Canadian Mammography Study            02.12.13

What happens when "flawed" studies get media attention? Lives are at stake - which is why we turn to the experts to help us determine what's right and wrong. If you've heard about a recent Canadian Study debating the benefits of mammography, you must learn the facts. Read a Q&A from Dr. Daniel Kopans and responses from the American College of Radiology, the Society of Breast Imaging, Dr. László Tabár and Tony Hsiu-Hsi Chen.

» Dan Kopans, MD, FACR, FSBI responded to questions regarding the BMJ study.

» Statement from the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging

» Dr. László Tabár and Tony Hsiu-Hsi Chen, "We do not want to go back to the Dark Ages of breast screening"

» Interview of Dr. László Tabár

  Expanding Access to Mammography Technology            11.18.13
Tomosynthesis (3D Mammography) to be offered at the Monroe Breast Center beginning the week of November 18, 2013.

CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 30, 2013 – Charlotte Radiology, the area's largest mammography provider, is expanding access to digital breast tomosynthesis (also known as 3D mammography) by offering this procedure at Charlotte Radiology's Monroe Breast Center (on the campus of Carolinas Medical Center-Union, 1550 Faulk Street, Suite 1200). The practice introduced tomosynthesis to the Charlotte market in August, and will begin providing this advanced technology in Union County the week of November 18.

Dr. Amy Sobel, a specialist in breast imaging for Charlotte Radiology noted, "This revolutionary technology reveals greater detail, which may help us detect cancer sooner. Our Charlotte area patients have welcomed this procedure, and we believe it's important to broaden our geographic reach so that women across the region have the option of choosing tomosynthesis." Since the launch of tomosynthesis, Charlotte Radiology has seen more than 600 patients at its Pineville Breast Center site, the first site in the Charlotte area to offer the new technology.

Tomosynthesis creates multiple images or "slices" that step through the breast tissue. This allows the radiologist to see more clearly and helps reduce the impact of overlapping breast tissue. The process is performed at the same time as a traditional 2D mammogram, on the same scanner with no noticeable difference in the experience or time expended for the patient.

"Tomosynthesis gives us the ability to see masses, particularly in dense breast tissue, that we might have difficulty detecting with traditional mammography. Because it reduces the overlap of tissue, most investigators have found that it leads to fewer callbacks and therefore less anxiety for women," explains Dr. Matthew Gromet, Chief of Mammography at Charlotte Radiology.

What are the known benefits?

Reduced Callbacks: Tomosynthesis 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 tomosynthesis.
Improved Sensitivity: By minimizing the impact of overlapping breast tissue, tomosynthesis may improve breast cancer screening and early detection.

Improved Sensitivity: By minimizing the impact of overlapping breast tissue, tomosynthesis may improve breast cancer screening and early detection.

  First in Charlotte to Offer Tomosynthesis            07.30.13

CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 30, 2013 – Charlotte Radiology, the area's largest mammography provider, is the first breast center in Charlotte to offer digital breast tomosynthesis (also known as 3D mammography). The procedure will be offered at Charlotte Radiology's Pineville Breast Center (10650 Park Rd. Suite 280) starting the week of August 19th, providing convenient, local access to this advanced technology.

Tomosynthesis creates multiple images or "slices" that step through the breast tissue. This allows the radiologist to see greater detail and helps reduce the impact of overlapping breast tissue. The process is performed at the same time as a traditional 2D mammogram, on the same scanner with no noticeable difference in the experience or time expended for the patient.
"Tomosynthesis gives us the ability to see masses, particularly in dense breast tissue, that we might have difficulty detecting with traditional mammography. Because it reduces the overlap of tissue, most investigators have found that it leads to fewer callbacks and therefore less anxiety for women," explains Dr. Matthew Gromet, Chief of Mammography at Charlotte Radiology.

The procedure was approved by the FDA in February 2011 and is a modification of the current 2D (digital) mammography. The exam is performed on state-of-the-art digital equipment, which is able to obtain multiple low-dose images of a compressed breast from different angles. These images are then viewed individually and dynamically. Radiologists are able to view breast tissue layer by layer, one millimeter at a time, similar to a CT scan.

