Reger Family Center for Breast Health
The Reger Family Center for Breast Health offers complete breast diagnostic services in a private, comfortable environment. Billings Clinic radiologists utilize computer-aided detection (CAD) technology on mammograms. The Center for Breast Health also features tomosynthesis technology for mammography, which provides a 3-D dimensional view of the breast, making fine details more clearly visible.
The Center is staffed by a dedicated, caring team of breast care specialists, including certified female technologists and board-certified radiologists. Dr. Tara Bowman, radiologist, is fellowship trained in breast imaging.
Your primary care physician will receive a full report of any screening or diagnostic procedures performed at the Breast Center to add to your personal health care history.
The Center for Breast Health Features
- A spa-like atmosphere
- Private changing rooms with doors
- Direct entry to the mammography suite
- Warm spa robes or capes
- Specialty coffee in the lobby
- Comfortable seating area in the lobby
- Mammography, breast ultrasound, stereotactic breast biopsy and bone densitometry (DEXA scan) suites are all located together so that you can receive comprehensive assessments in one location
- Tomosynthesis (3D imaging) technology proves the highest resolution mammograms to detect breast cancer early
- A private breast boutique with a certified fitter for bras and prosthetics for post-surgery needs.
Committed to Your Total Breast Health
The most effective way to detect early signs of breast cancer is through:
- Breast self-awareness
- Routine breast exams by your personal physician or health care professional
- Routine mammograms
The American College of Radiology, Society of Breast Imaging and National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend screening mammograms every year beginning at the age of 40 and continue as long as patients are in good health.
Early detection of breast cancer is key to higher survival rates, better prognosis and lower treatment costs. Mammography is currently the most effective screening for breast cancer.
Billings Clinic offers the "next generation" full field digital mammography. Along with producing incredibly sharp images, it decreases the need for repeat images, thereby reducing anxiety and exposure to additional radiation.
Billings Clinic utilizes Computer Aided Detection (CAD), or a second pair of eyes, to enhance the accuracy of the mammogram reading. In addition, tomosynthesis technology for mammography provides a 3-D view of the breast, making fine details more clearly visible.
Abbreviated Breast MRI (AB-MRI)
Abbreviated breast MRI is a supplemental screening tool used along with mammography to detect more early stage breast cancers. This shortened exam typically takes 10-15
minutes to complete. Abbreviated breast MRI is an exam for women with dense breast tissue, or women with high risk for breast cancer or a strong family history of breast cancer.
Unfortunately, AB- MRI is not covered by insurance. Billings Clinic offers this exam for $495. Payment is due at the time of service. Because some insurance companies may not
cover a standard breast MRI, an abbreviated MRI may be an affordable alternative.
To schedule your AB-MRI, please call 406-435-1300 to schedule your appointment. This test is only offered at our Billings Clinic Hospital downtown location.
Standard Breast MRI
To screen for breast cancer: For certain women at high risk for breast cancer, a screening MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is recommended along with a yearly mammogram. MRI is not recommended as a test by itself because it can miss some cancers that a mammogram would find.
Breast MRI is also sometimes used in women who already have been diagnosed with breast cancer, but not every woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer needs a breast MRI.
Ultrasound is a safe and painless procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to look inside your breast. The sonographer will move a device called a transducer over your breast to create the images.
An ultrasound can help evaluate lumps or pain you or your provider may have felt. It is also used as way to evaluate an abnormality seen by the radiologist on your mammogram.
Stereotactic and Ultrasound-Guided Core
When a breast abnormality is present, a stereotactic breast or ultrasound-guided core biopsy by the radiologist can be performed, or an immediate referral to a Billings Clinic surgeon for a surgical biopsy will be made.
This process usually involves obtaining small samples of tissue that are microscopically examined by a pathologist to determine if the abnormality is one of several more common forms of benign breast disorders, or is cancerous.
Tomosynthesis - 3 Dimensional (3D) Mammography
What is it?
- A 3D mammography exam is very similar to having a traditional 2D mammogram. Like the 2D mammogram, the technologist will position you, compress your breast, and take images from different angles.
- There is no additional compression required with a 3D mammogram, and it only takes a few seconds longer for each view.
Who should have it?
- 3D mammography is approved for all women who would be undergoing a standard mammogram.
- Clinical studies show that all women, regardless of breast type or density, may benefit from 3D mammography.
Why is it better?
- 3D Mammography detects 41% more invasive breast cancers. This means one simple thing: early detection.
- 3D mammography allows doctors to see masses and distortions associated with cancers and precancerous cells significantly more clearly than conventional 2D mammography. Instead of viewing all the complexities of your breast tissue in a flat image, as with traditional 2D mammography, fine details are more visible and no longer hidden by the tissue above and below.
- In addition, with 3D mammograms, studies show a 15-30% reduction in the additional imaging following screening exams
What about the radiation?
- Very low x-ray energy is used during the exam, just about the same as a film screen mammogram, but almost twice that of a standard 2D mammogram. The total patient dose of 3D mammography is well within the FDA safety standards for mammography.
Article: Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in Combination With Digital Mammography
Breast Care Nurse Navigator
The Nurse Navigator can provide answers to questions and provide information regarding the following warning signs:
- A lump
- Thickening of the breast
- Swelling in the breast or surrounding area
- Pain in or around the breast
- Nipple discharge
- Retraction (where the nipple or skin is being pulled in)
MammoPads - A Softer Mammogram
At the patient's request, Billings Clinic will provide a MammoPad. The MammoPad is a soft foam cushion that can help with the discomfort many women feel during a mammogram.
The cushion is placed on the surface of the image detector, providing women with a softer, more comfortable mammogram. MammoPad creates a warmer, softer surface between the woman and the mammography machine, helping her to relax while enabling the technologist to get the best possible image.