Mammography is widely recognized as the gold standard in detecting breast
cancer – but the accurate interpretation of a breast image relies
upon the expertise of the person viewing it.
At Community Medical Center, the Women's Imaging Center offers an expert
team of trained breast imagers who skillfully read mammogram screenings.
Highly trained in their field, these professionals are able to detect
abnormalities and know the best methods to go about decoding suspicious readings.
The technologist will compress your breast and take two views of each breast.
"The idea is that if you thin out the breast by compression, it's
easier to visualize hard-to-see areas like calcifications. It also helps
to limit patient movement so images are clear, not blurred," says
board certified diagnostic radiologist Jorge Pardes, MD, Director of Breast
Imaging at the Women's Imaging Center at Community Medical Center
in Toms River.
Despite being the gold standard in prevention, the National Cancer Institute
reports that screening mammograms miss about 20 percent of breast cancers
that are present at the time of screening, and the main cause of false-negative
results – or mammograms that appear normal even though breast cancer
is present – is high breast density.
Density is the relative amount of different tissues present in the breast.
Dr. Pardes says that radiologists are mandated to classify breast density
using four categories when evaluating mammograms. The categories describe
the relative proportion of fibroglandular tissue (which is white on mammography)
to fat (which is gray on mammography) in the breast.
"When breasts are predominately fatty (or the least dense), mammogram
images are fairly simple to interpret. When more glandular tissue is present
(or when breast density is higher), mammography images become more difficult
to read," says Dr. Pardes. "On a mammogram, normal glandular
tissue is white, and tumors are also white, making it difficult sometimes
to discern between healthy and potentially harmful tissue."
Women with dense breasts often have difficulty with the reliability of
screening with mammography alone. For these women, Dr. Pardes says additional
diagnostic tests such as whole breast ultrasound or breast MRI are sometimes
recommended. Another test, called breast specific gamma imaging (BSGI),
is an alternative for women who cannot undergo MRI.
"We've come a long way in detecting and battling breast cancer,
but it's still the most common form of cancer among American women,"
says Sumy H. Chang, MD, a fellowship-trained board-certified breast surgeon
on staff at Community Medical Center. She encourages women to see a doctor
at the very first sign of any change or abnormality, stressing that women
should feel at ease seeking care as they play a significant role in determining
their treatment approach.
"While the options may differ from woman to woman, I explain, in complete
detail, what these options entail and what to expect," says Dr. Chang.
"Working closely with the patient, I will recommend the best path
To schedule an appointment at the Women's Imaging Center in Toms River
and Whiting, please call