Published on March 01, 2019

Stereotactic breast biopsies now available at Nazareth

3d imageEarly detection and a fast, accurate diagnosis are essential for helping women survive breast cancer.

Nazareth Hospital now offers a major advance in diagnosing breast cancers: stereotactic biopsies, which cause little or no scarring and offer a minimally invasive biopsy option.

Radiologists at Nazareth perform these minimally invasive biopsies using leading-edge technology—the Hologic® Affirm® breast biopsy system, now available at Nazareth. This system can biopsy calcifications found on both 3-D and 2-D imaging. Because some cancers can only be seen on a 3-D mammogram, that 3-D capability is crucial for letting radiologists see and sample potentially cancerous abnormalities that might not be visible otherwise.

And when a 2-D image is the appropriate choice, this new system offers the highest resolution and truly superior imaging. It can pick up faint microcalcifications—tiny deposits of calcium that may be an early warning sign of breast cancer.

“We’re so excited to offer women this new option,” says MaryAnn Blohm, BS, RT, (R), (CT), manager of medical imaging at Nazareth. “This affirms our deep commitment to protecting the health of the women we serve with excellent breast care.”

Less stressful, safer biopsies

This system is designed to work together with another innovation: the Hologic® Brevera® breast biopsy system. Nazareth is the only hospital in the area to invest in this technology, which helps make biopsies shorter—and safer—for women.

The Brevera® system allows radiologists to immediately know if they have collected a sufficient tissue sample. That typically means less tissue needs to be removed, which significantly shortens the time a biopsy takes.

Less tissue removed also means a safer procedure with a lower risk of complications, such as bleeding.

“Together, these two technologies give women a streamlined, improved experience and a diagnosis they can trust,” Blohm emphasizes.

To schedule a mammogram at Nazareth, call 215.335.6158. Appointments are also available in the evening and on Saturday.

How to prepare for a breast biopsy

If your doctor suggests you need an X-ray-guided biopsy, take these three simple steps beforehand:

  1. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take. You may be advised to stop taking aspirin, blood thinners or certain herbal supplements three to five days before your biopsy to reduce your risk of bleeding.
  2. Tell your doctor if there’s any chance you’re pregnant.
  3. Don’t wear deodorant, powder, lotion or perfume under your arms or on your breast the day of the exam. They may interfere with the imaging used to perform the biopsy.