Breast Cancer Screening and Imaging
The following describes screening methods and advanced methods for detecting breast cancer. For specific information regarding your health and treatment options, please contact your Hurley physician or medical professional.
The best means of preventing and treating breast cancer is to detect it early in its development. The first step is to share information with your doctor about potential risk factors, including a family or personal history of breast cancer. People at high risk should start regular screening at or before age 40. Screening methods include a number of minimally invasive detection techniques, from genetic testing (if you have suspected hereditary cancer syndrome), to physician-performed breast examinations, to mammograms.
Hurley Medical Center is home to the region’s most sophisticated radiologic imaging technology and diagnostic systems. These imaging tools enable non-invasive and painless testing procedures that further improve a patient's diagnosis.
Computed tomography (CT) scan. CT imaging uses leading-edge x-ray equipment together with powerful computers to produce a series of cross-sectional images or pictures of structures and tissues inside the body. CT scanning provides highly detailed views quickly and reliably, and enables physicians to gain a better picture of the internal condition of the chest, abdomen, pelvis and other areas of the body.
Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI machine uses a magnet and radio waves to create pictures of the interior of a breast. This test may be ordered after a breast biopsy confirms the presence of cancer, but before surgery. An MRI helps reveal the extent of the cancer and whether cancer exists in the other breast.
New, larger MRI machine now at Hurley: Hurley Medical Center has recently acquired a new state-of-the-art MRI machine, the only one of its kind to be located inside a hospital in Genesee County. Now our patients no longer need to be transported to MRI facilities outside of the medical center, when seconds count. With advanced technology delivering superior image quality, Hurley’s new MRI machinehas a largeropening so that patients feel more at ease during a scan, especially larger patients or patients who do not like the feeling of being closed in.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: A PET scan detects and documents chemical activity in certain areas of the body, which may help detect abnormalities in these organs or systems. PET scans can help determine the spread of certain cancers, evaluate the cancer’s response to treatment, and detect the recurrence of cancer.
X-ray: X-rays use invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones and organs on film or as computerized images. X-rays can be used to help detect a tumor or cancerous tissues in many areas of the body.
Women at high risk for breast cancer
In many cases, a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer can be determined by genetic testing or other documented risk factors. A woman suspected to be at high risk can then receive closer follow-up and screening (more frequent mammogram or breast MRIs) or drug therapy to reduce her risk of developing breast cancer. Hurley has access to a Michigan State University genetic counselor who meets with patients who have been referred by their physician (usually their oncology surgeon or medical oncologist).
Hurley Breast Health Nurse Navigator
From diagnosis to treatment to long-term follow-up, Hurley Medical Center’s Breast Health Nurse Navigator helps breast cancer patients navigate the complicated and stressful world of breast cancer. Click here for more information about the Breast Health Nurse Navigator program at Hurley Medical Center.