Mary Lou Beshears Breast Care Center at Memorial Hospital
For your convenience, screening mammograms are currently offered at the following locations:
Breast Care Center
175 S. Union, Suite 340
Colorado Springs, CO 80910
Printer's Park Medical Plaza
175 S. Union, Suite 120
Colorado Springs, CO 80910
Briargate Medical Plaza
8890 N. Union, Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80923
For health questions, health classes or help finding a doctor, ask our nurses at HealthLink, 719-444-CARE (2273).
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At our Mary Lou Beshears Breast Care Center at Memorial Hospital, we evaluate all facets of breast disease to include breast cancer.
Memorial employs digital mammography at all breast care center locations. Digital mammography is an effective diagnostic tool in detecting cancer in women under 50, women with dense breasts and premenopausal women.
At a glance, digital mammography and film screen mammography appear similar. Both use compression and x-ray exposure to create images of the breast tissue. The technologist will position the patient to take images from various angles, and then compresses the breast with a paddle to obtain optimal images.
Unlike film-based mammography, digital mammogram images appear on the technologist's monitor in a matter of seconds. Because they are electronic, digital images can be quickly transmitted to your doctor. Images are also easily stored without the worry of losing the "original" films, and can be copied easily or burned onto a CD, without any loss of information.
A breast ultrasound may be used to evaluate breast abnormalities, like a lump, that are found during screening and diagnostic mammography or during your doctor's clinical exam. This is a painless procedure where the breasts are scanned to produce pictures of the breast tissue. Images from an ultrasound allow the radiologist to determine if the abnormality is solid tissue or a fluid-filled cyst. Ultrasound requires no ionizing radiation, no discomfort to the patient and is not limited by breast density.
Ultrasound Guided Biopsy
Ultrasound guided biopsies are a highly accurate way to evaluate a suspicious mass within the breast. After a local anesthetic is applied, an ultrasound-guided probe is placed over the site of concern and the radiologist guides a biopsy needle directly into the mass. Tissue specimens are taken and sent to the lab.
You will be awake during the procedure but typically there is little discomfort. Generally the biopsy is completed in less than an hour. A small compression dressing will be placed on the tiny incision, and you will be able to resume your normal activities later in the day. Frequently a smaller 'marker' is placed to allow the area that was biopsied to be visualized on a post-biopsy mammogram.
Stereotactic Guided Breast Biopsy
Some lesions are best seen with a stereotactic guided biopsy. A hollow needle is passed through the skin into the suspicious lesion, while using a computerized mammography machine that uses intersecting coordinates to pinpoint the area of tissue change. The sample of breast tissue obtained can determine whether the lesion is malignant or benign. A small clip is left in the biopsy site so that the lesion can be easily located on follow-up mammograms. This procedure is much less invasive than a surgical biopsy.
The procedure is completed in 30-60 minutes. Most women report little or no pain. You should avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours following the procedure.
Breast MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
MRI of the breast is a powerful new technique in the evaluation of breast disease. A MRI uses magnetic fields, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed images of the breast. These detailed images allow your doctor to see lesions that may not have been detected by other exams.
MRIs are usually done on an outpatient basis. The test uses a signal receiver that works with the MRI unit to produce images. The exam usually takes 30-60 minutes.
Breast MRIs are performed for the following:
- Monitoring of high-risk patients
- Surgical planning
- Staging of breast cancer and treatment planning
- Post-surgery/post-radiation follow-up
- Dense breast tissue evaluation
- To evaluate implant integrity and detect cancer in women with breast augmentation.
MRI-Guided Breast Biopsy
During a MRI-guided biopsy, magnetic resonance imaging is used to help guide the radiologist's needle to the site of the abnormality.
Once the area to be biopsied is visualized and localized, the skin and deeper tissues are numbed. A vacuum probe is used to remove the lesion. Post biopsy images are taken, and a biopsy marker chip is positioned so the area can be identified on a mammogram.
Benefits of this procedure include no radiation exposure, accuracy and brief recovery time.
Ductogram/Galactogram Guided Biopsy
Galactography is most commonly used to evaluate women who have a bloody or clear discharge from their breast nipple and an otherwise normal mammogram.
For this test, x-ray contrast is injected into a breast duct prior to a mammogram. This procedure helps the radiologist see if there is an abnormality within the duct that may be causing the discharge. The contrast may outline a small tumor in the duct. Most of these are papillomas, non-cancerous tumors of the milk ducts. But these tumors may be pre-cancerous and are usually surgically removed. Typically less than 10% of these lesions are cancer.
