Breast Cancer Myths
05 May

Breast Cancer Myths – Part 3

Wearing underwire bras can cause breast cancer.

Somewhere online, maybe in a forum, someone theorized that wearing underwire bras increases your risk of developing breast cancer because they compress the breasts, allowing toxins to build up.  Luckily, this is another internet rumor with no scientific evidence to back it up.


Being overweight is not a risk factor for breast cancer.

Unfortunately, being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing breast cancer.  The risk is even higher for post-menopausal women, and for those who gained weight as they aged.


Small breasted women don’t develop breast cancer.

You bra size does not determine your risk for developing cancer.  While larger breasts may be harder to examine than smaller breasts—the risk for developing breast cancer is the same.  Remember, mammograms save lives through early detection—so regardless of your bra size, stay on top of routine screenings and checkups.


After a mastectomy, breast cancer won’t come back.

While a mastectomy reduces the risk of developing breast cancer by an average of 90 percent – there is still a small chance that the disease could come back.  If you only had a one-sided mastectomy, you are still at risk for developing cancer in the other breast. Mastectomies do not reduce the risk of developing cancer in other parts of your body.


Surgery causes cancer to spread.

While your doctor may discover that cancer has spread to other parts of the body during surgery—the operation itself  does not cause breast cancer, or allow it to spread. 

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Breast Cancer Myths
01 Apr

Breast Cancer Myths – Part 2

Breast implants increase cancer risk.

Women with breast implants do not have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. However, standard mammograms do not always work in women with implants, so additional X-rays may be required to detect abnormalities.


Wearing antiperspirant causes breast cancer.

Internet rumors purport that wearing antiperspirant can cause breast cancer. However, research does not support this common myth.


You can prevent breast cancer.

While it is true that you can mitigate your risk of developing breast cancer by controlling factors like diet, exercise, and choosing not to smoke – there is no fail-safe way to prevent the disease.


Caffeine causes breast cancer.

Most research shows that caffeine does not increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Moreover, a recent study confirmed that consumption of caffeine reduced breast cancer risk in post-menopausal women.


If your mother didn’t have breast cancer, neither will you.

If your first-degree relative— a parent, sibling, or child—had breast cancer, your risk of developing the disease doubles. But even if no one in your family suffered from cancer, that doesn’t mean that you are in the clear. Over 70 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors.


All women have an equal chance of developing breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer. However, the risk increases with age. For example, a woman in her 30’s has a 1 in 233 chance of developing the disease, while an 85 year-old woman has a 1 in 8 chance of getting it.

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Breast Cancer Myths
15 Mar

Breast Cancer Myths – Part 1

4 Popular Breast Cancer Myths Busted

The days of trekking to your local library in search of encyclopedic truth are dead and buried in the 90’s. The internet is abuzz with information about everything, especially when it comes to breast cancer and women’s health. Unfortunately – not all of that information is true.

Let Bergen Imaging Center set the record straight – and clarify some popular misconceptions about breast cancer.

All lumps mean cancer

Oh no! You’ve found a lump in your breast. Before you panic, realize that 80 percent of breast lumps are benign, caused by cysts, hormonal changes, and other factors. Doctors advise reporting all changes because catching breast cancer early can save your life. So, let your physician know if something is amiss, and he or she can prescribe a mammogram, ultrasound, or biopsy if necessary. 

Lumps are the only sign of cancer

While a lump could indicate breast cancer, it is not the only sign. During your breast self-examination, pay attention to all changes, including, but not limited to, breast and nipple pain and tenderness, nipple retraction, thickening of skin on the breast or nipple, and discharge. Contact your doctor if you notice anything abnormal.

Only women develop breast cancer

Did you know that men can develop breast cancer too? While uncommon – less than one percent of all breast cancers occur in men – as many as 2,600 men are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2016.

Mammograms cause breast cancer

Mammograms expose patients to low levels of radiation – but not enough to cause cancer. The benefits of early detection via mammogram far outweigh any associated negligible risks. Early detection saves lives.

