UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Aspirus Health wants to highlight the various modalities radiologists use to diagnose the disease.

Dr. John Pietila, a radiologist with Aspirus, explains what these modalities are.

“The two most common modalities would be mammography and ultrasound. Usually, mammogram is where we start with most breast imaging. There [are] some exceptions. In younger woman, we will start with ultrasound occasionally and then breast MRI is another modality that’s commonly used, more commonly with higher-risk women or younger women for breast MRI. But those three, some combination of those are what we typically used for breast imaging,” said Pietila.

Breast stereotactic is a type of biopsy used if a lump is detected.

“Breast stereotactic is a procedure that we do to do a breast biopsy. So, it uses mammogram or low dose x-ray, [that’s] basically what mammogram is, and helps us guide our needle into position for the biopsy. It’s using imaging guidance to target a specific area in the breast that requires biopsy in order to obtain that tissue.”

According to breastcancer.org, breast cancer affects one in eight women in the United States every year and 2.3 million women worldwide. Aspirus offers screening mammograms to women beginning at age 40 and continuing annually. To schedule your mammogram, please visit aspirus.org.