Your 40th birthday is an important milestone in your health journey. If you have no personal or family history of breast cancer, it’s the age the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommend you begin having annual screening mammograms. (The NCI advises women to have a mammogram every one to two years beginning at age 40.)
Your yearly mammogram is too important to entrust to anyone other than a nationally recognized practice devoted to your breast health—and that’s precisely what you’ll find at the Oak Ridge Breast Center. Located on the third floor of the Cheyenne Ambulatory Center at 944 Oak Ridge Turnpike, the Oak Ridge Breast Center is one of a few select centers in Tennessee to be named a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology’s Commission on Quality and Safety and Commission on Breast Imaging.
Thomas Lemond, MD, breast radiologist and medical director of the Oak Ridge Breast Center, leads a team that includes an all-female staff of sonographers, technologists, and other personnel. A patient navigator is available around the clock to help educate women who are diagnosed with breast cancer about what to expect throughout their journey with the disease.
“Having a mammogram is a vulnerable, often emotional experience for women. We do everything we can to make the exam comfortable and quick, with the x-ray machine only briefly compressing the breasts as it obtains images of them,” says Shari Blattner, RT (M), manager at the Oak Ridge Breast Center. “We know waiting for the results of a mammogram can be stressful, so the radiologists interpret all images within 48 hours of the exam and send reports to patients’ physicians within 72 hours. If a mammogram reveals a lump or other abnormality, we notify the patient’s referring physician the same day.”
New cancer patients can depend on the expertise and services of the Oak Ridge Breast Center’s partner institutions: the Comprehensive Breast Clinic at Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge and Thompson Cancer Survival.
Mammography and More!
The Oak Ridge Breast Center has received ACR certification for digital mammography as well digital breast tomosynthesis and all other imaging services it offers, including:
- Digital breast tomosynthesis or 3D mammography captures images of the breast in slices which present a more three-dimensional visual of the breast and is particularly beneficial for women with dense breasts.
- Ultrasound is a type of imaging that can be used to better examine an abnormality detected during a clinical breast exam or mammogram.
- Cyst aspiration is an image-guided procedure performed to drain fluid from a breast cyst.
- Ultrasound-guided core biopsy, directed by ultrasound, removes core samples from an abnormal area of the breast using a needle.
- Stereotactic core biopsy, directed by mammography, removes a small sample of breast tissue without surgery.
- Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a type of imaging test that can reveal more details of the breast’s anatomy than other imaging exams, is conveniently performed on the lower level of the Cheyenne Ambulatory Center at the Methodist Outpatient Diagnostic Center.
- MRI-guided breast biopsy is one of several types of breast biopsy providers can perform to extract a sample of breast tissue to check for the presence of cancer.
The Breast Center also offers dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, a radiological exam that measures bone density and is used to diagnose osteoporosis.
If you’re age 40 or older and haven’t had your first screening mammogram, don’t wait another day to schedule. Breast cancer is easiest to treat when detected in its early stages. By taking time to be proactive about your health, you won’t just be helping yourself—you’ll be helping the people who love and depend on you, too. To make an appointment for a mammogram at the Oak Ridge Breast Center, call (865) 835-3760.