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GE Prodigy NJ
16 Feb

DXA: The Gold Standard for Body Composition Analysis

Your bathroom scale doesn’t tell the whole story about your weight. It cannot distinguish between your body’s bone mass, lean mass, and fat mass. Neither does body-mass index (BMI) – the widely-used, but controversial formula, derived from dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by his/her height in meters, to determine whether or not he/she is overweight.

New research found flaws in the formula – that led to the mislabeling of millions of Americans as obese, when they really weren’t (and visa-versa) –concluding that BMI is an unreliable and inaccurate measure of health.

So what can we trust?

Enter whole-body scans, known in medical circles as Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, but more commonly referred to as DXA. This new technology looks inside to reveal your body composition—breaking it down into bone, fat, and lean tissue.

DXA was first developed as a diagnostic tool to measure bone loss and assess a patient’s risk for osteoporosis, but has since become the gold standard for body composition analysis. GE’s CoreScan*, the new DXA technology, quantifies patients’ visceral fat to help in the management of cardiometabolic diseases associated with excess visceral fat – including type 2 diabetes.

As discussed in a recent Wall Street Journal article, the ability to accurately measure fat makes DXA an invaluable tool for patients, clients, and athletes who are trying to lose weight and gain muscle through a combination of “diet, exercise, and resistance training”.

The procedure, now available at Bergen Imaging Center using GE Healthcare’s Prodigy*, is quick, painless, and safe—exposing patients to minimal doses of radiation.

“Bergen Imaging Center is proud to offer DXA/bone densitometry and body composition analysis, which complements our suite of high-end, patient- and quality-centric imaging services. A patient can potentially receive all of her preventative imaging in one convenient visit,” said Dr. Christopher L. Petti, Medical Director at Bergen Imaging Center.

*Trademark of General Electric Company

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3D Mammography NJ
09 Jan

The Advantages of 3D Mammography

Breast tomosynthesis, more commonly known as 3D mammography, looks and feels a lot like a traditional mammogram. It is performed in conjunction with your 2D mammogram, and does not require additional time or compression of the breasts. * However, instead of imaging the breast as a whole, 3D mammography provides three-dimensional views by taking multiple X-rays of each breast from different angles. It enables radiologists to view inside of the breast, layer by layer, while increasing visibility of fine details by minimizing the appearance of overlapping tissue.

Research demonstrates that 3D mammography is 30 percent more accurate in finding breast cancer than 2D exams alone – and that it greatly reduces the number of false positive readings. In addition, patients are exposed to very low levels of radiation.

Research presented by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), found that tomosynthesis also has potential to significantly increase the cancer detection rate in mammography screening of women with dense breasts. Using digital mammography plus tomosynthesis, researchers detected 80 percent of 132 cancers in women with dense breasts, compared to only 59 percent for mammography alone. Across all breast densities, 82 percent of cancers were detected with 3D mammography, versus 63 percent of cancers being detected using only digital mammography. This is because 3D mammography can “see through” the tissue, making it possible to locate tumors that would otherwise be obscured on a 2D mammogram.

“Tomosynthesis research has also demonstrated a decrease in the number of callbacks, which results in the reduction of additional testing and patient anxiety. Our goal is to make breast tomosynthesis with digital mammography our standard protocol for all women undergoing mammography,” said Christopher L. Petti, MD, Medical Director at Bergen Imaging Center.

* The FDA requires that 3D mammography be performed in conjunction with standard 2D mammography.

