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Breast health is a crucial aspect of a comprehensive women's health plan. Safeguarding the well-being of your breasts can play a significant role in keeping you healthy throughout your lifetime.

For more information call 805-737-3375

At Lompoc Valley Medical Center, we are devoted to helping women lead long, healthy lives. We have the latest state-of-the-art equipment for performing digital mammography. Mammography is a special type of imaging that uses small doses of X-ray radiation to find breast cancer in its earliest stages. Mammograms utilize specialized equipment to effectively record images of breast tissue that will record small abnormalities before you notice symptoms.

When to Get Screened

It is commonly recommended that women receive yearly mammograms after the age of 40, even if they do not have any noticeable symptoms or a family history of breast cancer. Annual mammograms can detect cancer early, which is when it is most treatable.

  • Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.
  • Women aged 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every two years or can continue yearly screening.

woman undergoing mammogram

The Technology

Mammography has been the gold standard in breast cancer screening for many years, and the technology continues to evolve. Lompoc Valley Medical Center is staying on the cutting edge of mammographic advancements. The hospital now uses the latest technology known as breast tomosynthesis, digital breast tomography (DBT), and 3D Mammography.

The patient's experience of having a scan on a breast tomosynthesis machine will seem similar to a regular mammogram.

But for a radiologist, the advanced technology is significantly better. With digital breast tomography, the mammogram images are divided into 1mm thick slices that can be viewed individually. This allows the Radiologist to see through dense breast tissue with more clarity, resulting in improved detection of cancers, even when very small.

Using low-dose, short X-ray sweeps around a compressed breast with only nine exposures, the FDA-approved technology uses a special method that removes motion from the imaging tube, helping to reduce blur and increase image sharpness.

This imaging technique is designed to separate the tissues and reduce overlapping structures.

The technology benefits women with moderate or dense breast tissue on mammography. Dense breast tissue can obscure cancers on a routine mammogram. Digital breast tomography improves cancer detection by helping to separate overlapping regions of the denser breast tissue.

Another benefit of this new technology at LVMC is the ability to reduce the number of callbacks or "second look" diagnostic mammograms, which can be stressful for patients. The reduction in callback mammograms is again related to the 3D Mammography's ability to see through dense breast tissue, allowing the Radiologist to better differentiate between normal overlapping breast tissue versus an actual abnormality that might need to be further evaluated.

Have questions? We're here to help. Call (805) 737-3375.

Learn about Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Breast cancer occurs when abnormal breast cells begin to grow uncontrollably. It can happen to anyone, female or male. However, women are more likely to get breast cancer than men. In fact, in the United States, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women after skin cancer.

Click here to read about Breast Cancer.