The Mary Lou Beshears Breast Care Center is one of eight accredited centers in Colorado. The American College of Surgeons awards the accreditation only to programs that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of breast care.

We have three dedicated breast surgeons, a nurse practitioner and oncology certified nurse navigators who see patients at our Printers Park Medical Plaza and Briargate locations.

Digital mammography is available at all of Memorial’s breast care center locations. All of Memorial’s mammographers are certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART), and all mammograms are read by breast-dedicated radiologists. Memorial patients benefit from their finely honed and skill set and expertise.

For patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s important to know that Memorial has the only cancer program in southern Colorado that is associated with an academic medical center, providing greater access to clinical trials. The medical team participates in multidisciplinary conferences where they can discuss the best care plan for each patient. And, we have three dedicated breast surgeons at our Printers Park Medical Plaza and Briargate locations, enabling most patients to meet with a surgeon within 24 hours of a diagnosis.

About your appointment

Preparing for your mammogram appointment

  • Call 719-365-2900 to schedule your appointment.
  • For your first visit, bring copies of any previous breast exams or reports. Do not wear lotions, powders or deodorant, as they may interfere with imaging.
  • Inform your technologist if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or if you have breast implants.

Conditions we treat

We offer the following breast imaging services:

  • Screening mammography – A low-dose x-ray examination of the breast that is performed on women with no complaints or symptoms of breast cancer (asymptomatic). The goal of screening mammography is to detect breast cancer when it is still too small to be felt by a physician or the patient. Research has shown that the early detection of small breast cancers by screening mammography greatly improves a woman’s chances for successful treatment.
  • Diagnostic mammography – An x-ray exam of the breasts that is performed in order to evaluate a complaint or abnormality detected by physical exam or routine screening mammography.
  • Ultrasound – Also called sonography, breast ultrasound is frequently used to evaluate breast abnormalities that are found with screening or diagnostic mammography or during a physician performed clinical breast exam. Ultrasound is excellent at imaging cysts or dense masses.
  • MRI – A diagnostic tool that is excellent for imaging soft tissue; it can provide contrast detail between different tissue with very similar densities. To capture MRI images, a patient is typically positioned within an MRI scanner, lying down.
  • Needle Core Biopsies – A procedure that involves removing small samples of breast tissue using a needle. Tissue samples are removed and evaluated by a pathologist.

3D Tomosynthesis Mammography

What is a 3D mammography breast exam?

Breast tomosynthesis, also called 3D mammography, is a revolutionary new screening tool designed for early breast cancer detection. 3D mammography converts multiple digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or “slices” – building a three-dimensional image of the breast.

What are the benefits of 3D mammography?

With conventional digital mammography, a radiologist views all of the complexities of your breast tissue – such as blood vessels, milk ducts, fat and ligaments – in one flat image. Sometimes breast tissue can overlap, giving normal breast tissue the illusion of looking abnormal. By looking at the breast as a three-dimensional structure, radiologists get clearer and more accurate views of the tissue. For patients, this means that breast cancer can be found sooner. It also means there is less chance of your doctor calling you back for an unneeded “second look.”

What should I expect during a 3D mammography exam?

A 3D mammography exam is very similar to a traditional mammogram. A technologist will position you, compress your breast under a paddle, and then take images from different angles. During the 3D part of the exam, an X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over your breast, taking multiple images in just seconds. There is no additional compression required with 3D mammography, and it only takes a few seconds longer for each view.

Is there more radiation during a 3D exam?

Very low X-ray energy is used during the exam. It’s nearly the same amount as a traditional mammogram, which is below the FDA guidelines.

Who can have a 3D mammography exam?

3D mammography is approved for all women who would be undergoing a standard mammogram. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly comprehensive breast exams and screening mammography starting at age 40. Individuals with family history of breast or ovarian cancer or other risk factors may qualify for earlier or more frequent screenings. UCHealth offers a High-Risk Clinic and genetic counseling services to help women develop personal screening plans.

How should I prepare for a 3D mammography exam?

3D mammography preparation is the same as traditional 2D mammography. Don’t wear deodorant, perfume lotion or powder on your breasts or underarms, and wearing a two-piece outfit is recommended. It’s best to schedule the exam for a time when your breasts are not tender.

Does it matter where I’m screened?

Breast imaging is available at many radiology clinics and locations that are not affiliated with a hospital or health system. They perform mammograms in addition to a number of other X-ray services. In contrast, the Mary Lou Beshears Breast Care Center at UCHealth-Memorial Hospital specializes in breast health. Our radiologists, the doctors who read the images, are dedicated to reading breast films. UCHealth is the only hospital system in southern Colorado to offer 3D mammography, which is the most advanced imaging technology available for breast screening. In addition, patients screened through the Mary Lou Beshears Breast Care Center are connected to the state-wide network of UCHealth physicians and experts. In southern Colorado, it is the only breast care center affiliated with a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer program and an academic medical center.

Stay ahead of breast disease

The first step to staying ahead of breast disease is to know your body. Schedule an annual mammogram at the Mary Lou Beshears Breast Care Center by calling 719-365-2900. A doctor’s referral is not needed for an annual screening mammogram.

Memorial follows recommendations set by the American College of Radiology, the American Cancer Society and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology:

  • Beginning at age 40, all women should have a yearly screening mammogram.
  • Women who are considered high risk or who have a strong family history of breast cancer should discuss their screening schedule with a primary care physician. Additional or earlier screenings may be recommended. Memorial also offers a High Risk Clinic at its Breast Surgery Center in Briargate. We offer personalized assessments for women who may have a higher-than-average risk for breast cancer.  Call 719-477-0211 to schedule an appointment with the High Risk Clinic.

Awards and recognition

about-commission-on-cancer-logo mhs_napbc_accreditation surg-mh-bicoe-logo

  • Since 1981, the Memorial Hospital Cancer Program has continually maintained its accreditation by the American College of Surgeons and its Commission on Cancer.
  • UCHealth’s affiliation with the CU Cancer Center links patients to one of only 45 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the U.S. Memorial is the only cancer program in Southern Colorado that is associated with an NCI-designated cancer center and an academic medical center, providing greater access to clinical trials.
  • The Mary Lou Beshears Breast Care Center at Memorial Hospital is one of nine NAPBC accredited centers in Colorado. The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, (NAPBC), is a program administered by the American College of Surgeons. Accreditation is granted only to centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the best in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Each center must undergo a rigorous evaluation and review of its performance and compliance with the NAPBC standards, including an on-site evaluation every three years.
  • Digital mammography is available at all of Memorial’s breast care locations.
  • We are accredited by the American College of Radiology and received the gold seal for excellence in care. You can rely on Memorial Hospital for the safest possible imaging procedures and technology.