Dr. Terry Wallace a specialist in breast imaging for Charlotte Radiology noted, "Tomosynthesis is an exciting revolutionary technology that gives us the ability to scroll through each layer or slice of tissue to see what it really looks like. It reveals greater detail, which may help us detect cancer sooner."

Tomosynthesis is an optional service for the patient, which supplements the traditional mammographic images. While 2D digital mammography remains the gold standard for early detection, 3D images can offer better visualization for radiologists who are helping certain groups of patients – particularly those with dense breasts. A woman's breast tissue density is determined by a prior mammogram.

"All women may benefit from tomosynthesis; however, there is increased benefit to women with dense breast tissue because dense breast tissue may look similar to cancer tissue. 2D mammography can't always differentiate between cancer and dense breast tissue" says Dr. Deborah Agisim, a specialist in breast imaging for Charlotte Radiology. "For example, if a 2D mammogram detects an area of concern, the radiologists may want to further investigate with a diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound or biopsy. Looking at the same breast tissue in 3D, the radiologist may now see that the tissue is in fact normal breast tissue. In this scenario, the patient likely avoided a callback for an additional mammogram."

The radiation dose is approximately the same for tomosynthesis as it is for traditional 2D mammography. So the radiation is roughly doubled when doing a 2D mammogram along with tomosynthesis. Even this combined dose is still below the FDA-regulated limit for 2D mammography and has been found by the FDA to be safe and effective for patient use.

Insurance does not yet cover the tomosynthesis portion of the mammogram. However, the 2D portion of the exam is covered 100 percent by most plans. Patients will be required to pay an out-of-pocket fee of $50 at the time of service if they opt to supplement their mammogram with tomosynthesis.

To learn more about 3D Mammography, and find photos, videos and fast facts, please visit

  Belk Launches "Belk Gives on the Go"            11.12.12

Belk Launches "Belk Gives on the Go" Mobile Mammography Center in Partnership with Charlotte Radiology

Learn more: BelkMobilePressRelease.pdf

  Study Divides Breast Cancer Into 4 Distinct Types            09.24.12

In findings that are fundamentally reshaping the scientific understanding of breast cancer, researchers have identified four genetically distinct types of the cancer. And within those types, they found hallmark genetic changes that are driving many cancers.


  Benefits Outweigh Harms            09.12.12

European breast screening "benefits outweigh harms." National breast screening programs in Europe save more lives by catching tumors early than they harm through over-diagnosis and women should be made more aware of benefit-risk balance, researchers said on Thursday.


  Screening Cuts Breast Cancer Deaths in Half            09.10.12

Study finds screening mammography cuts breast cancer deaths by half. It's time to move on in the debate over screening mammography's effectiveness, according to Australian researchers, who found that mammography reduces breast cancer mortality by 49%. They reported their results in a paper this month in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.


  Support for mammography access above 40            07.03.12

AMA delegates adopt policy that the decision about breast cancer screening should be between a woman and her physician.

Chicago In response to concerns that recent guideline changes may reduce insurance coverage of screening mammography, the American Medical Association adopted policy at its Annual Meeting stating that women past age 40 must be able to receive the procedure if they ask for it and their physician agrees. The patient's insurance should cover the procedure, the policy states.

"If a woman wants to receive a mammogram and the physician believes it is appropriate, she should be able to receive one," said Lee R. Morisy, MD, chair of the Council on Science and Public Health that wrote the report on the subject and a general surgeon in Memphis, Tenn.

Previously, the AMA supported annual screening mammograms in asymptomatic women older than 40. That was in line with the 2002 recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force stating that screening mammography should be done every one to two years in this age group.

The long-standing debate about which women should receive mammography and how often they should be screened reignited in November 2009 when the USPSTF revised its recommendations on the issue. The panel said the decision to start mammography before age 50 was an individual one, and that the procedure did not need to be done routinely in this age group. Women 50 to 75 were told to get mammograms every two years.

