SSM Health offers comprehensive screening and diagnostic services to provide the best early detection opportunities for women in Southern Illinois. We offer the following services at our hospitals
in Centralia and Mt. Vernon and at select SSM Health Medical Group
Breast Imaging Center of Excellence
The Breast Imaging Center at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital - Mt. Vernon is accredited by the American College of Radiology as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence™. This indicates top-tier safety, quality and efficiencies are provided at our Women's Imaging Center.
Our 3D Tomosynthesis Mammography is the latest exam to be added to our advanced array of technology. This revolutionary process allows the physician to better distinguish masses or tissues that might be cancerous from healthy breast tissue. The use of 3D mammography has proven to significantly reduce false positive callbacks and to be more accurate in detecting breast cancers early.
3D mammograms are approved for all women undergoing standard mammograms. They're particularly useful for screening women with dense breasts. 3D mammography is available at both SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital - Mt. Vernon and SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital - Centralia.
Digital mammography replaces traditional x-ray film with a digital chip to record images of the breast. This process, also known as full-field digital mammography, makes it possible for the images of the breast to be viewed on a computer monitor or printed on a special film similar to traditional mammograms. The advantages of digital mammograms as compared to conventional mammograms include: faster image acquisition times, fewer total exposures, and less patient discomfort. In addition, digital mammograms have been proven to detect breast cancers better than conventional mammograms in three groups of women: those younger than 50, those with dense breasts, and those who are pre-menopausal.
A ductogram (also called a galactogram) is a diagnostic mammography exam used to view a breast duct when a patient is experiencing abnormal discharge from her nipple. The ductogram is helpful in diagnosing nipple discharge, ductal ectasia, papillomas and other conditions of the breast. During the test, a tiny tube (cannula) is used to put contrast agent into the breast duct. The injected contrast allows the duct to show up on the mammogram and the radiologist can diagnose any abnormality and make a recommendation.
Breast ultrasounds are utilized to diagnose breast abnormalities discovered through a mammogram or detected by a physician during a physical exam. This test is effective at focusing on these abnormalities and determining if the suspicious area is a harmless fluid-filled cyst or a tumor.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) applies large magnet and radio frequencies to create highly detailed images of the breast. This non-invasive, diagnostic testing procedure offers more detailed images as compared to other imaging modalities, such as mammography or ultrasound. In addition, MRI procedures do not have the negative effects of radiation that are sometimes found in other diagnostic procedures. This service is offered only at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital - Mt. Vernon
A stereotactic biopsy is used to collect tissue samples from a suspicious mass before it can be felt during a breast exam. After the abnormality is detected through a mammogram or ultrasound, two-dimensional images of the breast are taken from two different angles. Next, both of these images are closely examined on a computer to compare the data from each image and calculate the three-dimensional breast coordinates to check for breast abnormalities. Using this ultra-detailed information to guide the biopsy needle, a physician can accurately sample fluid or tissue for testing purposes. This service is offered only at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital - Mt. Vernon
An ultrasound-guided biopsy is used to remove a tissue sample through the application of ultrasound imaging. Ultrasound technology is used to locate the biopsy site before it would be noticeable to the touch. Ultrasound-guided biopsies are not designed to remove the entire lesion, but to collect sample cells surgically or through a less invasive procedure involving a hollow needle. The sample is then tested to determine if cancerous cells are present.