Tell Me About...The Samaritan Breast Center Diagnostic Imaging With Dr. Anderson
Board-certified radiologist Diane Anderson, DO, is co-medical director with surgeon Thomas Heck, MD, of Samaritan Breast Center. Drs. Anderson and Heck are dedicated to providing advanced breast cancer detection using the latest diagnostic imaging technology available. Together, they provide both the diagnostic perspective of an expert radiologist and the clinical perspective of an expert breast surgeon. Samaritan Breast Center, located at Good Samaritan North, is an outpatient facility offering complete services for breast health. The center is certified by the Joint Commission Disease-Specific Certification Program and holds accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
Can a woman schedule her own annual mammogram at Samaritan Breast Center or must she have a referral from her doctor?
A woman over age 40 who has no symptoms can schedule a screening mammogram without a physician’s order. We do need the name of her physician, however, because that is where we send a report of her results.
If the results of a mammogram are suspicious or abnormal, Samaritan Breast Center staff will guide the patient through the process of diagnosis and treatment available at the Samaritan Cancer Center and Outpatient Surgery Center.
Does Samaritan Breast Center offer digital mammograms?
Yes – and that is an important consideration when deciding where to go for a mammogram. Digital imaging allows us to use additional tools when making a diagnosis and provides a clearer picture for women with certain types of breast tissue. Samaritan Breast Center’s experienced, board-certified radiologists interpret all mammograms. We also use computer-aided detection technology to scan the images and determine if further evaluation is needed.
What happens when a mammogram looks suspicious?
If we see something that requires further investigation, we suggest you have additional images taken so we can get an even better or different look. Samaritan Breast Center offers high-resolution ultrasound as well as breast-specific MRI. All of your images are stored digitally for easy comparison or review
What does an ultrasound show?
Ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of breast tissue and project it onto a computer screen. Ultrasound can help characterize if a lump found during a breast exam or mammogram is a cyst (fluid) or a solid tumor.
When is a breast MRI needed?
We recommend that a patient have a breast MRI before surgery to assist the surgeon in locating all areas of breast tissue that should be removed. We also recommend that high-risk women have an annual breast MRI as a general precaution. Women at high-risk for breast cancer include those who have a personal or family history of breast cancer and those who carry the BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 gene mutation.
Is there imaging technology to see if cancer has spread beyond the breast into other organs?
Yes, we can use a PET/CT scan to look at the whole body. The scan is taken after injection of a tracing agent. Tumors typically absorb this substance and thus show up more clearly on the scan.
Whether your diagnosis requires a mammogram, ultrasound, breast MRI or PET/CT scan, Samaritan Breast Center’s team of highly trained professionals will guide you smoothly and efficiently through the digital diagnostic imaging process.