Breast Cancer Detection

Wake Forest Baptist Health Lexington Medical Center offers complete services designed to detect and treat breast cancer. The hospital's accredited mammography center is equipped with advanced digital mammography equipment, including 3D mammography and offers convenient evening and weekend appointments.

Digital mammography produces higher quality images than film, thereby increasing the ability of radiologists to identify suspicious lesions or abnormalities. Board certified radiologists at Lexington Medical Center perform core needle stereotactic breast biopsies, enabling physicians to examine breast abnormalities without having to send patients to the operating room.

The procedure is performed within the mammography center, and since a local anesthetic is all that is required, patients are ready for discharge soon after the procedure is complete. The sample is then sent to a pathologist who examines the tissue for suspicious cells with findings reported back to the patient within a few days.

To schedule a screening mammogram, call 336-238-4251.

    Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

    Breast abnormalities can be found in a number of ways including mammography, physical examinations or other imaging techniques. However, it is not always possible to tell from these methods whether an abnormality is benign or cancerous. Stereotactic breast biopsies performed at Lexington Medical Center provide a safe, minimally invasive way to determine if an abnormality is cancerous or not.

    Lexington Medical Center has performed stereotactic breast biopsies for several years. During the procedure, the hospital's state-of-the-art equipment is used in conjunction with digital mammography to accurately guide a probe to the specified area and extract cells. Patients can be sitting or reclining during the procedure based upon the location of the suspicious area within the breast. After a local anesthetic is applied, a tiny knick is made in the skin and a vacuum assisted probe is accurately guided to the targeted site.

    Using vacuum pressure, multiple samples of abnormal cells are extracted with the samples immediately forwarded to a pathologist for analysis. A marker is left inside the breast to designate the location of the biopsied area. The biopsy itself only takes about 10 minutes to perform, but patients are usually at the hospital for about an hour from the time of arrival to discharge. There is little or no discomfort during and following the procedure, and the results are available to the patient in approximately 48 hours.

    For many patients, stereotactic breast biopsy is a viable alternative to a surgical biopsy performed in an operating room. The procedure is not painful and the results are as accurate as that of a surgical biopsy at about one-third the cost. It is another example as to why women need not leave Lexington and Davidson County to receive exceptional care.

    Cancer Center ›

    Learn more about cancer services at Lexington Medical Center.

    Mammography Q & A

    What is a mammogram?

    A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. It is the best screening tool we have today to find breast cancer early when it is most treatable. It can find breast cancer when it is very small, even too small to feel. It can also detect abnormal changes to the skin and calcifications. Mammography does a good job of finding cancer. However, it is most accurate when used with another screening test called a clinical breast exam.

    Are mammograms painful?

    To get a good picture, the technologist needs to flatten the breast. You may feel some pressure, but it only lasts a few seconds. Let the technologist know if your feel any pain.

    Is the radiation in mammography harmful?

    A woman is exposed to some radiation during a mammogram. While the radiation exposure during mammography can increase the risk of breast cancer, this increase in risk is very small. Studies show that the benefits of mammography outweigh the risks.

    How can I get a mammogram?

    Call your doctor for a referral, or call 336-716-WAKE.

    What are the known benefits of 3D Mammography?

    • Reduced Callbacks: 3D mammography allows the radiologist to look at different layers of the breast tissue, helping to distinguish normal breast tissue from abnormal breast tissue. Information from these additional views is believed to lead to fewer callbacks and therefore less anxiety for women. 
    • Better Visualization: Radiologists can better determine the size, shape and location of an abnormality with 3D mammography. 
    • Improved Sensitivity: By minimizing the impact of overlapping breast tissue, 3D mammography may improve breast cancer screening and early detection. 

    What if I cannot afford a mammogram?

    Most insurance plans, including Medicare, cover mammograms. However, if you cannot afford one or do not have insurance, call the Susan G. Komen breast care helpline at 1-877-GO-KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) for a free or low cost option.

    How to Get Here

    Imaging Department250 Hospital Drive
    Lexington, NC 27292

    Mammography Appointments:

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    Mammography Hours

    Monday -- Friday:

    8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


    8 a.m. to 2:00 pm