Posts Tagged ‘Mammogram’

The Importance of Regular Breast Cancer Screenings

breast cancer screenings

Cancer is a heartbreaking illness that is very difficult to treat and incredibly painful to go through. Based on 2010-2012 data, 39.6% of Americans are diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime. There are several forms of cancer that can develop many different ways, and a few ways to take breast cancer screenings.

Breast cancer is a form of cancer that develops from breast tissue. It is most common in women over the age of 40 but also affects younger women as well. Men also have a risk of developing breast cancer, although the rate of breast cancer seen in men is far lower than the rate of breast cancer seen in women. In the United States, less than 5 percent of women with breast cancer are younger than 40. Breast cancer rates are highest among women over the age of 70. With any form of cancer, it is better to detect the problem earlier on before it escalates further and becomes harder to treat.

There are several ways to check if breast cancer is present. One way to check yourself for breast cancer is to do a self-examination once a month. Self-examination is the process of an individual looking for physical or visual changes in the breasts. To do a self-examination, your breasts should be dry and there should be no lotions or other similar products on your fingers. Find a comfortable couch or bed and lay down flat on your back. Use the pads, not the tips, of your index, middle, and ring fingers. Start from the outer areas of the breast and work your way towards the center, carefully feeling for any lumps that might exist. If you feel anything, do not panic, for many of these lumps turn out to be non-cancerous.

Self-examinations are just one way to check for breast cancer, but the best and most effective way to screen yourself for breast cancer is by making an appointment with your doctor and scheduling a mammogram or breast ultrasound. Even if no lumps are felt by the self-examination, women over the age of 40 should schedule these breast cancer screenings regularly. Always keep an eye on your health and be sure to check with your doctor if you come across anything concerning. The best way to fight cancer is to detect it early.

Peninsula Radiology urges you to do a monthly breast self exam.  If you or a family member require guidance to find a qualified breast health specialist in your area, please contact one of our seven locations for help.  

Schedule your Annual Mammogram Online

mammogram scheduler Have you scheduled your annual Mammogram for 2018? The fact is that mammography is the best tool available to screen for breast cancer. Mammography has helped reduce the breast cancer death rate in the United States by 30 percent.

The American Cancer Society recommends women 40 years and older have an annual screening mammogram to aid in early detection of breast cancer. If you are under 40 years old, talk to your doctor to see what screening program will work best for you, especially if you have a personal or family history of breast cancer.

We make it easy and convenient for you to schedule your annual Mammogram. Thanks to Riverside’s Self-Scheduler, you can now schedule your screening mammogram from any computer, at any time. The Self-Scheduler is simple and quick to use. You will first need to create and account by selecting a user name and password. Once your account is set up, you will be able to schedule, re-schedule or cancel your appointment at your convenience.

Another great feature about the Self-Scheduler is that it provides instructions on how to prepare for your appointment. Following these guidelines will help to ensure that you will get the most out of your breast cancer screening appointment.

Annual mammograms can detect cancer early — when it is most treatable. In fact, mammograms show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them. Mammograms can also prevent the need for extensive treatment for advanced cancers.

To schedule your annual mammogram through Riversides’ state-of-the-art Women’s Imaging Center, visit the Online Scheduler today.

Once you have your appointment scheduled, you can visit the Peninsula Radiology website to find maps and directions to your breast imaging center.


Riverside Walter Reed Hospital designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence

breast-imaging-center-of-excellence1 riverside-walter-reed-hospital-1





Peninsula Radiology is proud to announce that Riverside Walter Reed Hospital has successfully passed their Stereotactic Breast Biopsy Accreditation with the American College of Radiology. In addition, the ACR has deemed this facility a “Breast Center of Excellence”.

By awarding the hospital the status of Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, the American College of Radiology recognizes the breast imaging services at this center are fully accredited in Mammography, Stereotactic breast biopsy and breast ultrasound.

This accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. To earn this award, a facility must meet the ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards, following a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field.

“This is the most prestigious honor that can be awarded in breast imaging,” says Dr. Benjamin Pettus, a radiologist with Peninsula Radiology who specializes in women’s imaging.  “It speaks of our commitment to high quality breast imaging and technical competency with breast biopsies.”

The rigorous, though voluntary process requires facilities to pass breast imaging accreditation programs and modules. In addition, there is also an assessment of image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which then provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement.

