Comprehensive Breast Care
The Breast Care Center at McAllen Medical Center offers advanced medical imaging and diagnostic services, including digital mammography, 3D tomosynthesis with dose reduction software, breast ultrasound, breast MRI, hereditary genetic testing and stereotactic breast biopsy to help detect breast cancer in its earliest stages. The multidisciplinary team includes radiology technologists, radiologists and breast surgeons.
Digital Mammography (ACR accredited)
Mammography remains the gold standard for screening for early stage breast cancer. Digital mammography is used to detect breast cancer and other breast abnormalities. The images are sharper and clearer than analog film X-rays and require a lower dose of radiation. Digital mammography allows the radiologist to capture and manipulate the digital image so abnormalities can be seen more easily with the help of a CAD (computer aided detection) tool. The mammogram images are easily stored and can be retrieved faster.
The best defense against breast cancer is early detection. It is important to get regular mammograms according to your doctor's recommended schedule. Do not wear deodorant, lotions, body sprays or powder on the day of your mammogram.
McAllen Medical Center now offers 3D digital mammography using advanced software that provides a faster exam and reduces radiation exposure. 3D mammography combines the advantages of digital mammography with a 3D image of the breast, which helps physicians see breast tissue in greater detail. With 3D mammography, there is improved early detection of abnormalities with fewer false positives.
Call 956-388-2190 to pre-register for a 3D screening mammogram.
Ultrasound is a noninvasive examination that uses sound waves and requires no radiation to detect diseases and locate possible abnormalities in breast tissue. Ultrasound systems are designed to provide doctors with precise images for efficient diagnosis of breast problems. The system enables the physician to perform high-resolution panoramic imaging or 3D scanning in real time.
Breast MRI is an extremely helpful imaging exam in evaluating mammogram abnormalities and identifying early breast cancer. During a breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), a magnetic field imaging unit with dedicated breast coils is used to produce accurate and detailed images from areas inside the body. Contrast is necessary for diagnostic MRI of the breast. A dye is used to help highlight abnormal tissue in the breast. There is no radiation involved with a breast MRI. Breast MRI has been shown to be extremely sensitive in detecting small cancers not seen with mammography or breast ultrasound. Breast MRI can successfully image dense breast tissue. It is used as a screening tool for women at high risk for breast cancer and for evaluating breast implants.
MRI of the breast is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging. It is a supplemental tool for detecting and staging breast cancer as well as other breast abnormalities. Your safety is our highest priority. Before your MRI, please tell us if you have any metallic objects or devices inside your body, because these may interfere with the MRI’s magnetic field.
Hereditary Genetic Testing
At the Breast Care Center, the patient’s family history of cancer will be screened and reviewed. The mammogram technologist will identify appropriate patients for hereditary cancer risk assessment. Genetic testing will be offered to those patients who meet genetic testing criteria.
Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
A stereotactic breast biopsy is used to check breast tissue abnormalities not visible through breast ultrasound. A stereotactic breast biopsy uses mammography to help pinpoint and target a breast abnormality. The radiologist will collect several tissue samples to determine if cancerous cells are present. These tissue samples are sent to the pathology department. Pathology results are then forwarded to the patient’s physician. The exam is an outpatient procedure.
In addition to breast imaging, the Breast Care Center offers bone density testing, which uses low dose radiation to produce images of the spine and hip to measure bone loss from osteoporosis to assess a person's risk for developing fractures.
Osteoporosis is a disease that increases bone loss, which makes bones fragile and more susceptible to fractures or breaks. After the age of 25, when maximum bone density and strength is reached, the body’s rate of replacing new bone slows in comparison to its rate of removing old bone.
Schedule an Appointment
Appointments for bone density screening (with a physician's referral) and a mammogram may be scheduled for the same visit.
To schedule an appointment, please call 956-388-2190.