Numerous studies have come to conflicting conclusions about the value of mammography in various age groups. The USPSTF cited evidence that the use of the screening test in women in their 50s and 60s is strong but is less compelling for those 40 to 49.

The new policy updates the AMA's position on the issue and emphasizes that the decision to screen is between a patient and her doctor.

"All patients are different and have varying degrees of cancer risk, and patients should regularly talk with their doctors to determine if mammography screening is right for them," said Patrice A. Harris, MD, an Atlanta psychiatrist and member of the AMA Board of Trustees.

In related action, delegates adopted a policy expressing concern that the USPSTF mammography recommendations, along with those on the use of prostate-specific antigen to screen for prostate cancer, would limit access to preventive care. In May, the task force recommended against routinely performing the PSA test on all men.

The AMA policy states that the organization will encourage the USPSTF to implement procedures to allow for greater input from specialists when drafting prevention recommendations. The USPSTF currently posts drafts of potential guidelines for public comment, and disease experts are solicited as the guidelines are developed.

"Experts can and do provide input in the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the process," said Marcel Salive, MD, MPH, speaking for the U.S. Public Health Service.

Attendees said this was not enough.

"We contacted the USPSTF to provide meaningful input, and none of our experts in the field were able to participate," said Arl Van Moore, MD, a diagnostic radiologist from Charlotte, N.C., and delegate for the American College of Radiology, speaking for the college.


  A Second Mobile Breast Center            06.20.12

We are excited to share that Charlotte Radiology plans to expand its mobile mammography services by adding a second mobile breast center!

Responding to an increased demand for convenient access to early screening for breast cancer, the new mobile unit will help Charlotte Radiology serve more women in our community.

· Charlotte Radiology will continue to use each of the mobile centers at various special events, health fairs, businesses and at our 11 free-standing breast center locations.

· Charlotte Radiology also intends to increase its outreach to uninsured women through non-profit programs, such as the Mecklenburg County Health Department and Levine Cancer Institute: Project PINK. Levine Cancer Institute: Project PINK is a collaborative effort between Charlotte Radiology, Levine Cancer Institute and Charlotte-area YMCAs to provide ongoing opportunities for education, breast screenings at their local YMCA health center, and any follow-up care.

Be on the lookout for the new mobile breast center - expected to open in late August! You might also hear about it in the news. Attached are press releases with further details about Mobile #2 and LCI: Project PINK.

  Did You Know?            03.15.12

Did you know? Mammograms can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or doctor can feel them. Mammograms should not be pushed to the bottom of women's to-do lists. For those with insurance, mammograms are covered annually at 100 percent by most plans. But what about those without? Charlotte Radiology partners with area health departments and community organizations to provide mammograms for uninsured women. Check out our resource page and this article for more information!

  On the Road to Increase Early Detection            10.06.11

Charlotte Radiology - On the Road to Increase Early Detection

Charlotte Radiology's Mobile Breast Center hit the road in February 2011, bringing onsite digital mammography services to women across the region as the only mobile mammography center dedicated to Mecklenburg, Gaston, Union, and York counties.

The colorfully designed pink-and-black mobile van has already trekked thousands of miles to reach women in the workplace and at community events, aiming to improve access and increase the number of women who get their annual mammograms.  The mobile unit, which extends the geographic footprint of available mammography services, also meets the needs of the underserved and uninsured through partnerships with local health departments and various organizations.

Steering women toward early detection
"We've been on the road almost non-stop and it's making a difference," said Shawna Platé, breast services marketing manager. "Approximately 50 percent of the women getting mammograms at their place of work have never had a mammogram, and 25 percent are past due."

