22 Jun

Bergen Imaging Center Radiologists to be Featured on

When doctors recommend doctors, they choose ours. For the fifth year in a row, the doctors who care for you at Bergen Imaging Center have been rated among the area’s top radiologists by a blue ribbon panel of their peers. Both our Medical Director, Dr. Christopher L. Petti, and our Associate Medical Director, Dr. Elizabeth O’Connell Mazzei, have been selected to be featured on

In order to qualify for the prestigious and highly-selective designation, physicians must be active, in good standing, and exceptional in their specified field.

Potential Super Doctors are nominated by colleagues, required to pass a series of rigorous tests, and evaluated based on 10 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. They receive points based on their performance in each of these areas, and only the highest scoring doctors make the list.

Super Doctors represents the top five percent of all physicians in the New York metropolitan area —and once again, Dr. Petti and Dr. Mazzei are among them.

Bergen Imaging Center is honored to have them on our team; their skill and expertise are the foundation of the specialized care that we provide. Both Dr. Petti and Dr. Mazzei are fellowship trained and board certified by the American Board of Radiology. They are known not only for their exceptional diagnostic abilities, but also for their gentle and caring bedside manner. Their status as Super Doctors reflects and strengthens our practice’s commitment to providing the highest-quality care to our patients.

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14 Jun

Breast Health in Your 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s

Your breasts in your 30’s 

While your breasts may not be as firm and pert as they were in your 20’s, most women still have good tone and elasticity.  That said, giving birth takes its toll. During pregnancy, your breasts grow, only to deflate after you’re done breastfeeding. This can cause stretch marks and sagging.

Common Concerns 

Pain caused by fibrocystic breasts This condition is benign and doesn’t cause breast cancer, but can result in tender, lumpy feeling breasts.

Mastitis is an infection that causes pain, swelling, and redness. It usually occurs in women who are breast feeding, but not always.

Breast Care

Do monthly self-breast exams, and see your gynecologist annually. If a first-degree relative had breast cancer, schedule a mammogram at age 35.

Your breasts in your 40’s

At this age, regardless of whether or not you’ve given birth, your breasts will start to droop and sag.  Exercises that work your pectoral muscles (like push-ups) can help minimize the effects of gravity.

Common concerns 

Breast cysts As your body prepares for menopause, hormonal changes lead to harmless cysts.

Breast care

Do monthly self-breast exams, and see your gynecologist annually. Schedule your first mammogram at the age of 40.

Your breasts in your 50’s 

As you enter your 50’s, gravity takes it toll. Your breasts are comprised almost entirely of fat as your body prepares for menopause.

Common concerns

Breast cancer When you hit 50, your chance of developing breast cancer is 1 in 38. So it’s imperative to pay close attention to any changes in you breast tissue.

Breast care 

Annual mammograms are a must—as are monthly self-breast exams, and regular check-ups with your doctor.

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Mammogram Callback
24 May

When You’re Called Back After a Mammogram…

While callbacks after a screening mammogram are relatively uncommon, they do happen. The American Cancer Society estimates that 10 percent of women who undergo the procedure will receive a callback for further testing. Less than 10 percent of that group will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Most of the time callbacks are nothing to worry about, so don’t panic.

Common reasons for callbacks after a mammogram:

  • Cysts
  • Dense breast tissue
  • Benign (non-cancerous) tumors
  • Image needs to be retaken
  • First mammogram (doctor has no prior images to compare it to)

What to expect at your follow up appointment:

Your follow up appointment will generally include a diagnostic mammogram. The process is almost identical to a screening mammogram (your initial procedure), except that more images are taken so your doctor can closely examine any abnormalities.

In addition to a diagnostic mammogram, your physician may also prescribe an ultrasound. A breast ultrasound, also called a sonogram, is a non-invasive diagnostic test that uses sound waves to create digital images of breast tissue. The procedure is quick, painless, and safe for everyone—even pregnant women—as there is no exposure to radiation. It is commonly used in women with dense breast tissue.

Most likely outcomes of your follow up appointment:

  • Everything is fine and the suspicious area turned out to be nothing to worry about.
  • Everything seems fine now, but your doctor wants to monitor the abnormal area for changes. Your next mammogram will be in 4 to 6 months.
  • Breast cancer has not been ruled out. Discuss results with your physician.

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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. 

Related Articles:

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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.

Related Articles:

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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.

Related Articles:

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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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