UCSF Breast Imaging offers a full spectrum of imaging techniques for detecting and diagnosing breast cancer and related cancers, using the most advanced equipment. Services offered range from digital mammography to breast MRI and ultrasounds as well as imaging-guided procedures such as taking tissue samples, removing fluid and locating areas of concern before a surgical biopsy.
We have a 30-year record as a world-renowned breast imaging program. Speed of diagnosis is a distinguishing feature of our program, with nearly all breast imaging exam results reported within 24 hours. We use 100 percent full-field digital mammography, which has been proven to detect additional cancers that were missed using older technologies and uses less radiation than analog mammography.
Doctor referral required
- Bone scanning with SPECT/CT
A standard imaging test to determine whether breast cancer has spread to the bones. UCSF bone scanning exams use relatively low doses of radiation to more accurately locate the cancer.
- Breast MRI
Breast MRI uses magnetic waves in conjunction with a contrast substance (dye) injection to take images of the breast. It can show lesions not visible with mammography or ultrasound. UCSF was among the first institutions to perform this test.
- Breast ultrasound
Uses sound waves to evaluate breast lumps in conjunction with mammography.
- Digital diagnostic mammography
A series of breast images that provides a more comprehensive and detailed view. It's appropriate for women with a history of breast cancer, a new breast symptom or an abnormal result on a screening mammogram.
- Digital screening mammography
Done as an annual checkup for women without breast symptoms.
- Lymphoscintigraphy with SPECT/CT
An imaging exam that uses a small amount of radioactive liquid to trace a path from the breast to lymph nodes in the armpit. It allows the breast surgeon to perform a precise extraction of the lymph nodes to evaluate them for disease.
- MRI-guided core biopsy
An advanced imaging technology using MRI to guide the radiologist in obtaining a small tissue sample for evaluation of possible disease.
- PET/CT imaging
An advanced technique that combines functional imaging and anatomic computerized tomography evaluation of the breast, lymph nodes and solid organs to accurately identify sites of disease.
- Stereotactic-guided core breast biopsy
Mammography and a computer-targeted guidance system help the radiologist obtain a small tissue sample for evaluation of possible disease.
- Ultrasound-guided breast cyst aspiration
Ultrasound technology guides the radiologist in removing fluid from a breast cyst.
- Ultrasound-guided core breast biopsy and fine needle aspiration
Guides the radiologist in removing a small tissue sample for evaluation of possible disease.
- Wall motion study (aka ERNA or MUGA)
Typically performed on breast cancer patients to monitor the effects on the heart of certain high-dose chemotherapy regimens.
- Wire localization procedure
Mammography, ultrasound or MRI-guided procedure performed before surgery to mark an area of concern for the breast surgeon.
Art for Recovery
Creativity can help people with serious illnesses cope, heal and express what they're going through. Find out about our program and how to join.
UCSF Patient Support Corps
Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is stressful. Get guidance, support and answers to your questions here as you consider your options and make decisions.
Cancer Exercise Counseling
Our one-on-one exercise training sessions, customized for your needs and abilities, can complement other cancer treatments and speed your recovery.
Cancer Resource Center
You'll find support groups, classes, a library, treatment information, special events and much more to promote wellness and healing for patients and families.
Cancer Support Groups
Support groups held by the Ida and Joseph Friend Cancer Resource Center are free and available to all patients, whether or not you get your health care at UCSF.
Core and More Class
A strong body helps you fight cancer and enjoy life. Join this class to stabilize your core, strengthen your muscles and improve overall fitness. For cancer patients and caregivers!
Friend to Friend Gift Shop
A one-stop boutique for patients with cancer. Get professional help with wigs, prostheses, sun-protective clothing, makeup, skin care and more.
Healing Through Dance Class
Use movement, expression, imagery and creativity to enhance your own healing. Open to all cancer patients (including non-UCSF) and their caregivers.
Meditation and Guided Imagery for Cancer Patients
Drop in for a free class designed to help you heal, relax and find balance during your treatment. UCSF and non-UCSF patients are welcome.
Oncology Social Work
Social workers can be key members of your cancer care team. Reach out for support, problem solving and help accessing UCSF's many cancer-related resources.
Peer Support Program for Cancer
Patients are matched with peer support volunteers according to criteria such as diagnosis, cancer stage, age or gender. Speak to someone who's "been there."
The Psycho-Oncology program offers emotional and supportive care to patients of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and their families.
Restorative Movement Class
Explore simple movements that help you feel more powerful and comfortable in your body. This fun and free UCSF class is aimed at those in recovery from cancer.
Pamper yourself while fighting cancer. Free treatments for patients receiving chemotherapy at our Mount Zion campus include massage, acupressure and more.
Plan your visit
If you live in another country and are coming to UCSF for medical
treatment, our patient liaisons can help coordinate all aspects of your visit.
UCSF offers language services at no charge for patients with limited
English, as well as for patients who are deaf or have trouble hearing.
Checking into the hospital? Find helpful information by clicking on the relevant “Your Hospital Stay” booklet: Mission Bay, Parnassus or Mount
Your Doctor Visit
See our top 10 tips for making your UCSF doctor’s appointment as stress-free and productive as possible.
What to Bring
- Photo I.D.
- Health insurance card
- List of your medications, including dosages
- Written request form for the procedure, if your doctor gave you one
- List of questions you may have
- Device or paper for taking notes
Breast Care Center in Marin
1100 S. Eliseo Dr., Suite 1
Greenbrae, CA 94904
Cancer Survivorship and Wellness Institute
1600 Divisadero St., Fourth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94115
Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center
1825 Fourth St., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Imaging Center at Montgomery Street
1725 Montgomery St., Suite 250
San Francisco, CA 94111
Radiology at the Women's Health Center
2356 Sutter St., Room J-146 and J-226
San Francisco, CA 94115
Our research initiatives
Athena Breast Health Network
The Athena Breast Health Network, a collaborative organization that includes UCSF, promotes data sharing to help all partners deliver more effective and personalized care to patients with breast cancer.
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Research
UCSF is home to a range of research initiatives aimed at improving outcomes for cancer patients everywhere. This includes research on topics such as immunotherapy, BRCA mutations and molecular diagnostic testing.