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BIC News
02 Dec

Horizon BCBSNJ launches education effort on the OMNIA Health Alliance

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey has launched an educational campaign to increase understanding among consumers, employers, and brokers about how the OMNIA Health Alliance will benefit all New Jersey residents by accelerating the move from traditional, fee-for-service health care to fee-for-value health care.
As part of the launch of the OMNIA Health Alliance dedicated to improving quality care, the patient experience, and lowering health care costs, Horizon BCBSNJ is undertaking a major education effort. The education campaign includes a website,, an advertising campaign, and seminars for brokers.
“Horizon and these health systems are really doing something big, and I was very impressed by the bold approach and the level of commitment they are making to help consumers and employers have access to lower cost health insurance options as well as high quality care,” said Desmond Slattery, Executive Vice President, SlatteryGA, a Division of Arthur J. Gallagher in Belmar.
Horizon BCBSNJ will also unveil new health plans next month. Members purchasing the new health plans will have access to all of Horizon BCBSNJ’s current hospitals and physicians, the largest networks in the state, at essentially the same level of benefits they have today. The new health plans, however, will offer lower premiums and the ability for members to save significant out-of-pocket costs by using select Tier 1 hospitals and doctors.
“I was really impressed by Horizon’s commitment to changing the status quo and working with health systems to improve consumers’ overall experience with the health care system and lower costs, which will really help many of my small business clients,” said Tracy Martin, President of the Martin Financial Group in Princeton.
Horizon BCBSNJ will continue to offer all of its current broad network health plans, which are expected to remain the company’s most popular plans in 2016.
“The OMNIA Health Alliance and our new suite of products is a response to consumer and employer demands for innovative, lower cost health plan options that move us toward paying for the value of care provided and an improved patient experience,” said Christopher M. Lepre, Senior Vice President of Market Business Units. “Our members and employers want options, and we are providing them innovative new choices to consider.”
The following health systems (representing 22 hospitals), their aligned physicians, and a multispecialty physician group have joined Horizon BCBSNJ to form the OMNIA Health Alliance:
  • Atlantic Health System
  • Barnabas Health
  • Hackensack University Health Network
  • Hunterdon Healthcare
  • Inspira Health Network
  • Robert Wood Johnson Health System
  • Summit Medical Group
In addition to the OMNIA Health Alliance organizations listed above, the following health systems will be in Tier 1 when the new products are launched:
  • AtlantiCare
  • Cape Regional Medical Center
  • Cooper University Health System
  • Englewood Hospital
  • Meridian Health
  • Shore Medical Center
  • St. Joseph’s
  • Princeton HealthCare System
About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state’s oldest and largest health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, vision, and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving more than 3.8 million members.

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BIC News
15 Nov

Breast Cancer Doesn’t Discriminate

For decades breast cancer was more prevalent among white women than black women, but a new study shows that in 2012 those rates converged. The research, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, found that not only are black women just as likely to develop the disease, they are 42 percent more likely to die from it.

During the period of 2008 through 2012, breast cancer rates were higher for black women in seven southern states, but remained lower in 11 states and the District of Columbia. The study found that black women are more likely to be diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive subtype, with an often fatal prognosis. Compared to other ethnic and racial groups, black women are diagnosed after the disease has progressed and have the lowest survival rate at each stage of the diagnosis.

The report offers up a number of possible explanations for why breast cancer is on the rise among black women. Reasons ranged from higher obesity rates (58 percent of black women are obese, compared to 33 percent of white women), to having fewer children and having them later in life. Other research suggests that the health care system may be to blame – citing disparities in access to competent and comprehensive medical care.

While there are no concrete answers to explain the increase in breast cancer and higher fatality rates among black women, we do know that mammograms save lives, regardless of race or ethnicity. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, there is a 96 percent survival rate when breast cancer is found early—which is one more reason to schedule your mammogram today.

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3D Mammography NJ
28 Oct

Breast Health and Aging

As women the woes of aging are many – especially when it comes to our breasts. Gravity wreaks havoc on our physiques – and our previously firm, taut, and pert lady parts fall prey to its evil forces. Yet these aesthetic injustices pale in comparison to what goes on inside our bodies.

As we age our chances of developing breast cancer increase. This is in part due to hormones—estrogen and progestin—released during ovulation to stimulate the cells lining the milk ducts to multiply. The more that cells divide and replicate their information over the course of our lifetime, the more likely it is that they will make mistakes. It’s like making a photocopy of a photocopy – each time the result is less like the original.

