As an imaging leader, Conway Medical Center created the Breast Health Center to help women of all ages with breast health concerns. The Center offers some of the latest imaging technology including breast ultrasound and breast MRI and we are the first ISO Certified mammography facility in the state of South Carolina. The CMC Center for Breast Health is also the first facility in Horry County to offer 3D Mammography. Our Breast Health team focuses on patient support and education and our goal is to make each patient as comfortable as possible. Our imaging technology coupled with our compassionate care makes CMC’s Center for Breast Health the right choice for you.
At Conway Medical Center, we offer 3D mammography, state-of-the-art technology to capture sharp images for detecting breast cancer. Regardless of your breast size, our digital mammography technology instantly displays clear pictures of the breast tissue on a high resolution computer monitor. This technology also records and stores your current images so that when you return for your next mammogram, your doctor can compare the pictures side by side to pinpoint any differences. Best of all, 3D mammography typically offers women a more comfortable experience than ever before.
Conway Medical Center is one of the first hospitals in the region to offer screening mammograms without a physician’s order. Access to advanced technology and the care of experienced breast health professionals at the Center for Breast Health is backed by the full service of Conway Medical Center.
We are pleased to announce we are now a participating provider in BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Routine Mammography Network. In addition, this life-saving screening is also available to all State Health Plan members.
Appointments are offered between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. to accommodate busy schedules.
Center for Breast Health Team
Because breast health is a highly specialized field, every member of the Breast Health Center’s team is highly trained and our specialists include a reconstructive surgeon, medical oncologist, and pathologist as well as board certified radiologists, board certified surgeons who are members of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, nationally registered and state certified technologists, and experienced support staff. Our team has achieved certification from the Quality Management System – ISO9001:2008 – and adheres to the highest standards for its clinical practices and patient safety. In addition to clinical strengths, the team is well known for its customer service and attention to details. We focus on patient support and education. Our goal is to provide timely information and results to reduce the sleepless nights of anxious patients.
Breast Health Navigator
We understand the diagnostic process can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing. Working to ensure seamless care to our patients, our Breast Health Navigator assists patients as they make their journey through diagnosis by providing patient education, clinical expertise, communication and support. If a routine mammogram suggests additional imaging is necessary, the Breast Health Navigator will help the patient gain a better understanding about the imaging process and support the patient during this time. Because education remains so important in making decisions, the Breast Health Navigator serves as an important resource for each patient.
The Breast Health Navigator serves as a consistent contact person, advocate and guide for patients and their families. From biopsies to surgical intervention, medical oncology, radiation therapy and other services, Our Breast Health Navigator is there to provide clinical expertise and support. Our Breast Health Navigator also helps each patient make appointments, schedule procedures and connect to the full spectrum of care. Even after a woman has been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, the Breast Health Navigator is available to assist and support with future check-ups and imaging services. Through the years, patients are supported just as they were at the very beginning.
Breast Cancer Care
A team approach to breast cancer has become a standard throughout the United States as well as in our practice. Our multidisciplinary team consists of a team of radiologist, breast surgeons, medical oncologist, radiation oncologists, pathologists, breast navigators, nurses and more.
The CMC Center for Breast Health is a collaboration between breast care professionals from the following partners:
- Associates in Surgery
- Carolina Coastal Plastic Surgery
- Carolina Radiology
- Carolina Regional Cancer Center
- Coastal Cancer Center
- Diagnostic Imaging/Radiology
- Medical Oncology
- Radiation Oncology
- Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery
The Center for Breast Health offers women quality imaging services and advanced technology close to home for the convenience they need and deserve. Our 3D mammography services capture clear images of the breast tissue on high-resolution computer monitors looking for any lesions or abnormalities. If additional imaging is needed, our radiologist can utilize breast ultrasound or breast MRI imaging to identify tiny lesions at the earliest stages of development. If cancer is suspected, radiologists and surgeons will review images to offer the most efficient biopsy to determine if cancer cells are present.
