Breast Care Center
Mercy Breast Center offers a comprehensive breast care services and is an accredited breast center meeting all federal standards of the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA), and MRI services are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).
Personalized breast care close to home
The breast specialists at Mercy Hospital in Durango offer you comprehensive breast care services from the most current 3-D mammography and breast ultrasound to breast surgery and survivorship support. If your screening mammogram shows something that needs follow-up tests or you have any signs or symptoms of breast cancer, our nurse navigator makes your care a priority. We will perform a biopsy, make a diagnosis, and schedule you with a surgeon or oncologist within 2-4 days after you or your healthcare provider contacts us. During an anxious time, we give you early peace of mind and less wait and worry by providing you with fast answers and personalized care.
The Mercy Breast Center is in the main hospital. Free parking is available surrounding the hospital. If you have an appointment, please come directly to the Breast Center to check in – you do not need to check in through the main hospital registration.
Offering fast and advanced breast care to our patients in the four corners region. More than 6,000 people from throughout the Four Corners region depend on Mercy every year for a mammogram to find cancer at its earliest stages and help our community be the healthiest possible. For those whose results come back positive for breast cancer, we offer advanced care, fast service, and a culture where we have the time and space to develop close relationships with each patient.
Breast services we provide
- 3D Mammography
- Axillary Node Dissection
- Cyst Removal
- DEXA Bone Density Scan
- Lymphedema care
- Mastitis treatment
- Medical Oncology
- Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy
- Nurse Navigator
- Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
- Radiation Therapy
- Reconstructive Surgery
- Survivorship support
No, a physician’s referral is not needed to schedule a screening mammogram. Screening mammograms are the mammograms women get on a regular basis, such as annually, to screen for cancer in women without any symptoms or suspicion of cancer.
Screening mammograms are covered by private insurance, Medicare and Health First Colorado (Medicaid) with no out-of-pocket cost to you. You do not need a physician order or referral to schedule a screening mammogram if you fit the standard criteria (see earlier FAQ). Diagnostic mammograms are treated as a regular health service, so you may have a co-pay or deductible to meet before insurance coverage begins. If you are scheduling a diagnostic mammogram, you should check with your insurance plan about cost. Mercy Hospital also provides a discounted rate to patients who are paying out of pocket for their mammograms.
We typically can schedule you for a screening mammogram within 10 business days. We usually can perform diagnostic mammograms within 1-2 days for patients who have signs or symptoms of breast cancer. We prioritize diagnostic mammograms to help reduce the anxiety in patients who have signs or symptoms of breast cancer.
We ask that you don’t use any perfumes or lotions on your breasts the day of your mammogram. We will provide you with a private changing room to remove your blouse and undergarments and change into a robe that will make it easier to get your mammogram. Please bring a form of identification and your insurance card with you to your appointment.
If you’ve been told you have dense breast tissue, it means that your breasts have more supportive tissue (dense tissue) than fatty tissue (non-dense tissue). Dense breast tissue can only be detected through a mammogram – it cannot be determined by physical looks or a physical exam. The size of your breasts also does not determine whether you have dense breast tissue.
About half of women under the age of 50 and about one-third over 50 have dense breast tissue. Knowing this is important because dense tissue can mask potential cancers on your mammogram. Getting a 3d mammogram if you have dense tissue is important because it is better able to show any suspicious spots since the mammogram takes pictures of your breast from all angles and our radiologists can look at the mammogram in slices.
It usually takes 1-2 business days for our radiologists to review a screening mammogram and send a report to your physician and to your patient portal. We try to review all diagnostic mammograms the same day, sometimes within hours.
When you have a breast biopsy, a small bit of breast tissue from the suspicious area is removed and analyzed in our laboratory. If cancer cells are present, the pathologist will diagnose the type and stage of your cancer. Breast cancer stages begin at Stage 0 (the earliest and sometimes pre-cancerous stage) to Stage IV, which means the cancer is advanced and has spread outside the breast. We treat all stages and types of breast cancer. We occasionally will refer patients with specific types of advanced breast cancer to a medical center that is participating in clinical trials if there is a specific type of medical treatment that is being investigated.
Breast surgery is recommended for every stage of breast cancer. When you have surgery and what type of surgery depends on the stage of your cancer. For instance, with Stage 0 breast cancer, you may need only a lumpectomy to remove the tumor from your breast. In later stages, you might have chemotherapy prior to surgery to shrink the size of the tumor.
Our surgeons perform lumpectomy (removal of the tumor), mastectomy (removal of the entire breast), nipple-sparing mastectomy, and reconstructive surgery.