A screening mammogram

Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in their lifetime.

Regardless of family history, the two most common risk factors for breast cancer are: 1. Being a woman and 2. Getting older.

We offer screening and diagnostic mammograms. A screening mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer early. We use very low X-ray energy during the screening examination, so your exposure is below Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines.

We recommend a yearly mammogram for women 40 and older unless otherwise advised by your primary care provider. If you have no concerns or problems like a lump or unusual nipple discharge or pain, we offer 2-D 3-D digital mammography.

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Advanced diagnostic breast center

The Advanced Diagnostic Breast Center at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital has been recognized by the American College of Radiology as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. With over 13,000 mammograms read each year, our breast care team focuses on putting your health first for you and everyone you love.

National Accreditation for Breast Centers

Your breast care team

Our team of highly skilled and experienced breast care experts will answer your questions and provide accurate results in a timely and caring manner. At the Advanced Diagnostic Breast Center, your breast care team will include a radiologist, a mammography technologist, an ultrasound technologist and a breast imaging navigator.

The mammography and ultrasound technologists will work with your radiologist to complete all necessary diagnostic procedures. If necessary, the breast imaging navigator will help you schedule additional breast imaging tests or a breast biopsy.

If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, the breast imaging navigator will connect you with a breast cancer nurse navigator who will work closely with you and your doctors so you will know your options and receive the treatment, care, education and support you need.

Meet the team

Melanie DeHart, MD

Melanie DeHart, MD, is the lead interpreting mammographer at Henrico Doctors' Hospital and a partner with Radiology Associates of Richmond. She is an advocate for the use of breast MRI, high-risk screening and breast ultrasound.

Dr. DeHart earned her medical degree from VCU School of Medicine and completed her residency training at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. She served in the U.S. Air Force for four years at Langley Air Force Base.


3-D mammography is the newest technology that allows doctors to examine breast tissue one layer at a time. A good analogy for 3-D mammography are the pages in a book. If you look down at the cover of the book, you cannot see all of the pages – but when you open it up, you can flip through the pages to see everything between the covers. 3-D mammography is designed with the same concept in mind.

If the radiologist finds an abnormality during the screening examination, you will be called back for a diagnostic mammogram.

What is a callback?

An accurate diagnosis is important for planning your medical care. If your screening mammogram shows an abnormality, we will call you back for additional imaging (a diagnostic mammogram, an ultrasound or MRI) to determine the diagnosis. Most often, the radiologist will return you to screening.

If the radiologist is still concerned about the imaging tests, he or she may recommend a biopsy for a more precise diagnosis.

If the radiologist recommends diagnostic imaging, your primary care provider will need to order the tests. Your breast imaging navigators can help you expedite this process.

Breast Ultrasound

Breast ultrasound is a painless imaging test that doesn't use radiation. Radiologists often use this to further evaluate abnormalities that show up during a mammography. If you‘re under the age of 30, your doctor may recommend breast ultrasound before mammography to evaluate a breast lump that can be felt through the skin.

Breast MRI

Breast MRI is a completely different way of looking at the breast. It uses powerful magnet technology, delivers no radiation, and uses 3-D techniques that look deeply into the breast to find abnormalities that might not be visible in other exams.

Breast MRI can be used to screen women who are at high risk for breast cancer, evaluate the extent of cancer following diagnosis, or further evaluate abnormalities seen on mammography. It also is the best method for determining whether silicone breast implants have ruptured. It is not a replacement for mammogram, which is still the gold standard for breast health screenings.

Breast density evaluations.

Breast tissue is made up of a mixture of fibrous and glandular tissue (appears white on mammogram) and fatty tissue (appears black on mammogram). Your breasts are considered dense if you have a lot of fibrous or glandular tissue but not much fat. Density may decrease with age, but there is little, if any, change in most women.

Finding out if you have dense breasts can only be determined by the radiologist who reads your mammogram. It is important to know if you have dense breast tissue as it can make it more difficult for doctors to spot cancer on mammograms. If you have dense breasts, please talk to your doctor. Together, you can decide whether additional screening exams are right for you.

If you're diagnosed with breast cancer

If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, a breast cancer nurse navigator will contact you. You will be scheduled for either follow-up testing or a consultation with a breast surgeon.

Learn more about breast cancer treatment at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Henrico Doctors' Hospital.

Breast Care Videos

  • Dr. Ryan Gabriel: High-Risk Breast Health

  • Dr. Ryan Gabriel: When to get a Mammogram

  • Dr. Ryan Gabriel: Breast Screening Recommendations