Breast RadiodiagnosisOur Specialists
Senology is a set of instrumental tests (mammography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance, ultrasound-guided or stereotactic surgical procedures) that are commonly used in studying the mammary pathology.
These examinations can be carried out on an asymptomatic patient as well as on a symptomatic one: as we firmly believe that early diagnosis represents the first solution to mammary problems, in the first case these tests are extremely important as a form of prevention, while in the second case they allow for a pre-intervention better diagnosis.
The San Rossore Medical Center can take advantage of a wide range of applications to guarantee a more precise diagnosis and to plan the best diagnostic and therapeutic program for patients that need to undergo surgical intervention. The ward specialists also offer a continuous support from prevention to follow-up.
Digital mammography is a new diagnostic method that is carried out with a digital mammograph, that uses digital receptors and computers instead of x-ray films . The electrical signals can be read on computer screens, permitting more manipulation of images that theoretically allow radiologists to more clearly view the results. Digital mammography is of course filed but can as well be printed or saved on cd-rom or other portable devices.
It only lasts a few minutes and no drugs or contrast agent are required. Mammography is the most effective and safe test for the early diagnosis of breast cancer, as it helps identify even the smallest changes in the breast tissue before other symptoms. If such changes are detected at an early stage, chances for a complete recovery are higher.
- Fine-tuning of ionizing radiation doses
- The image can be displayed both on film or on computer screens, thus permitting more manipulation of images to theoretically allow radiologists to more clearly view the results
- Digital filing: examinations are recorded and kept in the computer of the Medical Center for further comparison
- Remote transmission
Ultrasound is an oscillating sound pressure wave with a frequency greater than the upper limit of the human hearing range (approximately 20,000 hertz in healthy, young adults). The examination is therefore absolutely safe and can be repeated with no risk for human health. Ultrasound devices operate with frequencies from 20 kHz up to several gigahertz. Ultrasound images (sonograms) are made by sending a pulse of ultrasound into tissue using an ultrasound transducer (probe). The sound reflects (echoes) from parts of the tissue; these echoes are recorded and displayed as an image to the operator. In senology, ultrasound completes the mammographic examination and it represents an integration of the clinical evaluation (mammographic medical visit), offering an instrumental support to breast palpation thus allowing the immediate visualization of any anomalies perceived.
Ultrasound is the first-choice examination in women under the age of 40, when mammography would be useless due to a breast composed mainly by glandular tissue.
- High-frequency (10-13 MHz) ultrasound transducers that offer high-definition images
- Cutting-edge ultrasound device
- Special software dedicated to senologic study
- Echocolordoppler study
Magnetic Resonance Mammogram
This kind of examination is carried out in a big device, that works as a magnet, that uses magnetic fields and guarantees no risk for human health. The device is like a 2-meters long cylinder, into which the patient lies prone, with breasts lying on two cups and arms and hands lying at her sides, in a comfortable position.
The main feature of this technique is its great sensitivity, as it is able to detect a malignant tumor even when mammography or ultrasound aren't able to diagnose it. By the way, Magnetic Resonance Mammogram is to be considered as a complementary examination to be carried out together with traditional mammography and ultrasound, thus integrating details and info. Magnetic Resonance Mammogram alone could by no means replace these other two examinations because false results may occur, that is why matching and checking different tests and results is absolutely required.
The San Rossore Medical Center offers the most modern Magnetic Resonance equipment that guarantees an accurate diagnosis thanks to high magnetic field intensity (1,5 Tesla) combined with a comfortable space for the patient, who lies in a shorter tunnel (only 125 cm) with a 70cm diameter, thus making this diagnostic examination endurable also for anxious or claustrophobic patients.
- Prevention screening for young women with genetic risk or high familiar risk of breast cancer
- Research of a primitive tumor in case of existing metastasis of unknown origin, through clinical examination of the breast, mammography and ultrasound.
- Local staging of malignant tumors already diagnosed with traditional methods.
