Diagnostic Cancer Services

At Tallahassee Memorial, we know that early detection is your first line of defense against cancer. That’s why we offer a variety of advanced screening services to help diagnose pre-cancer and cancer.

Screening Mammogram

A screening mammogram is an X-ray exam of the breast in a woman who has no symptoms. The goal is to find any lump that may be too small to be felt by a woman or her doctor. Finding a lump at this point greatly improves the chance of successful treatment.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women age 40 and older have a screening mammogram every year. A doctor’s prescription is required to obtain a mammogram.

Digital Mammography

We provide digital mammograms in a warm environment with the comfort of Mammopad® — a soft, foam pad that creates a cushion between the breast and the mammography machine. Digital mammography is offered at the Sharon Ewing Walker Breast Health Center.


Ultrasound imaging of the breast is used to distinguish between solid tumors and fluid-filled cysts. Ultrasound can also be used to evaluate lumps that are hard to see on a mammogram. Sometimes, ultrasound is used as part of other diagnostic procedures, such as fine needle aspiration (also called needle biopsy) or ultrasound guided cyst aspiration. Fine needle aspiration is the removal of tissue or fluid with a needle for examination under a microscope

Ultrasound, also called sonography, is an imaging technique in which high-frequency sound waves are bounced off tissues and internal organs. Though you cannot hear them, their echoes produce a picture called a sonogram.

Image-Guided Breast Biopsy Techniques

Imaging techniques play an important role in helping doctors perform breast biopsies, especially of abnormal areas that cannot be felt but can be seen on a conventional mammogram or with ultrasound.

One type of biopsy, the stereotactic-guided biopsy, involves the precise location of the abnormal area in three dimensions using conventional mammography. (Stereotactic refers to the use of a computer and scanning devices to create three-dimensional images.) A needle is then inserted into the breast and a tissue sample is obtained. Additional samples can be obtained by moving the needle within the abnormal area.

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