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Breast Care

Do you need to schedule a mammogram? Or have questions about your family history or breast health?

breast care

CentraCare Health provides a variety of breast care services. Using the most advanced technology available, highly skilled staff will assure you receive the best care possible.

St. Cloud Hospital Breast Center, is the region’s most complete center to screen for and diagnose breast cancer and other breast health issues.

Be determined to detect

Taking an active role in your breast health could save your life. Most breast cancer diagnosed at an early state has a five-year survival rate of 97 percent. Digital mammograms find 85-90 percent of breast cancers and have the ability to discover a lump up to two years before it can be felt.

CentraCare Health recommends a three-part approach to breast health:

  • regular clinical exams by a health care professional;
  • monthly self breast exams starting at ae 18;
  • and regular mammograms starting at age 40.

Talk to your health care provider about scheduling a mammogram.

I can't afford a mammogram

Take advantage of Minnesota’s free mammogram program called SAGE. You can take part in this free mammogram program if:

  • You are a woman age 40 or over*, and you have no health insurance, or
  • You have health insurance but have a co-payment or an unmet deductible, and/or your health insurance does not cover Pap tests and/or mammograms**, and
  • Your gross household income does not exceed guidelines.

If you have Medicare or Medical Assistance with a spend down, you may still be eligible.

Visit the Minnesota Dept. of Health web site to learn more about the Sage Program

To learn more, contact the Sage Program at 1-888-643-2584.

* The Sage Program recognizes that there are some situations where services are indicated in younger women. If a woman is determined by a clinician to be at elevated risk for breast cancer, Sage will cover her office visit and mammogram. If further follow-up is needed, the woman could also have a diagnostic mammogram, breast ultrasound, or outpatient breast biopsy.

** Women that are on either MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance are not eligible for Sage (because both cover these screening services).

What to look for when scheduling a mammogram

When it comes to the screening, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, don’t settle for anything less than the best. Here are a few things to look for:

Do they have the best technology?

Digital mammography assures the best image for accurate results. Additionally, ask if they have access to the following for additional diagnostic work ups, should it be needed: breast ultrasound with elastography, breast MRI and BSGI (Breast Specific Gamma Imaging).

How soon will you have results?

Waiting for answers is not the answer. If your screening mammogram shows something that needs a further look (a diagnostic mammogram), how soon will you have results? The same day is ideal and will keep your worrying to a minimum.

Does the center work with doctors in other specialties?

A team approach amongst surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, your health care provider, etc. is essential for the best care.

Is the facility connected to your clinic by means of electronic medical record?

This is important so they can see your full medical record.

Is the staff of the center breast certified? Do they specialize in breast procedures or do they image various areas of the body?

Is there a breast cancer care coordinator on site? Should you need additional work up, this person is key in helping you maneuver the procedures and lingo.

Preparing for your mammogram

Leave some of the anxiety behind by learning how to prepare for a mammogram.mammogram

  • Your doctor will help you determine at what age to start getting mammograms and what schedule to keep as you age. Please ask him/her if the issue is not addressed at your appointment.
  • Schedule your mammogram the week following your period when the breasts are least tender.
  • Bring previous films, especially if they were performed at a different facility. This allows the radiologist to compare results.
  • If mammograms are painful for you, take one or two tablets of ibuprofen or acetaminophen an hour before your appointment.
  • Wear a two piece outfit, that way you’ll only have to remove your top.
  • Do not use deodorant, powder or skin lotion. These products can appear on the x-ray and cause undue alarm.
  • Eat or drink before your appointment but reduce your intake of caffeinated beverages and chocolate three to four days before your appointment.
  • Take prescribed medications on the day of your mammogram, unless your physician instructs you otherwise. Inform the technologist performing the mammogram of any medications you are taking, including the dosage.
  • If you have trouble hearing or understanding instructions or need assistance, inform the person when you are scheduling your procedure.

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