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At Moffitt Cancer Center, all screening exams are performed with digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT or sometimes called “3-D.”)  Screening DBT mammograms take only 30 minutes, are performed by an expert team, and are reviewed by sub-specialized breast imaging radiologists. Next day and evening appointments are available in an elegant environment with state-of-the-art technology at two convenient locations.

Moffitt Cancer Center recommends annual screening mammography beginning at age 40 for women at average risk. 

Breast Screening Prescription FAQs:

Screening Mammogram

What is the procedure?
Routine screening 3D mammography works by capturing multiple thinly sliced images through the breast, from several angles. Our sub-specialized breast imaging radiologists then review each image. 

Who is it for?
Screening mammograms are for patients with no symptoms or known area of concern. Eligible patients cannot be experiencing any problems (pain, lumps, discharge, mass). For patients who have a personal history of breast cancer at any point in time, either a screening or diagnostic mammogram may be performed, depending on patient and provider preference. Female patients are eligible for screening mammograms and male patients undergo a diagnostic mammogram. 

Is a Rx needed?

  • For women 40 or older, no prescription is needed. 
  • For women under 40, a prescription may be required. 

Tailored Screening 

Who is it for?
Some women may be at increased lifetime risk for the development of breast cancer and/or have “dense” breasts. Breast density is the amount of breast tissue relative to the amount of fat. Mammograms are better at finding small, early cancers in women with more fat or “non-dense” breasts.  These women, and especially those with additional risk factors, often benefit from tailored screening.

What is included?
Moffitt offers supplemental screening with breast MRI or ultrasound, which are performed in addition to annual screening mammography. Breast MRI has the highest cancer detection rate of all breast imaging exams across all breast density categories.  Conventional MRI is available to high-risk women with or without dense breasts. Abbreviated MRI (AB-MRI) is a lower cost, shortened version of conventional breast MRI that is designed to screen for early aggressive invasive cancers and high-grade DCIS not seen on mammography.  AB-MRI screening may be indicated in asymptomatic women with risk factors, such as dense breasts, but who are not considered high risk.  For those women whom MRI is contraindicated, we offer hand-held, whole breast screening ultrasound performed by a dedicated breast ultrasound technologist.

Is a Rx needed?

Yes. Any supplemental screening exam requires an order/prescription: “Bilateral Breast MRI,” “Abbreviated Breast MRI,” and "Bilateral Whole Breast Screening Ultrasound." This must be specifically written on the order/prescription. 

Find additional information on tailored breast screening.
Learn more about AB-MRI offered at Moffitt.

Diagnostic Mammogram
A diagnostic mammogram is a more in-depth test and does require a physician referral.

What is the procedure?
A diagnostic 3D mammogram allows for additional images of the area of concern. Our sub-specialized breast imaging radiologists then review the breast imaging in real time, while the patient waits. For a palpable area or focal pain, an ultrasound may be performed after the mammogram is interpreted by the radiologist.

Who is it for?
Diagnostic mammograms are performed in a variety of situations including:

  • Breast lump detected by patient or health care provider
  • Abnormality detected on screening mammography
  • Breast abnormality detected on another imaging modality
  • Bloody nipple discharge
  • New, persistent focal pain

Is a Rx needed?

Yes, a diagnostic mammogram requires an order/prescription: "3D Digital Diagnostic Mammogram with Ultrasound if indicated" and "Bilateral" or "Unilateral." This must be specifically written on the order/prescription. 

Breast Radiology & Imaging

Moffitt provides state-of-the-art comprehensive breast imaging including:

  • Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT or 3D Mammography)
  • Conventional breast MRI and AB-MRI (Abbreviated Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
  • Dedicated fellowship-trained radiologists specialized in breast imaging
  • Flexible hours at Moffitt McKinley Outpatient Center and Moffitt at International Plaza

If you’d like to refer a patient for breast cancer screening at Moffitt Cancer Center, call 1-888-663-3488, complete our online form or contact a physician liaison for assistance.