Breast Health

At the Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care, we offer comprehensive breast health services to women of all ages. Our breast health specialists provide preventative and educational services as well as screening and diagnostic procedures—including mammography.

Our goal is to promote breast health and prevent breast cancer in as many women as possible, though we know that some women—statistically one out of eight—will eventually develop breast cancer. We focus on early detection as it is a critical factor that allows most women to live normal lives. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, our breast care coordinator will help guide you through your cancer journey—from the appointments you need to make to the doctors you need to see.

Our approach

Our approach to care surrounds the patient with a team of specialists, using a coordinated approach that results in fast diagnosis and a streamlined pathway through treatment. For example, if breast cancer is suspected, more than 95 percent of Gundersen Health System patients have a needle biopsy instead of a more invasive surgical procedure. They can go home or back to work the same day with a band aid and a plan.

Patients will be contacted—often the next day—with the results. If the diagnosis is cancer, their treatment plan begins immediately with unprecedented coordination. This means a short timeline from diagnosis through treatment and outcomes that match or exceed the best breast centers in the nation. The end result is excellent, compassionate care at a reduced cost.

Conditions we treat

Services we offer

MammogramMammograms are a crucial aspect of early detection, timely diagnosis and modern treatment. An annual screening mammogram is recommended for all women starting at age 40, though younger women are urged to start yearly mammograms earlier depending on your risk factors. Frequency of screening in subsequent years varies and is something you and your primary care provider can determine together. A diagnostic mammogram may be necessary to get a closer look at any suspicious areas that show on a screening mammogram. Fortunately, of the approximately ten percent of women recalled after a screening mammogram for additional evaluation, only a small number will prove to have cancer.

Breast ultrasoundBreast ultrasound is often performed for women with worrisome lumps whose mammograms are unrevealing and those whose mammograms show an area that requires further evaluation. Ultrasound results can reassure women that no abnormality underlies a questionable new lump.

Breast biopsy – A breast biopsy is a procedure to remove breast tissue to see if cancer or other abnormalities are present. We offer multiple approaches—including image-guided needle biopsy and surgical biopsy with wire guidance—so we can get the most accurate diagnosis with the smallest amount of tissue removed and the least amount of pain and scarring. Results are generally available to you in 48 hours.

Cancer genetic testing and counseling – Our breast health experts will help you make informed decisions about genetic testing by collecting a detailed family and medical history. You will also discuss the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, how they are related to cancer and whether you would like to have genetic testing done. Genetic counseling can help a woman reach a greater understanding of the role of genetics in breast cancer.

High Risk Breast Care Clinic – We work with you to determine your risk factors for developing breast cancer. Patients with higher than average risk can be identified by multiple factors including, but not limited to, family history, reproductive history and microscopic findings on breast biopsies. Cancer risk-reducing strategies can be discussed, including medications, changes in lifestyle and diet, and—in rare circumstances—preventative surgery.

Second opinion services – Our breast health experts offer second opinions for non-Gundersen patients about results of any breast diagnostic imaging—including mammograms, ultrasound and breast MRI—and image-guided breast biopsy test results. Our coordinated approach to breast care includes fast diagnosis and a streamlined pathway through treatment.

What can I do?

In addition to making sure you are getting any recommended screenings, performing regular breast self-examinations can help you stay on top of any changes in your breasts. Catching any abnormalities in your breasts early can lead to better outcomes.

Accomplishments

The Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care is dedicated to providing the best possible care for patients diagnosed with breast cancer or other breast conditions. The Center has received several nationally recognized accreditations. We are:

  • Designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR). This accreditation means we consistently meet high standards for radiology image quality, medical personnel qualifications, facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs.
  • An ACR accredited facility for mammography, fulfilling the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) requirement that all mammography facilities in the United States be accredited.
  • Accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). Centers that have received the NAPBC accreditation are among the leaders in the field of breast care and have demonstrated a commitment to quality.

The Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care is recognized as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. The Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care is an accredited facility for mammography by the American College of Radiology. The Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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