Conway Medical Center is the first facility in Horry County to offer 3D mammography. Three-dimensional mammography, also called digital breast tomosynthesis, is a revolutionary screening and diagnostic process in which multiple x-rays of the breast are taken at different angles which the computer then forms into a 3D image. This state-of-the-art technology allows our radiologists to view breast tissue as a whole or one layer at a time – discovering more details with greater clarity and accuracy. Early detection is the key to fighting breast cancer, and using 3D mammography technology is just another way CMC is bringing better health to life.
Breast ultrasound is used in conjunction with mammograms when more detail is needed. This process is especially useful in identifying breast lesions as cysts or solid tumors.
Breast MRI uses Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to examine breast tissue without exposing patients to ionizing radiation. This process takes hundreds of images of the breast at many different angles and can successfully image dense breast tissue. In some cases, Breast MRI detects small lesions that can be missed my mammography or ultrasound imaging. Breast MRI may be used in the following cases:
- Evaluation of patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer
- Screening of high risk patients
- Evaluation of saline/silicone implants
- Evaluation of response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy
- Evaluation of post-operative breast cancer patients
- Advanced screening in conjunction with mammogram, breast ultrasound and clinical findings
- Evaluation for residual or recurrent disease
Cyst aspiration is a process that allows physicians to remove fluid from symptomatic cysts to relieve pain.
Image-Guided Breast Biopsy
Breast biopsies are performed when suspicious tissue is seen or felt to determine if the tissue is cancerous. An image-guided breast biopsy is a non-surgical procedure where a special automated needle is used to remove a small amount of tissue from the abnormal area. This tissue is then sent to a pathologist for evaluation. We offer ultrasound-guided breast biopsy and stereotactic breast biopsy.
Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy
An ultrasound-guided breast biopsy uses ultrasound imaging to locate breast abnormalities and guide the radiologist to the area to be biopsied. A sample of breast tissue in the area of concern is then removed with a needle.
Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
A stereotactic breast biopsy uses x-rays to locate breast abnormalities. This minimally-invasive procedure compresses the breast between two plates as X-rays (mammograms) are taken to produce stereo images — images of the same area from different angles — to determine the exact location for the biopsy. A sample of breast tissue in the area of concern is then removed.
Preoperative localization is important to optimize the surgical treatment of breast lesions. We offer needle localization and radioactive seed localization.
Needle Localization involves the placement of a skinny wire into the area of concern, which facilitates the surgical removal of the target lesion.
Radioactive Seed Localization
Radioactive Seed Localization (RSL) may be used on patients needing breast cancer surgery. In this process, a thin needle is used to place a tiny, low-energy radioactive seed directly on the cancerous lump to help surgeons precisely locate and remove breast tumors during a lumpectomy.
This procedure provides increased accuracy and more patient comfort as compared to the wire-location procedure (WLP). CMC is the first facility in the state of South Carolina to offer this procedure.
Breast Health Screening Recommendations
Convenience Close to Home
Access to advanced technology and the care of experienced breast health professionals at the Center for Breast Health is backed by the full service of Conway Medical Center. The Center for Breast health is located at 801 Farrar Drive, one mile south of CMC in Rivertown Medical Park near Highway 544. Built in 2010, the Center provides many amenities for patients and families, includes easy access and parking, comfortable eating and private dressing areas and we have two 3D mammography machines, which will enable our staff to arrange a prompt appointment at your convenience.
Appointments are offered between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. to accommodate busy schedules.
Important Phone Numbers
Breast Health Navigator- 843-234-7309
Clinical Questions or Concerns- 843-234-7309
Fax Orders- 843-234-5016
Mammogram Films & reports- 843-234-8308
Financial Assistance- 843-347-8170
The Center for Breast Health supports the screening recommendations set forth by the American Cancer Society, which are as follows:
Performing breast self-exams on a regular basis will make you familiar with how your breasts normally look and feel – allowing you to easily notice changes or lumps that are unfamiliar. A breast self-exam should include the breasts, armpits, neck, and chest area.
