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Breast Health Services

1 in 8 women will get breast cancer. Call (319) 398-6690 for more information or to schedule a screening.

Breast cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common type of the disease affecting women. In 2004, an estimated 215,000 new cases of breast cancer (in both men and women) were diagnosed, and more than 40,200 women were estimated to die from breast cancer. The mortality rate has declined over the last few years, primarily due to earlier detection and improved treatment.

Early detection and practicing good breast health care are your best weapons in the fight against breast cancer. Take your health info your hands. We can help. From screenings to education, to the most advanced treatment and support groups, Mercy Women's Center has all the breast health services you need under one roof for easy access.

Breast Health Services

Molecular Breast Imaging

Mercy Medical Center is the first in Iowa to provide Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) — a new, FDA-cleared technology used for breast imaging as an adjunct to mammography. MBI identifies tumors in dense breast tissue that are often not visible with X-ray-based analog or digital mammography. Radioactive isotope (commonly used for cardiac imaging) is injected in the patient and provides high-resolution images to allow the most accurate diagnoses. Unlike mammography, this exam is not compromised by dense breast tissue (affecting 40% of all women and increasing breast cancer risk 4 to 6 times), which is the most limiting factor with mammography. MBI also offers little to no pressure or discomfort to the patient as compared to mammography. Learn more about MBI.

Digital Mammography

This is the newest technology available for breast cancer detection. It enables radiologists to more easily detect small calcifications, masses and other changes that may be signs of early cancer. Digital mammography uses a lower dose of radiation, improves the overall quality of the image and provides a higher detection rate of breast cancer among women under 50, pre- and peri-menopausal women and women with dense breast tissue.

Breast Ultrasound

Breast ultrasound is used to further evaluate a breast abnormality or lump seen on mammography. Ultrasound can determine if a breast lump is solid (tumor) or filled with fluid (cyst). Breast ultrasound is not meant to replace the mammogram. Unlike mammography, ultrasound is not able to detect small calcifications.

Non-Surgical Breast Biopsy

The breast biopsy system helps doctors obtain breast tissue for definitive diagnosis without surgery. A local anesthetic is given in the breast. This procedure causes little pain, does not require stitches, can be performed quickly and has a short recovery time. It's as accurate as a surgical biopsy. Having this procedure done? Find the test prep sheet here.

Breast Health Specialists

Mercy's breast health specialists provide information on benign breast conditions, as well as guidance for women navigating the breast cancer experience from diagnosis through treatment. They help answer patients' questions and coordinate services and appointments. They also:

  • provide education and information for the patient and family.
  • explain treatment options' pros, cons and side effects.
  • support the patient and family members in decision-making.
  • offer referrals to other services and community resources.
  • facilitate physicians' recommendations for care, promoting patient understanding.
  • follow up once treatment is complete.

Especially for You Breast Cancer Support Group

Meets the fourth Tuesday of every month. For more information, please call (319) 365-HOPE (4673) or (800) 642-6329.

Especially for You Fund - Financial Assistance

If the inability to pay prevents you or someone you know from seeking breast care services services, the Especially for You Fund is here for you. Since October 1991, free mammograms and other breast-care services have been provided to area women in need through the Especially for You fund, a result of the annual Especially for You Race Against Breast Cancer.