Due for a Mammogram?  Read This First!

Although treatment techniques have advanced greatly in the last 20 years, the thought of coping with breast cancer still strikes fear in most women. However, the earlier you find it, the better your chances of treatment become. Many women have put off mammograms due to COVID concerns, but it’s definitely time to get back on track. The safety protocols that we have put in place will protect you now, and the mammogram will help protect your future health.

A regular mammogram is one of your best and most reliable tools for early detection and treatment. It’s true that you can get a mammogram from many providers, so you might not think it matters where you have your mammogram. But what happens if the results are anything other than normal?

That’s when the “where” really matters. Here are some things to think about as you schedule your next mammogram.

What happens if my mammogram is suspicious?  If your mammogram shows a mass, the next step is often a biopsy. You can typically get in for a biopsy within a day or two at NOCHS.

How long does it take to get biopsy results? Our radiologists are on site. They can literally look at the results while you are there and determine if the cells are concerning or not. You won’t have to wait days or weeks for a phone call, wondering and fearing the worst.

What if my biopsy shows cancer? At NOCHS, there’s very little waiting. If your biopsy is positive, our Nurse Navigator will call and schedule an appointment with our surgeon in days, not weeks. You’ll be in his office within a week, discussing the options.

What if I need surgery? NOCHS has the staff and expertise to do almost any kind of breast cancer surgery, including lumpectomy, mastectomy, and reconstruction. Our goal is to have your surgery scheduled within two weeks of your first visit.

Who helps me figure out what to do? We believe that guidance is critical for women who face breast cancer. Our Nurse Navigator helps you map out the plan, gets the appointments, and generally guides you every step of the way. You will not be alone.

Fear is debilitating, and delays make fear even worse. That’s why we have designed our system of care to avoid them. A woman can go from a suspicious mammogram to a biopsy to results and be ready for a surgeon referral in three days or less. It’s still scary, but there’s no waiting and wondering. And if more care is needed, we have excellent resources and partners to guide you every step of the way.

Women who have relied on North Ottawa are very clear about their recommendations. “Get checked every year,” says a former breast cancer patient. “No one in my family had breast cancer. I had no symptoms. We are so lucky to have the wonderful people and advanced technology of North Ottawa right here in our community. Don’t let fear stand in your way.”

You can call the Breast Evaluation Center any time to schedule a mammogram. It’s covered by most commercial insurance programs. Please call the Breast Evaluation Center at 616.847.5430 to schedule your appointment today.


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