If you suspect any of the following notify your health care provider right away:
- Changes in breast size, shape, or color of the skin
- Lump or thickening in your breasts
- Swelling, redness or warmth in the breast that does not go away
- Nipple discharge that appears spontaneously in only one breast
- Consistent pain in one spot of the breast
Before menopause, the best time to do your self-exam is a week after the start of your monthly menstrual cycle. After menopause, choose a time that is best for you to remember.
Clinical Breast Exam
The American Cancer Society recommends that a doctor regularly check your breasts – this is called a clinical breast exam. This exam is normally performed during your annual check-up with your family doctor or OB/GYN. As stated in the chart above, women 20 – 35 years of age should have a clinical breast exam every 1 to 3 years and women over 40 should have a clinical breast exam annually.
Your Annual Mammogram
Annual mammograms for women age 40 or older are an important part of the ACR guidelines for early detection of breast cancer. Women who have a family history of breast cancer or have previously had breast cancer are at increased risk and are recommended to talk with their doctors about the benefits of having a mammogram before age 40 or having more frequent mammograms.
A mammogram is a low dose x-ray of the breast. During this procedure, the mammogram machine will compress your breast to make the breast tissue less dense to get a more detailed mammogram of your breast tissue. Several images from different angles will be taken of each breast to be submitted to our board certified radiologist for review. A report will be submitted to you and/or your doctor.
To best prepare for your mammogram, please review the following:
- On the day of your appointment, please do not use any body deodorants, body powder or perfume. You can bring your deodorant with you and apply it after your mammogram is complete.
- For your mammogram, wear a two-piece outfit, as you will be asked to undress from the waist up.
- If you have had a previous mammogram at another facility, please pick up the mammogram films or CD and bring them on the day of your appointment.
- Limiting caffeine intake for up to two weeks prior to your mammogram may decrease your discomfort as caffeine causes the breasts to be tender.
- Bring your doctor’s order with you, if you have one. You do not need a doctor’s order for a screening mammogram.
- Bring proof of insurance coverage and picture identification.
- Please arrive at least 20 minutes prior to appointment time for registration.
Some exams require a doctor’s order. Please review the following to determine if you need an order. Contact your doctor’s office if it is determined that you do.
An exam can be scheduled with or without a doctor’s order for an Annual Screening Mammogram if:
- The patient has no personal history of breast cancer
- The patient has no current breast problems or symptoms
- A doctor’s order is required when:
- The patient is having a follow up exam performed
- The patient has a personal history of breast cancer
- The patient has any current breast problems or symptoms
Education & Support
At the Center for Breast Health, we strive to not only have the best breast health services available for our community, but to also offer continuing education and support. We offer education and support for newly diagnosed patients, cancer survivors, and their families through traditional support group settings, social events, educational sessions with guest speakers, wellness activities and so much more. We believe an educated patient is an empowered patient and our education and support network hopes to share information and awareness to help our patients reach their maximum potential.
Newly Diagnosed Patients
A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and bring tremendous stress and anxiety. The team at the Center for Breast Health is committed to providing our patients and their families the education and support they need. We offer a private session to any newly diagnosed patient to answer any questions they may have regarding breast cancer, treatment options and possible side effects, nutrition and lifestyle changes. Sessions are free. To request a session, please call 843-234-7309.
Breast Cancer Support Group
The Center for Breast Health is here for area breast cancer survivors. We offer monthly support group meetings to help patients deal with the many issues that may be experienced after a diagnosis of breast cancer. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month from 5:30-7 p.m. at CMC Outpatient Diagnostic Center located at 801 Farrar Drive in Conway. To register or for more information, please call 843-234-7309 or register online.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors
The biggest risk factors for getting breast cancer are being female and getting older – two factors that are not controllable. However, there are risk factors you can control. Below are the two types of risk factors for developing breast cancer – controllable and uncontrollable.
Controllable Risk Factors
- Consuming more than one alcoholic beverage daily
- Being overweight
- Lack of exercise
- Use of hormone replacement drugs
Uncontrollable Risk Factors
- Getting older
- Family history of breast cancer
- History of breast disease
- Not having children or having your first child after age 30
- Having your first menstrual cycle before age 12