Riverside Walter Reed Hospital strives to be a leader in of women’s imaging. Our radiologists are dedicated to the latest diagnostic techniques, and offer compassionate care with the highest of practice standards.

The ACR, is a national organization serving more than 32,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs for focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology, as well as the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

What Women Need to Know About Breast Density

mammography screening1.     What does it mean to have “dense breasts”?

Breast density is a way to describe the different types of tissue that make up a women’s breast. The breast is made up of glandular tissue, fibrous connective tissue and fatty tissue. The amount of these tissues varies in women. When women have more fibrous connective and glandular tissue than fatty tissue, they have denser breast tissue.

2.     How do women know if they have dense breasts?

Only your doctor can determine if you have dense breasts. Radiologists interpret screening mammograms to assess breast density.

3.     How common is it for women to have dense breasts?

60% of women under 50, 40% of women in their 50s and 25% of women in their 60s. Know that there is a normal spectrum of tissue density and that dense tissue is not in and of itself abnormal and may fluctuate from year to year but tends to decline with age.

4.     What are some of the factors which affect breast density?

The three factors which affect breast density include genetics, pregnancy, and age. High breast density tends to run in families. With each pregnancy your breast density decreases, and typically, younger women have denser breasts.

5.     What are some of the challenges posed by dense breast tissue?

Dense Breast tissue may make it more difficult for radiologist to find cancer or other abnormalities. However, annual mammography improves detection including in women with dense tissue.

6.     What is the relationship between dense breast tissue & cancer?

Dense breast tissue does not necessarily increase the risk of breast cancer, it just makes it more difficult to detect.

7.     What do women need to know if they find out they have dense breasts?

We want to stress that mammography is still a highly valuable tool in the detection o breast cancer. Even though sensitivity for the earliest cancers may be decreased, a mammogram is far from “worthless”.

8.     What are the imaging options for women who find out they has dense breasts?

Currently, studies are being conducted to learn whether Ultrasound and MRI (in combination with mammography) help to improve detection in women with dense breasts.

9.     What can women do to prevent breast cancer?

Know your risks and family history, get screened yearly & preform regular self-exams.  Be aware of the signs which may indicate breast cancer, and make healthy life choices.

10.  What else can women do to increase the chances of early detection?

Take the innovative to contact their representatives that passed this legislation to go a step further than requiring letters of notification… if they want to improve detection they need to require insurers to support additional testing when it is actually indicated and supported by good medical research.  Ultrasound Screening is not currently supported by the literature or by insurance providers.  Breast MRI and occasionally breast BSGI are routinely denied coverage by insurance providers even when indicated and supported by the literature.



Peninsula Radiological Associates is pleased to announce that Benjamin J. Pettus, MD.,PhD has joined it’s diagnostic imaging practice.

Dr. Pettus received his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biopathology and his MD from Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. His internship was at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, Virginia and his post-graduate training included a residency in Diagnostic Radiology as well as a fellowship in Mammography and Breast Imaging from Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Prior to attending medical school, he received his bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry, summa cum laude, from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA. Dr. Pettus is a General Diagnostic, Breast Imaging and Intervention Specialist with the practice.

Peninsula Radiology has always made the patient experience a priority. Dr. Pettus is an outstanding physician, said Dr. Dennie Bartol, a Vascular and Interventional Radiologist and senior member of Peninsula Radiological Associates.  A patient recently said: “Dr. Pettus is an outstanding example of a kind and caring professional. On a recent visit, he explained all procedures in detail and on a level that was understood. He took much time to do so and even stopped what he was doing. Dr. Pettus and his team stayed after hours late at the end of the day to do follow up procedures so that I would not have to worry and wait until the next week. Riverside is extremely fortunate to have such a kind and compassionate individual who is outstanding in every way.“

Peninsula Radiological Associates has been serving the Peninsula for over fifty years and provides the most comprehensive range of medical diagnostic imaging on the Virginia Peninsula. It offers seven convenient locations for its patients as well as providing professional reading services to local hospitals. The range of services includes MRI, CT, PET, Mammography, Fluoroscopy, Image Guided Biopsies, Interventional Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, Ultrasound, X Ray and Women’s Imaging. All imaging services are read by Board Certified Physicians, many of whom have additional certification in sub-specialties. For additional information, please visit our website