The primary studies interpreted within this section include screening and diagnostic mammograms, ultrasound, and MRI. A number of procedures are also performed, including biopsies, cyst drainages, and localizations of lesions prior to surgical resection. A screening mammogram is obtained to attempt to detect early malignancy in asymptomatic women. A diagnostic mammogram is used to further characterize (and hopefully diagnose) a known breast abnormality found either on exam (by the clinician or the patient) or on screening mammography. Typically, the radiologist will go over the results of the diagnostic mammogram face to face with the patient before the patient leaves the department. Ultrasound is used to image a particular region of interest rather than the whole breast and can be used to guide procedures. MRI is a very sensitive but not very specific tool for detecting breast cancer. Breast imaging is heavily regulated by the FDA and has its own reporting lexicon called the BI-RADS Atlas.
When spending time in this section, you are expected to wear your white coat and otherwise dress professionally, as you will likely be seeing patients. The breast reading room is located at Pike Exit 4 within the Lee Bell Breast Center (see BWH Pike map).