Sutter breast care centers focus on prevention and early detection. Our genetic counselors can help you assess your risk for breast cancer and take steps to lower your risk. Our imaging experts specialize in early detection. We know that the best defense against breast cancer is a good offense.
Because of this focus, we’ve received recognition for our exemplary care: The American College of Radiology designated four Sutter sites as Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence.
Staying on top of your screening mammograms is key to preventing advanced breast cancer. Our facilities are staffed by breast health specialists who use the most advanced technology—3D mammography, MRIs and ultrasound—to find and diagnose abnormalities long before you or your doctor could notice them. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, our imaging experts work with your team to provide state-of-the-art treatment to remove or contain the cancer.
Digital Mammography and 3D Tomosynthesis
Sutter Health uses digital mammography, which provides incredibly accurate images with lower doses of radiation. Digital mammography can be processed within seconds, stored for year-to-year comparisons and shared easily with all your doctors. It’s especially helpful for viewing dense breast tissue and hard to access areas.
We also offer 3D mammography (tomosynthesis) capabilities that take multiple images of the breast, allowing the radiologist to see layers of tissue from various angles.
A breast MRI allows a radiologist to determine the extent of breast cancer after diagnosis. It can also be used as an early detection tool in women with known genetic risk factors. An MRI uses radiofrequency waves along with a substance called gadolinium, which is injected into the bloodstream, to highlight lesions in the breast.
Genetic Counseling and Testing
Depending on your family history of breast or other cancers, your doctor may recommend genetic counseling or genetic testing to look for genetic mutations that increase your risk of breast cancer. A specially trained genetic counselor will review your family health history and determine whether you have a high risk of having BRCA-1, BRCA-2 or other gene mutations. If you do, you can choose to have genetic testing performed, which only requires a simple blood sample.
In addition, we have specialists who can walk you through your options and next steps.
Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (AWBUS)
The painless and radiation-free automated breast ultrasound procedure uses high-frequency sound waves to analyze whether a breast lump is solid or filled with fluid. A fluid-filled cyst typically is not cancerous.
AWBUS examinations are performed in our Santa Cruz Center main clinic Radiology Department on the first floor at 2025 Soquel Avenue. To schedule an appointment, call (831) 458-5521.