Diagnosis is the process of attempting to identify a cancer or other disease, as well as the conclusion about the condition reached by the physician following this process. The highly-skilled physicians at Sentara use advanced medical technology to diagnose and treat patients with breast cancer.


As early detection of breast cancer has become the standard of care, it is often necessary to perform image-guided tissue biopsies to detect or exclude breast cancer. Tissue biopsies can be performed using ultrasound, stereotactic and MRI guidance.
Use of these advanced medical techniques and the expertise of our radiologists allow for accurate targeting and sampling of the tissue in question. 


Mammograms are X-ray pictures of the breast that are effective for detecting breast cancer.  A mammogram allows the doctor to have a closer look at changes in breast tissue that cannot be felt during a breast exam.

Tomosysthesis technology, also known as a 3D mammogram, allows radiologists to see cancer more easily and sooner than ever before.

Breast MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe and painless test that provides pictures of organs and structures inside the body. It produces these images by using a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy. MRI does not use X-rays.

High-Resolution Breast Ultrasound

Like typical ultrasounds, use sound waves to create images that allow physicians to evaluate breast abnormalities and investigate abnormal MRI or mammography findings. Advances in this technology, the high-resolution images, provide for more accurate detection and diagnosis. 


PET/CT scans are a type of nuclear medicine imaging. A  PET and a CT scan are performed at the same time with the same machine, providing a more comprehensive image than each could produce alone. A PET/CT scan is used often to image the heart, brain, liver or other organs. It is  one of the most effective ways to study cancer.

For those faced with a breast cancer diagnosis, a flood of emotions and questions quickly follow. Realizing that it is important for you to have support and information about your diagnosis, Sentara offers the assistance of a Cancer Patient Navigator to serve as your resource person to guide you from the initial diagnosis through treatment.

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