Experts say one of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Just one reason Mercy Fort Smith is pleased to announce the grand opening of the new $1.5 million Mercy Breast Center inside the Mercy Medical Building. The center is designed to offer women all the services they need from screening to diagnosis in one convenient location.
“We realize that getting screened for breast cancer is just one of many items on a busy woman’s to-do list,” said Ryan Gehrig, president of Mercy Hospital. “It’s our goal to simplify the process by offering state-of-the-art screening and diagnostic tools in one place to help detect breast cancer in its earliest stages when it’s most treatable.”
The center offers digital mammography for initial screening as well as two additional new screenings to help in early detection. They include:
• Automated whole breast ultrasound
The only breast cancer screening technology specifically developed and FDA approved for women with dense breast tissue. This new ultrasound technology uses sound waves to create three-dimensional pictures of the breast tissue and is specifically designed to help doctors find tumors hidden in dense breast tissue.
• Breast MRI technology
Breast MRI is a new technology with both imaging and biopsy capabilities. It offers superior imaging for particular lesions/tumors not adequately seen by mammography or ultrasound.
If a mass is detected, the breast center offers stereotactic guided biopsy, ultrasound guided biopsy and soon MRI-guided biopsy to allow physicians to determine if a tumor is malignant or benign in a minimally-invasive way.
“If a patient has an abnormal mammogram, our goal is to get them from screening to diagnosis as quickly as possible,” said Gehrig. “We can either put their mind at ease or help them begin making treatment decisions as soon as possible. It’s how I’d want my wife, mother or sister to be treated and we’re pleased to be able to offer all these services at Mercy.”
In addition to the new technology available in the breast center, there’s a human touch as well. Gina Null, APN is the breast center’s patient health navigator. She provides a single-point of contact for women with an abnormal mammogram. She can help with everything from confirming a diagnosis to discussing treatment options to dealing with health insurance.
The patient health navigator also offers genetic counseling for women concerned about an increased likelihood of breast cancer due to family history or other risk factors. This includes counseling, an in-depth risk assessment and genetic testing if indicated.
The Mercy Breast Center is located inside the Mercy Medical Building at 7301 Rogers Ave. For general information, you can call the breast center at 479-314-5260.
To schedule a mammogram, call 479-314-7855.