For excellence in breast health resources, patients can trust Parkwest Comprehensive Breast Center. Featuring high quality services, an outstanding staff and a facility with amenities such as individual changing and waiting rooms for privacy, the Center is also accredited as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. The accreditation means that Parkwest Comprehensive Breast Center meets rigorous standards for staff training, technology and patient care.
“We have a wonderful group of staff staff,” said Ryan Tipton, manager of the center. “They’re friendly, knowledgeable, and very experienced. Our medical director is Amanda Squires, MD, who is a full-time breast radiologist and is fellowship trained in women’s imaging. Our patients love her. She advocates on their behalf and she’s a great resource for patients and the rest of the staff.” Having a radiologist on staff means mammography results can be given to women within 24 to 48 hours of the test, and sometimes sooner, Tipton explained.
In addition to Dr. Squires, the Breast Center staff includes eight technologists, all of whom are credentialed through the
American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Some specialize in breast ultrasound, while others are experts in tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, the latest advance in breast imaging. Parkwest Comprehensive Breast Center has two 3D mammography machines and was the first to offer the technology to the Knoxville area in 2012.
“We are continually participating in training so we are up-to-date on the latest technology,” said Whitney Goodrich, a mammographer at the center. “I’ve been here 12 years. One day we counted up, and between all the technologists here, we have 100 years of experience. And I love that we provide a full-spectrum of care, from screenings and biopsies to bone density screenings for osteoporosis as well.”
The center offers several biopsy methods, including ultrasound, stereotactic and magnetic resonance-guided (MR-guided) biopsies. If an abnormality is detected, the Breast Center follows a woman through all her testing and in some cases, treatment.
“One of the things we are most proud of is our continuum of care,” said Tipton. First, the center assigns a breast health coordinator to each patient who needs follow-up treatment.
“For many patients who have a positive finding, the world is turned upside down,” said Tipton. “We recognize that, and work with patients to guide them through the process. The nurse navigator will reach out to the patient, get them on the schedule and set up appointments for a surgeon or oncologist.”
Next, each case is reviewed by a Multidisciplinary Breast Conference which meets every two weeks. This is a team of surgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists and other experts who review each case and discuss the best options for treatment, Tipton said.
The Breast Center may stay involved in treatment by providing advanced images of tumors or lymph nodes. This involvement in follow-up treatment means the Parkwest Breast Center staff often gets to know patients over a period of time. “It’s the patients I love the most,” said Goodrich. “I love that we see patients over and over again, and develop relationships with them. I get to help people be more at ease in what can be a difficult situation for them.”
Gold Seal Accreditation– What Does It Mean?
How do you find a top-notch facility for your yearly mammogram? Look for the gold seal signifying a “Breast Imaging Center of Excellence,” an accreditation from the American College of Radiology (ACR).
Parkwest Comprehensive Breast Center has earned this designation, meaning the center has met rigorous standards for its equipment, staff training, and patient care processes.
To be called a Breast Center of Excellence, a facility must be ACR-accredited in four areas:
- Digital mammography (the center offers both 2D and 3D mammography)
- Breast ultrasound (using sound waves to detect inconsistencies)
- Stereotactic breast biopsy (using mammogram images to guide a biopsy needle)
- Breast MRI (using magnetic radio waves to locate an abnormality, both for diagnosis and biopsies)
Yes, Mammograms Save Lives
The American College of Radiology recommends yearly mammogram screenings for women starting at age 40, and Parkwest Com- prehensive Breast Center is no different.
“Screening mammography is probably one of the greatest medical achievements of our generation,” said Amanda Squires, MD, medical director of the center. “If conducted on an annual basis on women over 40, having a mammogram drops the mortality of breast cancer by half. Even with no symptoms, we find cancer way before patients would find it otherwise.”
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer death rates fell steadily from 1989 to 2015, largely because of improved treatments and early detection by mammography. In 2015, relative survival rates for women diagnosed with breast cancer are 91 percent at five years after diagnosis, 86 percent after 10 years, and 80 percent after 15 years.
“It’s important for women to be proactive and understand that the benefits of yearly mammography after 40 are significant,” said Dr. Squires.
How to Make an Appointment
At the Parkwest Comprehensive Breast Center, no physician referral is needed for a routine screening mammogram. The Breast Center is conveniently located at 9330 Park West Boulevard, Suite 103, in the Physicians Plaza. Call (865) 373-7010 to schedule an appointment, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The center also takes walk-ins, although calling for an appointment will help ensure you don’t have to wait long.