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Published on April 19, 2017

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Advanced breast care services available in Prairie du Chien

John Pape, MD, Gundersen clinical breast radiologist

John Pape, MD, Gundersen clinical breast radiologist

Nearly 250,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States, outpacing all other types of cancer. Early detection remains the best way to fight the disease. It's the reason Gundersen Health System provides high-quality breast screening—and now—breast diagnostic services in Prairie du Chien.

"We're pleased to expand our breast care services at the Gundersen Prairie du Chien Clinic. In addition to digital screening mammography, patients can receive specialized care if they need further evaluation of a breast problem," says John Pape, MD, clinical breast radiologist and section head of Gundersen Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Cancer and Breast Care Outreach.

Most mammograms reveal no problems. However, if an abnormality or questionable finding is detected (about 1 in 10 women), additional screening, such as a diagnostic mammogram, diagnostic ultrasound or ultrasound-guided biopsy, is often necessary. These services are now provided at the Gundersen Prairie du Chien Clinic by the same clinical breast specialists who care for patients at the Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care in La Crosse.

Gundersen clinical breast radiologists are also available in Prairie du Chien to examine new breast lumps, pain or skin changes.

"We understand that if you're called back for a diagnostic screening, it can be a stressful time. We'll make every effort to bring our specialized breast care services to you, eliminating an added trip to La Crosse," says Dr. Pape.

It's good to know you can receive advanced breast care services close to home, by the leader in breast health, if you need it. Learn more at gundersenhealth.org/breast-care.

How often should I be screened?

The breast specialists at the Gundersen Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care support the American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging screening guidelines that recommend:

  • YEARLY mammogram starting at age 40
    The frequency of screening varies according to other national guidelines, so talk to your primary care provider to work out a plan that is best for you.
  • MONTHLY breast self-exam starting at age 20
    Pay special attention to the area between the breast and armpit as well as the armpit itself. What you're checking for in the armpit is enlarged lymph nodes – this is the first place breast cancer spreads.

If you feel a lump, or experience pain or discharge, contact your primary care provider right away. If it's time to schedule your mammogram, call the Gundersen Prairie du Chien Clinic at (608) 326-6466.