The latest news about Women's Imaging Center of Orange County, breast health, and more


Introducing Selenia® Dimensions® from Hologic

3D mammogram machine selenia dimensions mammography system from hologic

It’s no secret that 3D mammograms are far better at detecting breast abnormalities than 2D pictures. Our technology of choice is the brand new Selenia® Dimension® Mammography System from Hologic.

What makes this machine so special? For starters, the Selenia Dimensions is the first in its class to be FDA-approved. It’s the world’s first and only tomosynthesis-guided biopsy. More importantly, its ergonomic design offers the most comfortable patient experience possible. Simply put, it sets a new standard for digital breast imaging.

If you’ve never had a 3D mammogram before, it’s similar to a 2D mammogram and takes about 15-20 minutes. Here’s what you can expect to happen:

Step 1:
You’ll undress from the waist up and put on a gown.

Step 2:
You’ll step into a private room with one of our radiologic technologists.

Step 3:
While standing, the technologist will position you in front of the Selenia® Dimension® machine and place one of your breasts between two compression plates.

Step 4:
When the machine starts, a robotic arm will arc over your breast and take multiple X-ray images. You’ll be asked to hold your breath for 2-3 seconds while images are taken and the compression may cause a bit of discomfort but shouldn’t be painful.

Step 5:
You’ll be repositioned to capture further images and/or have your other breast placed between the machine’s two plates if you are having a bi-lateral exam performed.

Step 6:
You’re all done!


For more information on 3D mammograms, check out the 3D mammogram page under the Services tab and the FAQs page under the Patient Information tab.

Want to learn more about the Selenia Dimensions system? Go to



The Best Prevention to Breast Cancer

healthy lifestyle

While some women have genetic risk factors for breast developing cancer, there are plenty of lifestyle choices that all women can make to ensure their bodies are as strong as possible. From exercise to diet, here are some healthy lifestyle changes to consider.

Say No To Tobacco
Smoking can increase your risk of developing breast cancer and increase complications of breast cancer treatment. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, there are plenty of ways to help you quit. These are just a few ideas to help you through the process:

• Seek free online support from the American Lung Association at
• Call the American Cancer Society for free advice from trained counselors at 1-800-ACS-2345.
• Talk to your doctor about medications that help curb cravings.
• Try meditation or acupuncture.
• Reach out to a friend who has successfully quit.

Eat Healthy
What you put in your body has a huge impact on your health. While eating or not eating certain foods can’t guarantee that you won’t develop breast cancer, these are some general guidelines that can help lower your risk:

• Cut back on alcohol
• Eat 5+ cups of fruits and vegetables a day
• Keep daily fat intake under 30 grams
• Vary your animal protein sources
• Stay away from fried foods
• Buy organic as much as possible

Stay Active
Regular exercise has endless benefits for physical and mental health. When it comes to breast cancer, moderate daily exercise has been shown to lower your risk by controlling weight, lowering estrogen levels and boosting immunity. If you’re not active, start by walking for about 30 minutes a day. You may even notice immediate results like more energy and an improved mood.




Understanding Breast Cancer

understanding breast cancer

Understanding Breast Cancer

Many women know someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer or have recently received a diagnosis themselves. In fact, 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It can be overwhelming, so we want to provide some basic information to help demystify the disease. As we like to say, breast health knowledge is power.

What Is Breast Cancer?
Sometimes breast tissue cells become damaged and grow uncontrollably to form a lump, a growth, or a tumor. These masses can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). If a malignant tumor develops in the breast it’s called breast cancer. When cancer spreads to other parts of the body, usually through the lymph system, it’s referred to as metastic.

What is the anatomy of a female breast?
These are the parts of the breast that are constantly mentioned when talking about breast cancer:

• Adipose Tissue
The majority of the breast is made up of fatty cells called adipose tissue, which extends from the collarbone down to the armpit and across to the center of the ribcage.

