Breast Imaging Technology

The Pearlie Harris Center for Breast Health Center offers a full range of diagnostic technology, including digital mammography, breast MRI and breast ultrasound.Our Breast Health Center also is equipped with technology to perform procedures like sentinel node biopsies.   

Digital Mammography

St. Francis Eastside was first in the Upstate area to provide full field digital mammography. Its benefits include:

  • Images can be magnified as well as the contrast and brightness adjusted, adding confidence to the interpretation and reducing the need for patient call-backs;
  • Reduced dosage of radiation;
  • Screening exams are quicker and can sometimes be performed in half the time;
  • Images are available in just 10 seconds, allowing for a technologist’s quick verification of correct patient positioning;
  • Images are stored digitally and can be easily accessed for comparative study.


These types of women will find digital mammography especially beneficial:

  • Women with very dense breasts
  • Women under the age of 50
  • Women who are pre- or perimenopausal

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Sometimes abnormal areas of the breast that appear on mammograms or MRIs are too small to be felt. Stereotactic breast biopsy uses a special type of X-ray to guide the radiologist to the area in question in order to remove some cells to be examined. A tiny incision is then made in the skin of the breast, and a needle is guided by the X-ray to the biopsy site to take tissue samples.

Breast MRI

Providing detailed images of the breast through a radiation-free procedure, the Breast MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) pinpoints size and location of lumps found in the breast. It helps define the lumps in a detailed way so that the physician and imaging specialists can study them. This service provides an added screening option that ensures the most comprehensive diagnostic capabilities.

Breast Ultrasound

The breast ultrasound provides a visual of suspicious areas of the breast. It is used to help distinguish between cysts and solid mass areas of the breast.


For mammogram films, our ImageChecker can detect on films what human eyes cannot. All mammography patients at St. Francis will have their results screened by the ImageChecker. The machine scans films to detect patterns that could be problematic and marks these areas so that radiologists can view them in more detail.
Studies show that out of every 100,000 cancers currently detected by mammography screenings, use of the ImageChecker could result in the early detection of an additional 20,500 breast cancers.

Screen for Life

St. Francis has developed the Screen for Life program, funded by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, to provide free screenings and diagnostics to women who either do not have medical insurance or are financially unable to pay. Qualifiers must be Upstate South Carolina residents and be referred from physicians or free clinics that have privileges at St. Francis. The program also seeks to educate high-risk populations in the Upstate about the benefits of early breast cancer detection.