Women's Imaging Center
A women’s mammogram and imaging center for our growing community. Our new women’s imaging center provides mammograms and complete breast care services along with DEXA bone scans and women’s ultrasound for women throughout Northeast Colorado Springs, Payton, Falcon and Monument, Colorado.
Our Women’s Imaging Center is located in the St. Peregrine Pavilion on the St. Francis Hospital campus on East Woodman Road. With its own scheduling and registration, you can easily schedule your annual screening mammogram or other imaging test and come directly to the center to check in.
The St. Francis Women’s Imaging Center offers 3D mammography, also called digital tomosynthesis, as well as traditional 2d digital mammography for screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms. Both types of mammogram technologies use low levels of radiation to produce x-ray images of your breast. While traditional digital mammogram captures only two images of your breast, a 3d mammogram produces multiple images from different angles to create a 3D picture of your breast. Three-dimensional mammography is particularly good at helping to find abnormalities in women with dense breasts. These women have very little fat in their breast tissue, so spotting any cancerous tissue is difficult since it appears as the same color as glandular tissue.
If you have had traditional 2D mammography in the past, we may want to obtain a 2D mammogram when you have your first 3D mammogram so that our radiologists have a better comparison. Our radiologists who will be reviewing your mammogram are breast radiologists. This means that they have received special training in reviewing mammograms and specialize in this field.
Our Women’s Imaging Center is certified by the American College of Radiology (ACR). ACR Accreditation is recognized as the gold standard of demonstrated safety standards and quality care in medical imaging.
If your screening mammogram detects an abnormality in your breast or you feel something unusual, your doctor will want to order follow-up imaging or tests to determine if it is cancer. We provide the most commonly used diagnostic testing, including diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound, and breast biopsy. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer and you live in northeast Colorado Springs or nearby, you can now get much of your care nearby at St. Francis Hospital.
If breast cancer is suspected, our pathologists will provide a report that tells the stage of cancer, whether or not it has spread, and if there are any special genetic characterizations that make it more responsive to certain types of medications.
While this is an anxious time for most patients, our breast cancer nurse navigator will help you through. Our breast cancer nurse navigator is a professionally registered nurse with special expertise in breast cancer. Our nurse navigator can help you, your family and caregivers, by answering questions, providing education, and connecting you with community resources.
Our breast cancer team includes highly-rated and experienced breast surgeons. These surgeons perform the full range of breast cancer procedures, including lumpectomies to remove cancer tumors, mastectomies for more extensive cancer, and reconstructive surgery. They also offer nipple-sparing mastectomies, which allows patients to get reconstructive surgery at the same time they have their mastectomy.
St. Francis also offers on-campus radiation oncology services for patients with breast cancer. Having radiation oncology in the local community is especially important because radiation is often applied daily for weeks at a time. Our close location to so many people means you no longer have to travel into downtown or up to Denver to receive radiation treatments for your breast cancer.
While our breast cancer team is highly qualified and experienced at providing today’s advanced treatments, you also might rest easier knowing that we work closely with the cancer experts at our sister facility, Penrose Cancer Center. Penrose has been nationally recognized for its long legacy in providing the highest level of care to breast cancer patients. It also is a certified member of the MD Anderson Cancer Network.
Breast care services at St. Francis Hospital include
- 2D & 3D screening & diagnostic mammograms
- Ultrasound imaging
- DEXA (bone densitometry) scans
- Stereotactic breast biopsies
- Ultrasound breast biopsies
- Lymph node biopsies
- Breast ultrasound
- Women’s ultrasound
- Breast needle localizations
- Lumpectomy surgery
- Mastectomy surgery
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy
- Radiation therapy
Convenient, high quality breast care & imaging
From the St. Clare and Briarwood neighborhoods to Falcon and Peyton, northeast Colorado Springs is flourishing, and St. Francis Women’s Imaging Center is here to meet the needs of the women in this vibrant community. We offer a warm, welcoming center filled with natural light where you can relax, knowing that you’re in good hands when it comes to breast care and women’s imaging. Featuring 3d mammography, ultrasound, and DEXA bone scans, the St. Francis Women’s Imaging Center provides you with the tests you need without requiring you to lose hours getting them.
The imaging and breast care specialists at St. Francis Hospital Cancer Center came together to create a vision of a center that could provide women in northeast Colorado Springs with convenient access to high-quality care. Our center features breast radiologists who are specially trained in reviewing mammograms, a breast care nurse navigator to help answer questions, and a commitment to whole person care.
A screening mammogram is an x-ray of your breast that is used to look for cancer at its earliest stages before it can be felt through a physical exam. If you or your doctor suspect you might have breast cancer, a diagnostic mammogram may be ordered to check for cancer. It’s important to know the difference because a screening mammogram is paid for by insurance without a patient co-pay. However, a diagnostic mammogram is considered a medical procedure and your deductible and co-pay may apply.
This is a very personal decision that you should discuss with your primary care provider. The American Cancer Society recommends that women should continue getting screening mammograms as long as they are in good health and expected to live another 10 years or longer. You may choose to continue getting them longer or you may choose to stop earlier depending on your views about treatment if cancer is detected and other factors.
Our Women’s Imaging Center has its own check-in and registration, so you should come directly to St. Peregrine Pavilion on St. Francis Hospital's campus at the time of your appointment. The mammogram itself takes about 15 minutes but your entire appointment will be about 30 minutes if you have paperwork to complete.
All mammograms require compressing the breast between plates to take the image. Some women, particularly those with sensitive or small breasts, may find this procedure uncomfortable. However, it should not hurt and the breast is fully compressed just long enough for the mammogram technician to step outside the area to take the image.
A DEXA scan is a low-dose x-ray that measures the thickness of your bones. Thick bones are considered healthy bones that have a lower risk of fracturing.
DEXA scans are recommended for people who have risk factors for osteoporosis, or weakening of the bones. Risk factors of osteoporosis include being a woman over age 50, having a family history of osteoporosis, having a small bone structure, and being white or Asian.
Some breast cancer treatments can cause you to lose bone mass, so your doctor will want to take a baseline bone density measurement to watch for that. Chemotherapy, for instance, can push a woman into early menopause, which can speed up bone loss. Some hormone therapies stop the production of estrogen, which also can speed up bone loss. However, some hormone therapies can protect against bone loss.
Many advancements have been made in breast cancer treatment, resulting in xx percent of patients living at least five years or longer after diagnosis — and some much longer. As treatment has advanced and become standardized, it has allowed more physicians to specialize in this area and provide this care at community hospitals. Getting your care locally at St. Francis Medical Center allows you to get the most up-to-date breast cancer treatments with close-by convenience. This is especially valuable to patients who need radiation therapy that is often given daily for weeks at a time. Many patients also prefer the more intimate nature of a smaller local hospital where they can get to know their cancer care team. At the same time, you can rest easy knowing that St. Francis is part of the Penrose Cancer Center, which is a certified member of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Network.