While none of these facts are fun – the good news is that there are a number of things you can do to take control and mitigate your risk of developing breast cancer. Exercise is an obvious but overlooked example. Studies have shown that working out for as little as two hours per week can lower your chances of developing the disease by 20 percent. Eating healthy, not smoking, and regular visits to the gynecologist are also beneficial.

As important as those things are, mammograms can literally save your life by detecting potentially fatal abnormalities. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, there is a 96 percent survival rate when breast cancer is found early.

Mammography technology has advanced since its inception and Bergen Imaging Center is proud to be at the forefront of the field. We are pleased to offer breast tomosynthesis, also know as 3D mammography, featuring GE’s Senoclaire. Tomosynthesis has higher detection rates, fewer false positives, and fewer recalls when compared to traditional mammography.

“Our goal is to make breast tomosynthesis with digital mammography our standard protocol for all women undergoing mammography,” said Bergen Imaging Center’s Medical Director, Christopher L. Petti, M.D.

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BIC News
11 Aug

Why Choose Bergen Imaging Center?

For over 30 years Bergen Imaging Center has provided the highest standard of care to the women of Bergen County. We were the first facility dedicated to mammography in the state, and the first to offer digital mammography in Bergen County. We are also the first freestanding imaging center in Bergen County to install Senoclaire*, GE Healthcare’s new breast tomosynthesis (3D Mammography) system designed with three-dimensional imaging technology.

Our state-of-the-art facility is fully staffed with onsite board-certified radiologists and highly specialized technologists that truly care about delivering a patient-centric experience. We are committed to making each patient’s experience a positive one. Unlike hospital-affiliated facilities, Bergen Imaging Center is privately owned. There are no facility fees or hidden charges when you are one of our patients. These are only some of the reasons we pride ourselves on offering unparalleled excellence in women’s imaging services.

Excellence in Imaging

Our award winning, board-certified, highly respected radiologists, Dr. Christopher L. Petti and Dr. Elizabeth Mazzei, spend their days examining only mammogram and ultrasound images – nothing else. Known for their exceptional diagnostic abilities, you can be sure you are getting the most experienced and compassionate care. Specializing solely in women’s imaging services and the early detection of breast cancer—their expertise and skill are the foundation of the services we provide. For the fourth consecutive year, Dr. Petti and Dr. Mazzei have been recognized as “Top Doctors” in Bergen County by This is why over 800 physicians in the New York Tri-State Area refer their patients to us.

Flexible Scheduling and Shorter Wait Times

For some of our services we offer same day appointments and when these are unavailable we do our best to schedule your appointment when it is most convenient for you. Unlike over booked private doctors offices and hospitals, we do our best to see you at your scheduled time. Our practice values your time and it shows.

Reduced Anxiety

We know that anxiety is natural when it comes to female imaging and testing. Our doctors and our staff will put you at ease, making sure to answer all of your questions and address all of your concerns at the time of your visit. We only recall patients when absolutely necessary, and provide you with your results either on the same day or within a few days of your appointment.

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13 Jul

Can foods lower your risk of breast cancer?

The short answer is no. There is nothing you can eat that will cure or prevent breast cancer. However, maintaining a healthy diet and healthy body weight boosts your immune system, keeping your health at optimal levels, and in this sense lowering your risk of developing the disease.

Research on diet and breast cancer is ongoing—although there is not enough conclusive “evidence” to prove that diet lowers your risk, studies show that a low fat diet may reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Follow these nutritionist endorsed guidelines for optimal health. For more specific advice, schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian.

  • Maintain a healthy bodyweight. Using the body mass index as a guideline will help.
  • Eat your fruits and veggies. You can’t go wrong eating five or more cups of each per day.
  • Only 20 percent of your daily caloric intake should come from fat. Be careful, as fat is hidden in so many of our foods. The easiest and most obvious way to cut down on fat is to avoid fried foods and condiments like margarine. Instead replace them with healthier fats such as olive oil and avocado.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are your friend. Sources include: fish, winter squash, olive oil, flax seeds, walnuts, and soybeans.
  • Omit trans fats, red meats, charred and smoked foods from your diet.

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