- Control of breast cancer response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
- Assessment of surgical patients in case mammography and ultrasound aren't able to distinguish between scar and recurrent tumor.
- Study of breasts with prosthesis: augmentation mammaplasty, reconstructive mammoplasty
- Inconsistencies between images obtained through mammography, ultrasound and clinical examination.
- Secreting breast
This examination can not be carried out in case of:
- pace maker
- iron or other metallic prosthesis
IMPORTANT NOTE TO PATIENTS
At San Rossore Medical Center’s radiology department, where MRI is used since a long time, we do not use contrast agents that present a linear molecular structure.
Patients interested in our facility can rely on the fact that our medical and surgical activities are performed in strict observance of each existing safety regulation.
Interventional procedures on breast include any kind of minimally invasive surgery on the mammary gland apt to influence the following diagnostic or therapeutic decisions. The choice of the most appropriate method is personalized by the radiologist according to the pathological specimen, its dimensions and the method through which the sample is best displayed.
X-Ray-guided intervention – Mammotome
- This procedure is indicated for micro-calcifications, opacities, distorsions or any other lesion visible through a mammography
- Computer-guided biopsy
- Vacuum assisted breast biopsy that removes only a small amount of healthy tissue
- Unlike many other medical centers where this procedure requires the patient to be seated, at the San Rossore Medical Center the stereotactic biopsy is carried out on the prone patient, as clinostatism - i.e. the lying position – significantly reduces the procedure discomfort if compared to the seated position
- Topical anesthesia
- Easier localization of impalpable lesions
- This procedure is indicated in the cytopathologic classification of lesions visible through an ultrasound scan
- Real time ultrasound guide while introducing the needle, to verify that the sample taking is carried out in the correct way
- Very thin needle: cytological sample taking
- Tru-Cut/Mammotome: micro-histological specimen taking
- Topic anesthesia
- Rapid intervention
- Pre-surgical localization of impalpable lesions
A team of professionals with a range of specialist skills, cutting-edge equipment and interdisciplinary cooperation enables both symptomatic and non-symptomatic patients to receive personalized diagnostic and treatment services.
The patient is accompanied through each step of the diagnostic process and therapy. It is a humanized process that takes each case's unique characteristics into account and ensures that the patient is assisted through every phase, from radiology to cytopathology, from molecular diagnostics to radiotherapy, from oncological surgery to plastic surgery, all the way to rehabilitation and also including psychological support.
The Center for Breast Diagnostics at the San Rossore Treatment Center offers:
This type of condition generally requires only a short recovery period, preceded by some pre-operative exams. For this purpose, the facility has rooms available that are furnished with one or two beds, each specially equipped to create the most comfortable environment possible and facilitate attentive care during hospitalization.
In addition to the standard equipment, each room also has a private bathroom, remote-control adjustable bed, intercom with microphone, telephone, television connected to Sky satellite services, internet connection, air conditioning and a safe.
Some units also offer a lounge area and an adjoining room for a visitor. For more information, please contact the Recovery Office at: +39 050 586336 or download the Program of Services.
Day Surgery Services
When dealing with benign tumors, the patient’s condition permitting, Day Surgery can be an option. For more information, please contact the Recovery Office at: +39 050 586336 or download the Program of Services.
Visits for patients with diagnosed or presumed breast disease are carried out in the outpatient clinic.
For more information, please contact the Receptionist at: +39 050 586217 or download the Program of Services.
Diagnostic senology, as methodological approach to the diagnosis of breast cancer, includes the following examinations:
- routine senologic control in asymptomatic patients;
- senologic examination in symptomatic patients suffering from mastodynia or in presence of palpable lesions or cutaneous alterations (reddening, retraction), asymmetry;
- organization of the personalized senologic path according to age, pathology, risk factors (familiarity, prior pathologies)
- control of patients at risk (BRCA)
- control of oncological patients
- intervention in case of focal pathology
- expert advice on imaging and tests/examinations already carried out but not conclusive
- guide in the management of the diagnostic and therapeutic iter (follow-up, surgical evaluation)