Accredited Breast Health Center in Richmond

Breast cancer affects one in eight women in their lifetime. Johnston-Willis Hospital is committed to providing compassionate breast care and precise breast diagnostics as part of our comprehensive women's care services.

Our breast imaging program is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.

We are also a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (BICOE). The American College of Radiology (ACR) awards this designation to breast imaging centers that achieve excellence by seeking and earning accreditation in mammography, breast ultrasound, stereotactic breast biopsy and breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Integrated breast care

Johnston-Willis has an integrated team of healthcare providers—all under one roof—focused on giving you the most comprehensive breast care available. If an abnormality is detected, our healthcare team is ready to provide you with additional diagnostic services, and if needed, a customized treatment plan based on your specific condition.

If breast cancer is detected, you can be confident that Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Johnston-Willis Hospital will provide you with comprehensive breast cancer care close to home in Richmond.

Breast cancer screening and diagnostics

Regardless of family history, the two most common risk factors for breast cancer include being a woman and getting older. Annual screening mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is most treatable. At Johnston-Willis, we are known for providing integrated breast care for women by offering an extensive range of breast diagnostic and imaging tools, including:

  • 3D and 2D mammograms
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Breast MRI
  • Breast biopsy (including stereotactic, 3D, ultrasound and MRI-guided biopsies)

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an noninvasive imaging study that uses low-dose X-rays to make pictures of breast tissue. Of the various breast cancer screening modalities, only yearly mammography has confirmed in clinical trials to decrease death and increase survival from breast cancer by detecting breast cancer when it’s smallest and is most treatable. We continue to recommend annual screening with mammography beginning at the age of 40.

Our imaging services offer the latest technologies to make sure your mammogram is as accurate and comfortable as possible. When you come for your mammogram, wear a two-piece outfit so your top can be easily removed. Also, please be sure you aren’t wearing deodorant, lotions, or powders.

Advanced breast-health technology

At Johnston-Willis, we offer the latest in breast imaging technology to get the most clear, precise results possible and provide our patients the best possible outcomes.

3D mammography

In 3D mammography, also called tomosynthesis, multiple images of your breast are taken in just seconds to produce a three-dimensional image. The doctor looks through the breast tissue one thin layer at a time, so fine details are more visible. Patients have the option to choose 2D versus 3D mammography.

We also offer tomosynthesis at Chesterfield Imaging Center.

Breast ultrasound

Ultrasound is another noninvasive imaging tool that is useful for women with dense breasts (estimated to be 40 percent of American women).

Johnston-Willis offers handheld sonography to comfortably and quickly image women with dense breast tissue. Each exam takes approximately 15 minutes and is typically done after an annual mammogram.

Fast breast MRI

Fast breast MRI, sometimes called abbreviated breast MRI, is a shortened, diagnostically accurate version of a traditional breast MRI study. Fast breast MRIs are available to all women, but is typically used for patients with dense breast tissue and a moderate risk of developing breast cancer. This type of screening is helpful for women who desire a supplemental screening tool that includes only the most useful images for the early detection of breast cancer.

Additionally, since MRIs are conducted only using sound waves, there is no radiation associated with the study, however, breast MRI is the most sensitive imaging test for the detection of invasive breast cancers. Women with a can consult with their physician about whether they have a good candidacy for fast breast MRI. The fast breast MRI may detect cancers not visible on a mammogram, however, it is not intended to replace mammography—annual screening mammograms are still recommended.

Some additional benefits of a fast breast MRI are:

  • The scan can be instrumental in revealing particularly aggressive cancers that can grow quickly in between annual mammograms
  • The scan is radiation-free, painless and only lasts ten minutes
  • The results of the breast MRI are sent to your referring physician within 48 hours

Same-day breast-imaging results

About 10 percent of women who have a screening mammogram are asked to return for additional viewing or testing, which can be stressful. You or your doctor may also notice a change in your breast or the development of a new ‘lump’. If the radiologist requests additional mammograms and/or ultrasound for you, then we’ll call you to set up an appointment. During that second appointment, the doctor will review your results with you in detail, and let you know if you need to take any further action.

Concerns about lumps or breast cancer?

If you have concerns about your breast health, find a new or suspicious lump in your breast or have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, our breast nurse navigators are here to help you with the breast health procedures you need.

Contact a breast nurse navigator by calling (804) HCA-CARE (2273).