Center for Imaging and Diagnosis
Mission Hospital Breast Center provides exceptional services for routine
screenings, the early detection of breast cancer and other breast conditions.
By combining the expertise of breast specialists with advanced technologies
we are able to provide you with quicker, safer and more accurate diagnosis
of breast cancer and conditions.
Our Team of Highly Trained Physicians and Technologists Offer:
Only 20 percent of breast lumps are cancerous, but that doesn’t make
the experience of getting a breast biopsy any less overwhelming. At the
Mission Hospital Women’s Wellness Center, our staff is uniquely
sensitive and compassionate to each woman’s needs during her biopsy.
Specializing in Minimally Invasive Breast Biopsies
Every breast biopsy targets only the suspicious breast tissue, without
affecting the rest of the breast. In fact, 90 percent of breast biopsies
can be obtained in a minimally invasive manner without an incision or
The radiologist will recommend the most minimally invasive procedure possible
depending on the size and location of your mass.
MRI-guided biopsy - During this kind of biopsy, your dedicated breast radiologist uses MRI
technology to pinpoint the tumor and removing enough tissue to ensure
the pathologist can make an accurate diagnosis.
Stereotactic breast biopsy - Core Needle or Vacuum-Assisted Stereotactic breast biopsy is performed
when the breast lump is so small that it cannot be felt during an exam
or if suspicious microcalcifications were seen on a mammogram. You will
lie on a table on your stomach, with your breast dropping through an opening
to allow for the breast to be biopsied. While mammography paddles compress
the breast, the image is projected on a computer screen. A special needle
designed to obtain tissue samples is guided to the suspicious areas. Several
samples will be taken and images will confirm that an adequate amount
was removed for examination by the pathologist. A radiologist performs
Ultrasound-guided core biopsy - This kind of breast biopsy is performed when the lump is palpable during
an exam or if it is easily seen on an ultrasound. Using ultrasound to
locate the mass, a fine needle or vacuum-assisted device is used to withdraw
tissue samples for examination by the pathologist.
Computer-Assisted Detection (CAD)
Mission Hospital offers an advanced diagnostic tool designed to help in
the fight against breast cancer. Our dedicated radiologists utilize Computer-Aided
Detection (CAD), to further analyze mammograms. This sophisticated technology
does not replace the radiologist who would normally read the mammogram;
it merely acts as a "second opinion" for the physician.
CAD is designed to alert physicians to take a closer look at subtle warning
signs. CAD serves as an additional tool for early detection of breast
cancer, which is particularly important since early detection may help
CAD is simply part of the mammography-reading process on screening procedures.
Mammography remains the gold standard for screening for detecting breast
cancer. Many breast centers still use analog mammograms, meaning the images
are printed on film. However, we combine the experience of highly trained
technologists, and dedicated radiologists with the latest digital mammography
and technologies to better serve our patients’ needs.
Please remember that all imaging will need an order from your physician.
Please call (949) 364-6900 to schedule an appointment.
Screening Mammograms vs. Diagnostic Mammograms
It is important that you understand the difference between a screening
mammogram and a diagnostic mammogram
Screening mammograms - Annual screening mammograms are recommended for
women who are 40 years or older, or for younger women with specific risk
factors for breast cancer. You don’t have to have any signs or symptoms
of a breast abnormality in order to receive a screening; they are used
for the early detection of breast cancer and other breast health issues.
Eighty percent of tumors found during a mammogram are benign.
Diagnostic mammograms - You will be referred for this type of mammogram
if you have a breast mass or other breast abnormality (found during a
breast self-exam or by your physician), or if you have other symptoms
of changing breast tissue. All diagnostic procedures require a physician’s order.
After your mammogram, a radiologist who specializes in breast imaging will
read your mammogram and notify your physician of the results. The results
will also be mailed directly to you.
Additional Procedures after a Mammogram
Nationally, approximately five to 15 percent of women who have a screening
mammogram will be called back for additional imaging. If you are asked
to return for another screening, it is important to remain calm. Additional
imaging usually results in benign findings. Should the need arise, we
have a dedicated breast nurse who is uniquely qualified to answer your
Additional procedures may include:
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
For most women, mammograms are the only screening technology they will
ever need for monitoring their breast health. Women with suspicious masses
or fibrous breast tissue can expect to have an ultrasound, and possibly a MRI.
Breast MRI is very sensitive and is useful for assessing cancer. It is
also used to assess high-risk patients who have more than a 20 percent
chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetimes based on genetics
(BRCA1 and BRCA2) and strong family history of breast cancer. Since it
is such a sensitive technology, benign findings may be detected on MRI.
This can cause the patient unnecessary anxiety.
If a MRI detects a suspicious lesion that isn’t recognizable and
doesn’t correspond to anything visible on the mammogram, then a
second-look with ultrasound is recommended. If visible, the lesion may
be biopsied, under ultrasound guidance; if not, it may need to be biopsied
under MRI guidance.
With breast ultrasound, the breast tissue is viewed using sound waves instead
of X-ray. This allows the radiologist to differentiate between a solid
mass (benign or malignant tumors) and a liquid mass (cyst).
We offer state-of-the-art technology, but it’s not just the sophisticated
equipment that’s important-it’s the health care professionals
performing the procedure and interpreting the results. Our technologists
are highly trained and are credentialed Registered Diagnostic Medical
Sonographers. Our radiologists have devoted their careers to breast imaging
and their experience determines the future breast health of thousands
of women annually.