A routine mammogram screening for women at or below average risk for breast cancer is one of those tests that’s easy to put in the category of “I’ll get to it one day.” But the convenient location of and simple scheduling at Regional One Health’s East Campus Imaging Center make it much easier for one day to become today for an annual mammogram screening.
The American College of Radiology recommends annual screening mammography for women starting at age 40. Referrals aren’t necessary for mammogram screenings but a primary care or OB/GYN physician is needed so there is someone to send screening results. Diagnostic mammograms for women at higher risk must first receive a referral.
Anyone can make an appointment for a mammogram screening and walk-in visits are welcome at Regional One Health’s East Campus. Susan Edwards, East Campus Imaging Administrator, believes the new 3D mammography technology and convenient location make it an attractive center for women to choose for their annual screening.
“We really do have state-of-the-art technology that’s second to none,” she said. “We have ease of patient accessibility and scheduling. We offer a convenient location, particularly for women who live out east.”
The East Campus is at 6555 Quince Road near the Kirby Parkway interchange off Tenn. Highway 385 and provides ample parking near the building. The East Campus houses several outpatient services including reproductive medicine, urogynecology, outpatient physical rehabilitation, a multispecialty care site, outpatient pharmacy and the imaging center.
While there is a variety of services offered under one roof at the East Campus, women visiting the Imaging Center for a mammogram have an extra layer of privacy. There is a private waiting room just for women that includes lockers for personal belongings. The mammogram machine is just across the hallway from the private waiting room.
Medical Imaging Tech Patty Novak is the center’s mammographer. She has more than 30 years of experience with mammograms and is excited about the new 3D mammography technology the center began using earlier this year.
“This allows us to see the whole picture,” she said. “This machine does 3D and 2D. It takes the regular 2D picture head on, but with 3D it’s like with a picture of a tree and a house it sees both, but it also sees everything in the middle as well. This works especially well for dense breasts. It’s super quick.”
That quickness is especially important for women who have reservations about perceived pain or discomfort they assume go hand in hand with a mammogram screening. But while there are a couple seconds of discomfort, mammograms aren’t painful. And the new mammography machine at Regional One Health calculates the compression more precisely, so the pressure used is minimal.
“When patients leave here they’re happy because they realize it’s not as bad as what people think,” Novak said. “When people come in for the first time we’re getting their baseline image. I explain everything to them and by the time they leave they always say it wasn’t bad like they thought it would be. I always say, ‘See, now tell all your friends.’ Early detection is key.”
Women 40 and older who want to make a screening mammogram should call 901-515-3600 or visit the East Campus at 6555 Quince Road. Walk-in screening mammograms are welcome.