Robin Wisdom had not had a mammogram in nearly 20 months.
So her primary care provider, Barbie Fulton, a family nurse practitioner (FNP) with the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Medical Group who practices at the Dent Medical Clinic, helped Wisdom schedule a mammogram at PCRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center.
That turned out to be an important decision, as Wisdom’s care team at PCRMC discovered “something” during her mammogram. She was urged to get an ultrasound and a core needle biopsy, which confirmed that she has breast cancer.
“I remember a nurse named Tiffany…she held my hand through the core biopsy and consoled me,” says Wisdom, a Dent County resident. “I was treated with nothing but excellence at the Breast Center.”
The Tiffany she refers to is Tiffany Henry, RN, who serves as PCRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center coordinator.
Henry credits not only the innovative technology and wide variety of services offered at PCRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center but also the caring staff that makes the clinic such an exceptional facility.
“From start to finish, like our names says, we are a comprehensive breast center,” Henry says.
PCRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center, with convenient locations at the Medical Office Building in Rolla and at the Waynesville Medical Plaza, offers both screening and diagnostic mammograms, bone density screenings as well as stereotactic breast biopsies, which are less invasive than surgical biopsies.
In addition to traditional 2D mammograms, PCRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center has offered 3D digital breast tomosynthesis (or 3D mammograms), a state-of-the-art breast imaging technology, since the summer of 2016.
3D mammograms help decrease false-positive results, offer an increased rate of cancer detection when compared with traditional 2D mammography and allow radiologists to better visualize breast tissue, particularly in the case of dense breasts.
When Wisdom came in for her appointment at PCRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center in Rolla, in July 2018, she had a 3D mammogram. After her diagnosis of cancer was confirmed, her treatment plan began quickly. She first underwent a lumpectomy, a procedure to surgically remove a lump from the breast tissue. She also had two lymph nodes removed. PCRMC General Surgeon Dana Voight, MD, performed her surgery.
Wisdom is now under the care of Becky Witham, FNP, who specializes in medical oncology/hematology, at the PCRMC Delbert Day Cancer Institute (DDCI).
Wisdom says she felt her care team went above and beyond for her, whether it was during her surgery or while she has been receiving treatments at the DDCI, but nowhere was that more true than at PCRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center.
“I’m thankful we have care this close, and I don’t have to travel to Springfield, Columbia or St. Louis,” Wisdom says. “I would highly recommend anyone go to PCRMC’s Breast Center and the DDCI.”
Lisa Green, a Pulaski County resident and PCRMC patient, had a similar positive experience. Like Wisdom, Green says she likes that she does not have to travel far for care.
“I had been going to the Breast Center in Rolla for years, and after I saw that the Waynesville Medical Plaza was built (in 2015), I called to make an appointment,” Green says. She was told that she could have her screening mammograms take place at the Waynesville Medical Plaza.
Green has been going there ever since. “It’s just so convenient,” she says.
Green says her sister has had breast cancer twice, so Green was encouraged to get a mammogram because of her family history of the disease.
“The people are so nice and friendly,” Green says of the staff. “And they’re so thorough. They really take the time to explain things to you.” Green also says PCRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center is flexible with her schedule.
In addition to being caring, the staff at PCRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center are highly-trained and qualified.
“We even have a radiologist on-site who can consult with patients if they are experiencing issues,” says Henry.
In addition, the Phelps Regional Health Care Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PCRMC, provides mammograms and other services recommended by PCRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center at no cost to women who financially qualify through the Breast Center Mammography Fund. In 2017, that fund helped 115 patients.
The American College of Radiology recommends yearly mammograms for women starting at age 40.
Patients do not need a physician referral for a screening mammogram at the Comprehensive Breast Center. To make an appointment, please call Centralized Scheduling at (573) 458-7737.
To learn more about mammograms, breast self-exams and general breast health, call PCRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center at (573) 458-3100 or visit pcrmc.com.