JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WASH. -- The Breast Imaging Section of Madigan Army Medical Center's Radiology Department received national recognition for its continued outstanding performance in breast ultrasound, ultrasound-guided breast biopsies, mammography, stereotactic breast biopsies, and breast MRI. The American College of Radiology (ACR) awarded Madigan's Breast Imaging Section the maximum possible renewal of three years in the latest renewal cycle of these modalities.

Madigan's Breast Center is designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (BICOE) by the ACR making it one of only two BICOEs in Tacoma, and one of only three BICOEs in the U.S. Army. To be a BICOE, a center must voluntarily go through a rigorous review process to be sure it meets or exceeds nationally accepted standards.

Four mammography technologists help perform approximately 10,000 breast imaging exams per year. They are assisted by four medical support assistants and a section supervisor who schedule patients as well as call them and remind them of orders for their annual mammogram. Two advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNP) manage roughly 100 cancer patients per year, guiding them through Madigan's breast cancer pathway. The pathway includes appointments with surgery, oncology, radiation oncology, occupational therapy, genetics, and post-treatment lymphedema screening. Moreover, the ARNPs oversee screening and scheduling of breast MRI exams both for patients with a new diagnosis of breast cancer, and those who are considered high risk.

Five radiologists (with nearly 50 years combined experience) interpret the breast imaging studies and perform image-guided biopsies for suspicious findings. Recently, these radiologists returned from the National Society of Breast Imaging conference, obtaining training specifically in 3D mammography (also known as digital breast tomosynthesis). This technology is expected to be available to our patients in the next six to nine months and helps increase cancer detection as well as decrease biopsy of suspicious non-cancer findings.

All women receiving breast imaging at Madigan can be confident that they will receive personalized, expert care from our mammography technicians and breast imaging radiologists whether they need a screening mammogram, breast ultrasound, breast MRI, or breast-related procedure.