“Most women assume that all imaging facilities offer the same services and are pretty much interchangeable,” said Breast Care Center Imaging Operations Manager Kathi Hoffer at Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC). “In reality, there are significant differences between imaging centers.”
This October – National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – the Breast Care Center and Dignity Health Imaging Center in Prescott are teaming up to give the women of our community the information they need to select an imaging center. We’ll also clear up some of the confusion about how frequently women should undergo screening mammography.
Does your facility have advanced breast imaging technology?
The Breast Care Center and Dignity Health Imaging Center have exceptional technology dedicated to detecting breast cancer. This includes state-of-the-art digital mammography, a dedicated breast MRI system, three-dimensional breast imaging, the Hologic Supersonic Mach 30 breast ultrasound and more.
“Technology is constantly improving, so it’s also important for imaging centers to continually invest in proven technology,” said Hoffer.
If I need a follow-up imaging procedure after a screening mammogram, is that available at your facility?
The imaging center where you undergo your screening mammograms should be your breast health home.
“I encourage women to think long-term about their breast health,” Hoffer said. “This means finding a center that can manage all of the breast imaging needs you may encounter at different times.”
The Breast Care Center features a continuum of breast health services. The center provides breast screening, diagnostic procedures and, if needed, treatment planning and the guidance of a clinical navigator.
Do your radiologic technologists – the professionals who conduct mammograms – specialize in breast imaging?
At the Breast Care Center and Dignity Health Imaging Center, screening mammograms are performed by breast imaging technologists. These are radiologic technologists specially trained in breast imaging.
“This really makes a difference in your mammogram,” explained Hoffer. “Our breast imaging technologists are experienced at positioning for optimal views, recognizing possible pathology and taking extra views when needed.”
Are your radiologists board certified?
Radiologists are the physicians who interpret your mammogram and other imaging studies. At both the Breast Care Center and Dignity Health Imaging Center, radiologists are certified by leading radiology accreditation organizations. They also have been trained at some of the nation’s top radiology programs.
“We have an amazing team of radiologists,” Hoffer said. “They are extremely skilled at interpreting breast screenings as well as performing breast-related diagnostic studies and procedures.”
Are your breast imaging modalities accredited?
The American College of Radiology (ACR) is the leading accreditation organization for imaging studies in the United States. ACR accreditation means an imaging center provides the highest level of image quality and safety requirements for equipment, medical personnel and quality assurance.
Both the Breast Care Center and Dignity Health Imaging Center have earned ACR accreditation in mammography, breast MRI and stereotactic biopsy. The Breast Care Center was also recently designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the ACR.
A Mammogram Screening Schedule
Since 1990, screening mammography has helped reduce breast cancer mortality by nearly 40 percent in the United States. That’s an extremely positive track record. It’s why the Breast Care Center and Dignity Health Imaging Center support these screening recommendations:
A baseline mammogram between the ages of 35 and 40.
Yearly mammograms starting at age 40 and continuing as long as you are healthy.
“Our community is full of very vibrant women in their 70s, 80s and even their 90s,” Hoffer said. “That’s a major reason we do not recommend ending annual mammograms at a certain age.”
Schedule Your Mammogram
Has it been more than a year since your last mammogram? Contact the Breast Care Center in Prescott Valley or Dignity Health Imaging Center in Prescott at 928-771-7577 to schedule your screening. It’s the best way to celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. QCBN
By Bridget O’Gara
Bridget O’Gara is a writer, communications strategist and project manager who specializes in health care. Bridget has spent her career writing about healthcare topics. She works with mission-driven healthcare organizations, including hospitals, other healthcare providers and advocacy organizations.