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UF Health Women’s and Diagnostic Imaging – Springhill


4037 NW 86 Terrace
Gainesville, Florida 32605
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The exterior of Springhill Building 1. The exterior is made up of a series of interlocking rectangles of grey and cream cladding and blue-green Florida glass.

UF Health Women’s and Diagnostic Imaging specializes in breast-imaging for women in a comfortable, patient-friendly, outpatient environment.

Women’s and Diagnostic Imaging is accredited by the American College of Radiology and provides state-of-the-art screening and diagnostic mammography using digital mammography machines, as well as any necessary follow-up ultrasound or biopsies.

Women’s and Diagnostic Imaging is the diagnostic imaging center for the UF Health Breast Center.

Women should talk to their primary care doctor starting at age 40 (possibly sooner if there’s a family history of breast cancer) about how often to get a mammogram and when to start.

Breast Imaging Center of Excellence

Women’s and Diagnostic Imaging has earned national accreditation from the American College of Radiology for stereotactic breast biopsies, mammography and breast ultrasound allowing the facility to be designated as an ACR Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. Women’s and Diagnostic Imaging is the only Breast Imaging Center of Excellence in the Gainesville area.


Dr. Julia Marshall

If mammogram results aren’t available while the patient is in office, the patient and referring physician are notified of any abnormalities found on the mammogram, and the patient is scheduled for a followup appointment.

If results are available during the initial mammogram visit and abnormalities are found, additional mammogram pictures and/or ultrasounds may be performed to determine if the abnormality is a real finding.

If the abnormality is determined to have a chance of being cancerous, next steps are discussed, with scheduling a biopsy normally being the first course of action.

Breast density is normally divided into four categories: fatty, scattered tissue, moderate tissue or extremely dense tissue. Breast density is usually a normal part of a report back to a referring physician after a mammogram.

It is not possible to determine exact breast density solely through a physical exam. If patients would like to know if they have dense breasts, they can ask for a copy of their radiology report or ask their radiologist to review their imaging.

Breast tomosynthesis is a technique where the x-ray tube makes a sweep or arc while making exposures along its path across the breast. This allows radiologists to capture images of the breast from different angles. The image can then be looked at on a monitor and be manipulated to construct thin slices through the breast that read to the radiologist like pages in a book. Rather than look at a large image of the breast, tomosynthesis allows targeted portions of the breast to be reviewed. This allows for easier differentiation between cancer tissue and normal breast tissue and eases detection of breast cancer.

Tomosynthesis normally removes the need to take additional images of the breast. And because it’s so effective in deciphering between cancerous and noncancerous tissue, the need for followup appointments are greatly reduced.

For screening purposes, tomosynthesis is now done in tandem with a regular mammogram.

The difference between digital mammograms and traditional film mammograms is mainly in how the image is captured. Both techniques use x-rays, and the machines look identical. But, as the name implies, a film mammogram captures the image on film. In a digital mammogram, the image is captured on a detector, which allows radiologists to view images on a computer screen.

Digital mammograms provide many advantages to the patient. There is less radiation needed in digital mammography. Because images are viewed on computers, various programs can be used to help radiologists evaluate the mammogram through computer-assisted detection and diagnosis.

When undergoing a mammogram, patients should expect to undress and put on a gown. The mammography technologist will then guide patients through the entire process. Breasts are placed on an x-ray detector and held in place with a paddle-like apparatus. This is normally not painful or uncomfortable. There is just enough pressure applied to ensure the breasts do not move out of position and to spread out the tissue to ensure a good image. Two images are then taken of each breast.

Breast cancer is best treated when it is detected early, and mammograms have proven to be one of the best tools to do this. Having regular mammograms gives women the best chance to detect breast cancer before it becomes problematic or requires complex treatment courses.

A breast MRI is a tool that helps detect breast cancer. Not everyone needs a breast MRI. Breast MRIs are normally ordered for patients who are at high risk (20 to 25%) of developing breast cancer. Breast MRIs are also sometimes used in patients who may have a lump but nothing is seen on a normal mammogram or ultrasound. The tool is also sometimes used during pre-surgical screening to find additional tumor sites or give the surgeon a better idea about the extent of the cancer to help with planning.

It’s not recommended for all patients because breast MRIs can often pick up anomalies that are not cancerous and create the need for unnecessary evaluations.

If an abnormality or suspicious lump was found in a mammogram, there is usually a consultation scheduled to determine next steps, which usually involves discovering what the lump is and launching a course of treatment if necessary.

Physicians encourage patients to research information about breast cancer and write down questions their specialists can field during the subsequent appointments.

If an abnormality is found or if there is concern there may be breast cancer present in a patient, the staff at UF Health Women’s and Diagnostic Imaging can set up an appointment with a breast surgeon. Normally, this can be scheduled within a week. That way, the patient can have a biopsy done with results ready by the next appointment. The goal is to streamline the process so that there isn’t unnecessary delay for the patient.

If a biopsy result does show that cancer is present, the patient’s primary doctor will be informed so that the patient can have a consultation to discuss what next steps look like before seeing the breast surgeon. The surgeon can then inform patients what the course of treatment will entail and refer them to medical and/or radiation oncologists if necessary.

Mammograms for those under age 40 are recommended for people with a strong history of breast cancer, particularly if it is with close relatives, such as in a mother or sister, or if cancer in those relatives was pre-menopausal. For example, if a patient’s mother had breast cancer at age 40, a physician may recommend screenings at age 30 for the patient. The key is to discuss options with a physician who can help determine how high-risk a patient is.

Although it is uncommon, men can get breast cancer. Men are 100 times less likely to develop breast cancer than women.

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