The Mary Lou Beshears Breast Care Center at Memorial Hospital is one of nine accredited centers in Colorado. The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, or NAPBC, is a program administered by the American College of Surgeons.
Accreditation by the NAPBC is only given to those centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of quality breast care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance against the group’s standards.
The standards include proficiency in the areas of: center leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education, and quality improvement. A breast center that achieves NAPBC accreditation has demonstrated a firm commitment to offer its patients every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease.
» Go to: NAPBC (http://napbc-breast.org/)
|To schedule an appointment, call 719-365-5240, between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.|
A doctor's referral is not needed for an annual screening mammogram, but we recommend checking with your insurance company to make sure the procedure is covered.
If you have had previous mammograms at a another facility, please bring the results with you to your appointment. Having these available to the radiologist increases the chances of detecting new abnormalities and avoiding a "call back" for stable, benign /negative findings.
The Importance of Early Detection
One out of seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during her lifetime. It is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in women. Early detection increases treatment options and also improves the likelihood of a cure.
Close to 90% of breast cancers can be detected early. The following methods are your best choice for early detection:
- Monthly breast self-examination
- Yearly clinical breast exam by a healthcare provider
- Mammograms according to the American Cancer Society Guidelines
- Baseline by age 40
- Every year starting at age 40+
» More about: American Cancer Society
What Should I Expect During A Mammogram?
A screening mammogram takes approximately 15 minutes and can be scheduled by either you or your doctor. During your exam, up to four images will be taken per breast. Compression is necessary to spread the tissue, eliminate motion, and decrease x-ray radiation dose. This compression may cause brief discomfort.
A diagnostic mammogram is scheduled if your screening mammogram was abnormal. While most women with an abnormal mammogram do not have cancer, receiving a quick, definitive diagnosis alleviates concerns. That is why we strive to schedule patients for diagnostic mammograms as quickly as possible.
If you are returning for diagnostic images, you may be here longer than the initial screening. Our on-site radiologists will read your images the same day so that, if required, additional care can begin as soon as possible.
Preparing for a Mammogram
Before scheduling your mammogram, we recommend you discuss any new findings or problems in your breasts with your doctor. Always be sure to tell your doctor and technologist if you may be pregnant.
We also recommend the following:
- Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder, or lotion on the day of the exam. They may cause abnormal findings on your images.
- Describe any breast symptoms or problems to your technologist before the start of the exam.
- Bring any mammograms that were taken at another facility with you. Having these available to the radiologist increases the chances of detecting new abnormalities and avoiding a “call back” for stable, benign/negative findings.
Your mammogram will be reviewed by a radiologist and you will receive the results by mail within thirty days of your procedure.
If additional evaluation is needed, you’ll be contacted by a breast health nurse or a technologist from Memorial Hospital and asked to schedule a follow-up appointment through our scheduling department.
If you return for additional imaging, you will be given a preliminary report about the findings the same day. Many 'abnormalities' are cleared and explained by overlapping breast tissue or benign lesions such as cysts. But, if an abnormality requiring a biopsy is discovered, you’ll meet with a breast care nurse at Memorial Hospital who will schedule the procedure. Biopsy results are usually explained directly to you at a follow-up appointment with a radiologist and/or a breast health nurse.
Breast Health Nurses
At the Mary Lou Beshears Breast Care Center at Memorial Hospital, you can count on a breast health nurse for support throughout your entire care process.
The breast health nurse is a registered nurse with specialized training in breast health. She works with patients and their families, answering questions and providing education and support. She also schedules and coordinates appointments, as well as coordinates your care.
Your breast health nurse provides comfort, helps you cope with all the tasks, decisions, emotions and physical effects you'll face throughout screening, diagnosis, treatment and after-treatment care. Breast health nurses also provide information on the numerous support systems available to you, information on exercises, wigs and post-mastectomy products and will help you sort through the emotional impact of your diagnosis and treatment decision process.
Please Call Us If You Have Any Questions About Breast Care
|To reach the Mary Lou Beshears Breast Care Center at Memorial Hospital, call 719-365-2900.|
Our breast health nurses will happily answer any questions you have regarding any of these procedures, concerns or guidelines regarding breast health.
You may also ask about our breast health education, breast self-exam education, genetic counseling, clinical trials, a lymphedema program and various community outreach clinics.
Our breast care center at Memorial Hospital meets the stringent standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Mammography Quality Standards Act of 1992 (MQSA), the American College of Radiology (ACR), and is also accredited by the Joint Commission.