• Lobes, Lobules and Milk Ducts
A healthy breast is divided into 12–20 sections called lobes. Every lobe is made up of lots of smaller lobules, the glands that produce milk in nursing women. Milk ducts are the tubes that connect lobes and lobules, and carry milk to the nipple.

• Lymph System
Part of the immune system, this network of lymph nodes and blood vessels runs through the body to deliver disease-fighting cells and fluids. Clusters of bean-shaped lymph nodes filter abnormal cells away from healthy tissue and are found in the breast’s adipose tissue along with ligaments, fibrous connective tissue, nerves, lymph vessels, and blood vessels.

Where Does Breast Cancer Start?
It usually begins in the inner lining of the milk ducts or the lobules. When cancer spreads to other parts of the breast it’s known as invasive.

What are the signs of breast cancer?
Some of the earliest symptoms of breast cancer are an area of thickened breast tissue or a lump in the breast of armpit. Even though most lumps are not cancerous, it’s a good idea to have any breast changes checked out by your doctor. Other symptoms include:

• Swelling of part or the entire breast
• Irritated skin or dimpling that can look like an orange peel
• Breast or nipple pain
• Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple skin
• Nipple discharge other than milk

It’s important to know that many women with breast cancer have no symptoms. That’s why it’s so crucial to do regular breast self-exams and screenings.

women over 40 What are the risk factors for developing breast cancer?
Breast cancer can be the result of multiple factors like family history and lifestyle. Your best bet for prevention is understanding your individual risk factors, making healthy lifestyle choices, performing routine breast self-exams, and getting annual mammograms beginning at age 40.

Are there different types of breast cancer?
There are many kinds of breast cancer and some are more common than others. Below are descriptions of 5 forms of the disease.

• Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
This very early form of breast cancer occurs when cancer cells are found only inside the milk ducts and haven’t yet spread to the rest of the breast tissue.

• Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC)
The most common form of the breast cancer, 80% of all cases fall into this category. It’s called “invasive” because cancer that starts in the milk ducts has spread to surrounding tissue and can invade other parts of the body.

• Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
Characterized by abnormal cells in the milk glands, LCIS is not technically cancer. However, women with this diagnosis do have a higher chance of developing cancer.

• Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILB)
Accounting for nearly 10% of all cases, this is the 2nd most common type of breast cancer. Similar to IDC, this invasive form begins in the milk glands and can spread to other parts of the breast and body.

• Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC)
A rare but aggressive form of breast cancer, IBC may not show up on a mammogram because there is no lump. The main symptoms are swelling and redness which can come on suddenly.

What are the treatment options?
The two main approaches for treating cancer are local and systemic, and both are often used together. Local treatments target cancer at the source and include surgery (lumpectomy or mastectomy) and radiation. Systemic treatments effect the entire body and include chemotherapy and hormone therapy. The treatments your doctor chooses depends on several factors including the type, stage and grade of the cancer, the likelihood of that method curing the cancer, your age, and more. Your doctor will take all of these factors into account to create a custom plan that has the best outcome possible.


Medical News Today
National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc.
American Cancer Society
Susan G. Koman



Why We Walk for A Cure

Making Strides Again Cancer walks Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure

Chances are you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (aka the annual global campaign that promotes cancer education and raises money for research). But what you may not know is that Women’s Imaging Center has participated in national charity-related walks for nearly a decade. It’s not only a great way to promote education and contribute to the cause, but it’s a really fun way to connect with women, men, and children in our community.

Over the years, our team and their families have participated in Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure® and American Cancer Society® Making Strides Again Cancer® walks. And every year, we outfit volunteers with custom t-shirts that feature an empowering message. This year’s slogan for the Making Strides walk was no different: “Treasure Your Chest. No rest ‘Til We Save Every Breast.” We walked with 100 local folks and have earned a blue ribbon recognition for our fundraising efforts for breast cancer research.

Here are some photos from this year’s inspiring event. To see images of events from years past, check out our Facebook page at

For more information or to get involved, visit Making Strides Against Cancer® at and Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure® at

PS – Check back here in late summer for details on our upcoming 2018 walk.