health Information section.