Breast imaging and tests
As part of our comprehensive breast health services, UCHealth offers the most advanced breast imaging and testing available. Our skilled and compassionate breast radiologists, technologists and support staff are committed to your health and comfort.
Helping women take charge of their breast health
UCHealth is dedicated to helping women of all ages take charge of their breast health through prevention and early detection of breast cancer and other conditions.
Advanced breast care services
Our full suite of state-of-the-art imaging and testing services includes:
- Digital mammography – screening and diagnostic.
- 3D mammography (Available now in Colorado Springs, Denver and Fort Collins. Coming soon to Loveland and Greeley.).
- Breast MRI.
- Breast ultrasound.
- Breast lesion localization.
- Stereotactic breast biopsy.
- Ductogram/galactogram-guided biopsy.
- MRI-guided biopsy.
- Ultrasound-guided biopsy.
- Ultrasound-guided aspiration.
Annual screening mammograms. Beginning at age 40, annual screening mammograms remain the key to catching breast cancer in its earliest—and most treatable—stage.
Experience the benefits of digital mammography
A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breasts used to find breast tumors and cancer.
UCHealth offers the latest in full-field digital mammography, which converts X-rays into electronic signals that are viewed and analyzed by our specially trained radiologists using a computer-aided detection (CAD) system.
This technology offers a host of advantages, including:
- Lower radiation dose
- Fewer patient call-backs for additional imaging
- Increased imaging contrast for breast implants and dense breasts
Same-week mammogram appointments are typically available for your convenience, with walk-in screenings at some UCHealth locations across Denver.
Committed to your imaging safety.
UCHealth radiology facilities make imaging safety our number one priority. We take every precaution necessary to ensure that you are safe and comfortable during your imaging test or procedure.
About 3D Tomosynthesis Mammography
Breast tomosynthesis, also called 3D mammography, is a revolutionary new screening tool designed for early breast cancer detection. 3D mammography converts multiple digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or “slices” – building a three-dimensional image of the breast.
With conventional digital mammography, a radiologist views all of the complexities of your breast tissue – such as blood vessels, milk ducts, fat and ligaments – in one flat image. Sometimes breast tissue can overlap, giving normal breast tissue the illusion of looking abnormal. By looking at the breast as a three-dimensional structure, radiologists get clearer and more accurate views of the tissue. For patients, this means that breast cancer can be found sooner. It also means there is less chance of your doctor calling you back for an unneeded “second look.”
A 3D mammography exam is very similar to a traditional mammogram. A technologist will position you, compress your breast under a paddle, and then take images from different angles. During the 3D part of the exam, an X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over your breast, taking multiple images in just seconds. There is no additional compression required with 3D mammography, and it only takes a few seconds longer for each view.
Very low X-ray energy is used during the exam. It’s nearly the same amount as a traditional mammogram, which is below the FDA guidelines.
3D mammography is approved for all women who would be undergoing a standard mammogram. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly comprehensive breast exams and screening mammography starting at age 40. Individuals with family history of breast or ovarian cancer or other risk factors may qualify for earlier or more frequent screenings. UCHealth offers a High-Risk Clinic and genetic counseling services to help women develop personal screening plans.
3D mammography preparation is the same as traditional 2D mammography. Don’t wear deodorant, perfume lotion or powder on your breasts or underarms, and wearing a two-piece outfit is recommended. It’s best to schedule the exam for a time when your breasts are not tender.
Breast imaging is available at many radiology clinics and locations that are not affiliated with a hospital or health system. They perform mammograms in addition to a number of other X-ray services.
In contrast, the Mary Lou Beshears Breast Care Center at UCHealth-Memorial Hospital specializes in breast health. Our radiologists, the doctors who read the images, are dedicated to reading breast films. UCHealth is the only hospital system in southern Colorado to offer 3D mammography, which is the most advanced imaging technology available for breast screening.
In addition, patients screened through the Mary Lou Beshears Breast Care Center are connected to the state-wide network of UCHealth physicians and experts. In southern Colorado, it is the only breast care center affiliated with a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer program and an academic medical center.