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Mammography uses low-dose X-rays to image the breast. Inova has invested in digital mammography to give you the most advanced technology available. Digital mammography uses a process similar to digital cameras. The clear, detailed images are processed quickly. They are also easy to view and to share with other clinicians who need to see your test results. All Inova facilities offer mammography services, and most offer digital mammography. Learn more
Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to visualize breast cysts, solid nodules or lymph nodes. The resulting image is referred to as a sonogram. Breast ultrasound does not use X-rays. Learn more
Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Breast MRI uses a large magnet, radio waves and computers to create high quality images of the breast. Learn more
Breast self-exam (BSE)
BSE is not a replacement for a mammogram and physician's exam, but regularly-practiced self-exams allow a woman to become familiar with the texture of her breasts and make it easier to detect changes.
A note on current mammogram recommendations
In late 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force announced revised mammography guidelines that recommend against routine screening mammography in women aged 40 to 49. The guidelines suggest that women aged 50 to 74 have a mammogram every two years rather than every year.
Despite this recommendation from USPSF, the breast health experts at Inova Breast Care Institute continue to support the current American College of Radiology and American Cancer Society guidelines that recommend routine annual screening mammograms for women over the age of 40. Consult with your physician about your family history and specific situation.