Benefis Breast Center
Benefis Hospital’s Breast Center is a special place with a special mission: to advance breast health for women through expert, compassionate care.
As part of Benefis Health System, the Breast Center is also able to draw upon tremendous talent and resources. To support us in our mission, you’ll find an experienced, sensitive team of physicians, technicians, nurses and allied healthcare professionals, all committed to your breast health and peace of mind.
To further emphasize our commitment to quality breast care for women of our region, we submitted to a rigorous evaluation and received official certification by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). With this accreditation, you have access to:
- Comprehensive care, including a full range of state-of-the-art services
- A team approach to coordinate your best treatment options
- Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options and,
- Quality breast care close to home.
From mammography to diagnostic imaging, Benefis Breast Center offers the latest technology in detecting and diagnosing breast disease. Based on the findings, several options are available to accommodate each woman’s individual needs.
Whether a woman diagnosed with breast cancer chooses breast conservation (lumpectomy) or mastectomy, the skilled surgeons at Benefis Breast Center are able to perform the surgery and provide follow-up. For those women considering reconstruction, our plastic surgeon can tailor a surgical plan based on desires outcome.
In a rapidly changing field, our medical and radiation oncologists are prepared to offer the most current standard of care in breast cancer treatment, whether it be radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biotherapy or a combination of these methods. Over 25 clinical trials are open for enrollment, providing the most recent advances in cancer care.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should have a mammogram?
The American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology have established the following guidelines for mammography and breast health care. If your history indicates special risk, please consult your physician about beginning exams at an earlier age.
Ages 20 to 34:
- Monthly breast self-exam
- Physical every three years
Ages 35 to 40:
- Baseline Mammogram
- Monthly breast self-exam
- Physical every 1 to 3 years
Ages 40 & Over:
- Annual Mammogram
- Monthly breast self-exam
- Annual physical
Why should I have a mammogram?
Mammograms have proven to be the single best method available for the detection of breast cancer. The vast majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer had no detectable abnormality until a mammogram was performed and a suspicious area was found. Mammograms are most effective in detecting breast cancer when a clinical breast exam is also performed by a healthcare provider.
Why should I come to Benefis Breast Center for my mammogram?
We have a warm and comfortable atmosphere, and our staff of all-female technologists is friendly and willing to help you with any questions you may have. They are highly educated and trained in their field of mammography, as are our ultrasound technologists and MRI technologists in theirs. We are here to make your exam pleasant, and yet quick for your busy schedules.
How is a mammogram performed?
During a mammogram, the breast is compressed between an x-ray plate and a plastic cover. The exam causes pressure, but will last only a few seconds. Several views may be taken in order to obtain the best possible image. You will be asked to wait a brief period to allow the technologist to review the films to ensure that the necessary information has been obtained for the interpretation by a Radiologist.
What is a Digital mammogram?
A digital mammogram is read electronically, rather than a standard film x-ray. All mammography images at Benefis Health System are done digitally.
What is the “Computed Aided Detection System”?
The R2 computed aided detection system enhances the Radiologist's accuracy when reading mammograms. CAD is a standard of care at Benefis Health System. Studies have shown that CAD substantially increases the detection of even the smallest breast cancers.
Does compression damage the breast?Does a mammogram hurt?
Compression may cause some discomfort, but should not damage the breast tissue. Compressing the breast also does not cause or spread breast cancer. Also, a mammogram should not hurt. Some women have said this depends on where they are in their menstrual cycle. You may want to schedule your appointment the week after your period, if you know your breasts are sensitive.
What do you do with breast implants?
We conduct mammograms on women with implants. We use a special technique that allows us to visualize the tissue behind the implant.
What if I have small breasts?
Does a mammogram hurt more for those with large or small breasts?
We perform a mammogram on any size breasts. Breast size does not determine how much discomfort a patient has during a mammogram. An uncomfortable mammogram usually is due to sensitive breasts caused by hormonal changes. Even men, who are typically flat-chested, can have mammograms.
Is pain a symptom of cancer?
Pain rarely is a symptom of breast cancer, but is common of benign cysts. If a woman has persistent pain in any area of the body, including the breast, she should seek medical advice.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
Most breast cancers have no symptoms at all. Approximately 85% of breast cancers are found on a mammogram. Some symptoms that may be associated with breast cancer are an obvious lump, nipple discharge, skin changes, nipple changes or a lump in the armpit.
Do you conduct mammograms on men?
Yes. Men can develop breast lumps and breast cancer. If a man suspects a problem with his breast, he should call his primary physician. Mammography is a helpful detection tool for suspected male breast cancer.
Is there a machine available that does not squash the breast?
No. Compression is very important to even out the thickness of the breast so we can achieve the best picture possible.