Breast health center in Fort Walton Beach, Florida
The Breast Center at HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital is dedicated to the early detection of breast disease.
Our specialists use advanced technology to diagnose breast cancer and other abnormalities in their earliest stages. From regular checkups and screenings to the latest imaging technologies and treatments, you can access all our expert breast care services at our convenient location. This includes 3D mammography, stereotactic biopsies and other advanced technology to detect breast abnormalities early, giving you the best chance at returning to full health.
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Breast health services
Our breast care program offers the latest in breast health screening and diagnostic procedures.
We use 3D mammography to detect more invasive breast cancers and reduce false positives. This provides more accurate results than a conventional 2D mammogram.
3D mammograms are often used when a specific type of mammogram is ordered by a doctor or when a patient has dense breast tissue.
Dense breast tissue mammogram
Breast tissue can either be dense or fatty. Dense breast tissue is more fibrous and glandular than fatty breast tissue. Breast density varies among women, but the majority of women 40 years old and older have dense breasts.
Our 3D mammography system is recommended for women of all ages and breast densities. The technology is also specially approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use with dense breasts.
Screening mammograms are annual exams performed for women with no symptoms of breast disease. The goal is to screen all eligible women for signs of breast cancer.
We recommend starting yearly mammograms at 40 years old if you are of average risk. These screening mammograms do not require a doctor's order and are covered by most insurance plans with no cost to you.
Diagnostic mammograms are performed when there are symptoms of breast conditions — such as pain, lumps and breast discharge — or if breast cancer had been detected in the last five years.
A doctor's order is required for diagnostic mammograms, and insurance coverage varies. At times, additional imaging, such as an ultrasound, may be required.
We typically are able to provide results the same day as you exam.
A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of breast tissue. This exam doesn't use radiation.
We may perform an ultrasound to diagnose a breast abnormality or to further examine suspicious tissue detected in other breast imaging procedures.
3D stereotactic biopsy
We use advanced technology to locate and biopsy suspicious areas presented on your breast imaging exam. A stereotactic biopsy is an outpatient procedure. It requires minimal preparation and recovery time.
In most cases, a 3D stereotactic biopsy procedure reduces the amount of time and radiation exposure needed to collect the tissue sample, compared to other breast biopsy procedures.
During the biopsy, a small sample of tissue is collected from the suspicious area and sent to a pathologist. The pathologist analyzes the tissue sample under a microscope. The pathologist will provide the biopsy results to your physician, who will review them with you.
If breast cancer is detected, we offer an oncology program. Our cancer care team will guide you through treatment and into survivorship.
Frequently asked questions
Many patients have questions about 3D mammogram procedures and how they differ from traditional 2D mammograms.
What should I expect during my 3D mammogram?
The 3D exam is very similar to having a conventional 2D mammogram. Like a 2D mammogram, the technologist will position you, compress your breast, and take images from different angles.
There’s no additional compression required with a 3D exam, and it only takes a few seconds longer for each view.
The difference in a 3D mammogram is that the technology captures multiple layered images of the breast. The technologist will view the images of your breasts at the computer workstation to ensure quality images have been captured for review.
Your doctor or radiologist is then able to review the breast — one thin layer at a time, almost like turning pages in a book. This helps them make a more accurate diagnosis compared to 2D mammograms
Who can have a 3D mammogram?
A 3D exam is approved for all women who would undergo a standard mammogram.
Multiple clinical studies show that all women, regardless of breast type or density, benefit from a 3D exam.
What is the difference between a screening and a diagnostic mammogram?
Sometimes, the radiologist may ask you to come back for follow-up images, called a diagnostic mammogram, to rule out an unclear area in the breast, or if there is a breast complaint that needs to be evaluated.
To schedule your annual 3D screening mammography exam, please call (888) 894-2114.
What about radiation during a mammogram?
Very low X-ray energy is used during the exam — it is just about the same amount used as during a film-screen mammogram. The total patient dose of a 3D exam is within the FDA safety standards for mammography.
Why choose a 3D mammography exam?
A 3D exam detects more invasive breast cancers and reduces false positives. This means one simple thing: more accuracy.
The 3D exam is the first and only clinically superior breast tomosynthesis exam as approved by the FDA.
The 3D exam allows doctors to see masses and distortions associated with cancers significantly more clearly than conventional 2D mammography. Instead of viewing all of the complexities of your breast tissue in a flat image, as with conventional 2D mammography, fine details are more visible and no longer hidden by the tissue above or below.
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