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A breast radiologist is a physician who is subspecialty trained with a fellowship after residency who is able to look inside a woman’s breast, somebody who can see inside what can’t be seen from the outside and he’s a physician that basically looks inside and is able to diagnose breast cancers through biopsy and through various imaging modalities such as MRI, ultrasound and mammography.
The services that we offer at UPMC Hamot are the cutting edge technology and imaging of the breast, and we utilize three different modalities to make accurate diagnosis of breast lesions. One modality that we are all familiar with is mammogram, which is basically x-ray of the breast. But another complementary modality is ultrasound, so for example if we see a lesion on the mammogram we are able to use ultrasound to further characterize it to see if it’s just a cyst which is benign or if it’s a solid lesion that may suggest the presence of cancer. The last modality that we have is an MRI, and MRI is exquisitely sensitive for detecting things that may not be present on mammogram or ultrasound.
Women can come in with their screening mammogram, or they can come in with a breast complaint, but as breast radiologists we are able to see inside the breast and make diagnosis of abnormal lesions that might be suspicious for cancer. After we make that imaging workup we can also check the rest of the breast and make sure there aren’t any other concerning lesions and also exclude the possibility of other lesions in the contralateral breast, then we can accurately biopsy that concerning lesion with image guided biopsy.
When a patient comes to UPMC Hamot to have their breast imaged they can expect to have a fellowship trained breast imager diagnose their breast abnormality. They can also expect to have the same physician make an image guided biopsy of this abnormality. When the pathology comes back the continuity of care is maintained because that same physician follows up with the patient and tells them about the result.