The American Cancer Society recommends mammography every year beginning at age 40. Only 68% of women ages 40 and above have had a mammogram within the past two years, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Mecklenburg County has a reported breast cancer rate of more than 120 cases per 100,000 people, according to the National Cancer Institute - slightly higher than the national and state averages.
"Our research shows that convenience and access play a major role in whether or not women comply with annual screening guidelines," said Charlotte Radiology President Van Moore, M.D., F.A.C.R. "By offering breast health expertise on wheels, we are making early breast cancer detection services more readily available to women, ultimately saving lives."

Prevention on Wheels
The mobile center, a 38-foot long, state-of-the-art breast screening center on wheels, is staffed by two mammography certified technologists and includes a registration and waiting area, two private dressing rooms and an exam room.

The Charlotte Radiology mobile unit offers digital mammography exams, which improve exam quality, reduce radiation and shorten exam times. Each exam - completed in about 30 minutes - is interpreted by a board certified physician specializing in breast imaging.

Wheels in motion
Charlotte Radiology's intent is to meet women where they work and congregate, encouraging them to begin and continue a screening routine. Gearing up quickly, the mobile breast center team delivered mammography screening services to the front doors of 20 different organizations during the first few months of operation.

Meeting the needs of busy working women is a key goal, explains Cathleen Bates, assistant director of mammography services, Charlotte Radiology. "Women have great intentions about taking care of their health, but often procrastinate because scheduling appointments during the work day is difficult for many. We've had a tremendous response from corporations who place a high value on preventive care and employee wellness."

When The Employers Association booked the mobile breast center, Laura Hampton, vice president of marketing, membership and training, knew the convenience factor would be a win-win situation for the employees and the company. "We need our employees healthy and women tend to delay their mammograms. Having the van onsite definitely encouraged more women to schedule screenings because it was so easy and required less time away from work."

"Our employees raved about the quick and simple process," said Benjamin Nice, Marketing Manager, GE Capital. "And, from a leadership perspective, we were able to offer an important healthcare service at our site with very little effort on our part. The mobile mammography team handled all the planning and details."

As more companies adopt health wellness programs, employers value the ability to support the program goals in meaningful ways.

When Charlotte Radiology held an onsite screening day at Barloworld Handling, its employees benefitted in two ways. Kimberli Lasyone, vice president of human resources, says the mobile van was a huge hit because it provided women with a convenient and potentially life-saving screening, while participation also counted as one of the four wellness initiatives each employee must complete to earn Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) dollars.

For more information visit

  Charlotte Radiology's Mobile Breast Center            09.07.11

Meeting our community's breast health needs and saving lives is our top priority. We can now offer our breast health expertise on wheels. Charlotte Radiology's mobile breast center brings early breast cancer detection to you, providing women with a more convenient option for breast cancer screening, ultimately improving compliance. Patients will experience the same quality, compassionate care, expertise and comfortable atmosphere as in our breast centers. This includes digital mammography and female technologists certified in breast imaging. Digital mammography improves exam quality, reduces radiation and shortens exam time for patients. Most appointments take less than 30 minutes from check-in to completion. Each exam will be interpreted by a board certified physician specialized in breast imaging.

Watch this video clip to learn more about our mobile breast center.

  Mammography 101            05.03.10

Let's get to the bottom of this mystery called mammography. What is a mammogram, after all? Why do I need one? I don't have a family history. I just don't have enough time to take care of me. I hope that the following information will prompt you to finally schedule that baseline mammogram that your doctor's been badgering you about for a year now. Or remind you to finally schedule your annual mammogram exam that you've put off for months now.

So, what is a mammogram? Screening mammography is used to detect breast cancer in women who have no breast complaints or symptoms. Screening mammography is intended to detect breast cancer in the earliest stage possible when it is most treatable. Diagnostic mammography is performed when a woman has a breast lump or other symptoms (such as a pain or nipple discharge). A diagnostic mammogram may also be performed if your screening mammogram demonstrates a possible abnormality. Do not be alarmed - this is very common, especially for women getting their first mammogram.

Why is FORTY the magic number? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) all recommend screening mammography every year for women, beginning at age 40. In addition, many women obtain a baseline mammogram at age 35. The baseline is intended to give radiologists a point of comparison for breast tissue changes through the years.

