Sentara Northern Virginia Comprehensive Breast Center supports continued use of screening mammography for women over 40 to detect breast cancer early.

Support for mammography maintained by doctors

The Sentara Northern Virginia Comprehensive Breast Center, accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR), supports continued use of screening mammography for women over 40.

“Early detection of breast cancer through mammograms can result in less invasive procedures and is the best way to ensure long-term survival for breast cancer patients,” said nationally recognized breast radiologist, Dr. Rebecca Zuurbier, M.D. of Sentara Radiology Specialists. “The validity of the study cited in recent news reports has been called into question on many fronts over the years. The worst thing that could result would be for women today to delay getting annual mammograms at age 40 because of an update to a historically flawed study.”

The American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology endorse annual mammograms for women over 40, and earlier for women with family histories or genetic factors that cause concern. The Sentara Northern Virginia Comprehensive Breast Center supports that position.

“Mammogram technology has improved,” said Dr. Zuurbier. “The science of radiology has advanced. These specialties are helping to find breast cancers earlier and save men and women’s lives.”

Sentara Healthcare is deploying the latest advancement in mammography across its hospitals in Virginia.

Tomosynthesis, also known as 3D Mammography, improves cancer detection and reduces unnecessary callbacks for biopsies by more clearly identifying abnormalities, even in dense breast tissue. Sentara currently offers 3D Mammography at the following Northern Virginia locations: Sentara Lake Ridge in Woodbridge and Ultrasound Associates in Alexandria.

“3D Mammography is a breakthrough technology,” said Dr. Zuurbier. “It renders earlier studies about the effectiveness of mammography obsolete.”

The overriding position of the Sentara Northern Virginia Comprehensive Breast Center is that early detection improves patients’ chances for long-term survival and a greater quality of life.