As we age, our risk of developing breast cancer increases. Statistics from the National Cancer Institute show that between the ages of 40-49, a woman with an average risk of breast cancer (i.e. - no family history) has a 1.46 % chance of developing breast cancer. This percentage represents a significant rise compared with women aged 30-39, who have a 0.44% chance of developing breast cancer. This jump in the incidence of cancer after age 40 is one main reason why annual screening mammography is recommended at this age. Additionally, a woman's breast density typically decreases with age. This improves mammographic sensitivity and the detection of breast cancer with age. Regardless of age, women with a family history or experiencing a breast problem should contact their primary care physician for further evaluation.

I don't have a family history. MOST women who develop breast cancer have no family history. A woman's chance of developing breast cancer increases if a first degree relative such as a mother, sister or daughter has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Women who are at higher than average risk of breast cancer should talk with their health care providers about whether to have mammograms before age 40 and if any additional measures need to be considered.

The bottom line is annual mammograms help detect breast cancer early and improve the chances that it can be treated successfully. A mammogram can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them.

Don't skip! It is important to get mammograms on an annual basis - your mammogram images are like pieces of a puzzle - the radiologist uses these images to look for subtle changes that could be indicators of early stage breast cancer. Having prior films for comparison also reduces the chance that you are called back in for a diagnostic evaluation.

Additional Info

American Cancer Society Guidelines for early detection of breast cancer:
-Women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year, and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health.
-Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a regular health exam by a health professional, preferably every 3 years. After age 40, women should have a breast exam by a health professional every year.
-Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s. Women should be told about the benefits and limitations of BSE. Women should report any breast changes to their health professional right away. (can provide you with shower card PDF)
-As per American Cancer Society recommendations, women at high risk (20% or greater lifetime risk) should get an MRI and a mammogram every year beginning at age 30. Women at moderately increased risk (15% to 20% lifetime risk) should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of adding MRI screening to their yearly mammogram.

Charlotte Radiology's Guidelines/FAQ

  Smarty Moms, Mammograms Matter            05.03.10

I'm a mom, wife, employee, daughter, boo-boo fixer, tantrum tamer, friend… And the list goes on. I don't have time for me and that's okay - I love my busy life as a mom. I'm sure you smarty moms can relate.

I am the breast health outreach manager at Charlotte Radiology, and I hope this will be the push you need to put "get my mammogram" back at the top of your to-do list. Why? Because mammograms matter. They matter because you're a mom, wife, daughter, boo-boo fixer, do-it-all, be-it-all WOMAN. And you and your health matter to the ones you love.

Despite the recent controversy over when to start annual mammography, the American Cancer Society and breast health experts across the world stand firm - 40 is the age to start an annual mammogram routine. It's a 30 minute appointment that could save your life. Mammography is the only proven way to find breast cancer early and save lives from this disease - a disease you can't just ignore or put off until you have time, because ladies, there's never enough time. So, us moms need to MAKE time.

And don't think you're off the hook because you're under 40. No ma'am. Smarty moms of all ages need to spread the word. This Mother's Day, tell all the moms in your life that mammograms matter.

1 in 8 women is affected by breast cancer, and 75% of those women have no family history. There's no reason to wait - visit today to schedule your mammogram and send a reminder e-card to a loved one, or call to schedule at 704.367.2232.

  Charlotte Radiology Pink Lady meets Liberty Tax Man            04.06.10
  Confused about mammography recommendations?            03.11.10

The recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force report has left many women confused about when they should get their mammogram. This report suggested that women in their 40's may benefit less from mammography and that the risks might outweigh the benefits.

As breast imaging experts we fully support the American Cancer Society, and many other organizations, which advise annual screening mammograms starting at 40. Scientifically conducted clinical trials have proven that screening mammography has decreased mortality from breast cancer, including for women in their 40s. In addition, at Charlotte Radiology Breast Centers we screen women from 35 to over 80. Over 20% of the breast cancers we find from screening mammography are in women age 40-49. Early detection through mammography often gives women more treatment options with reduced surgery, better cosmetic outcomes, and may eliminate the need for harsh chemotherapy.

The Task Force used a computer model and a statistical analysis which included incomplete and outdated information to reach its conclusions. No new research was conducted and no breast cancer experts were involved. In contrast to the Task Force's findings, multiple clinical studies in the United States and abroad have proven significant benefit to women over 40 who get mammograms. This is why most physicians in the field stand firm in their recommendations in the best interest of women's health.
The downsides of screening mammography are minimal. About 10% of women get called back for a few additional views or an ultrasound - additional steps to prove that everything is fine. If a biopsy is needed, it's generally only a needle biopsy today, not surgery. Most biopsies are benign (not cancer). Radiation used for mammography is very low dose, and there is no evidence that this level of exposure causes harm. The amount of radiation is similar to the amount from an airplane flight of a few hours due to the thinner atmosphere - not something we typically worry about.

Here are additional some facts about screening mammography. Please click here for more detailed information.

  • Screening Mammography is the major reason that U.S. breast cancer mortality has reduced by 30% since 1990. Similar mortality reduction has also been shown in many international clinical studies.
  • 75-80% of women with breast cancer have NO family history.
  • Breast Cancers detected in women under 50 are often more aggressive cancers - making early detection by annual screening mammography even more important.
  • The two biggest risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and growing older.
  • Mammography is a low-cost and safe tool for breast cancer screening, with the amount of radiation exposure comparable to flying across the country.
Breast cancer mortality rates are dropping due to screening mammography. Let's continue this encouraging trend. Get your mammogram now that you're 40, and continue having them annually.

Matthew Gromet, J.D., M.D., F.A.C.R.
Chief of Mammography at Charlotte Radiology Breast Centers
Breast Imaging Specialist

  The Family History Myth            10.20.09

MYTH: If you don't have family history, you won't get breast cancer. Most breast cancers occur in patients who do NOT have a family history. It is true that having a significant family history increases a woman's risk. A significant family history means you have two or more close family members (mother/father, sibling, grandparent, aunt/uncle) who have had breast cancer, and/or the breast cancer in the family members has been found before the age of 50. But ALL women are at risk, so it is important to follow the guidelines for early detection: annual mammography starting at age 40, along with annual physical exams by your doctor and monthly self breast exams. In fact, more than 80% of women diagnosed have no identifiable risk factors. If you do have a significant family history, talk to your physician. The American Cancer Society now recommends annual Breast MRI, in addition to annual mammograms for women with a 20% or higher life-time risk of developing breast cancer.

  Pink Ladies are Speed Channel's "Most Colorful Fans"            10.19.09
  Putting Pink on the Street            10.12.09

So are you one of the thousands in Charlotte who saw a strange pink person roaming the Charlotte streets last week? Maybe you saw them in person, or on the news, or got a text picture from a friend. If you've seen these "1in8 Pink Ladies" or viewed the videos below, you may have some questions about what exactly is going on.

Charlotte Radiology is promoting early detection of breast cancer via 8 women in full body suits during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)! These 8 women are dressed in Root Suits, or body suits that cover you from head to toe - 7 women wearing pink and one woman wearing white. The Root Suits are faceless and bear a resemblance to the 1 in 8 logo used on all of our educational materials.

Once suited up, the 8 women make appearances around Charlotte, handing out the message:
"1 in 8 Women is affected by breast cancer. Win the fight with early detection!"

The back side of the message cards tells women how to make their mammogram appointment at Charlotte Radiology. So far we have gone to Dilworth Coffee, Ben & Jerry's, Trade & Tryon, and Race for the Cure.

Every year we want to spice October up a little bit more and I think we've done it again this year with our "1in8 Pink Ladies!" Let us know if you spot them and where! Stay tuned for more info on just WHO our Pink Ladies are…

  1 in 8 Pink Ladies Make a Fashionable Statement            10.01.09

Back to the top