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Breast Center

breast center

A Care Team Focused on Excellence for YOU

Valley's Breast Center is an outpatient breast imaging center that offers screening and diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound, breast biopsy and bone density screening.

The Breast Center at Valley is recognized as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR) in all breast imaging modalities:

  • Gold Seal: Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Gold Seal: Breast Ultrasound
  • Gold Seal: Mammography
  • Gold Seal: Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Our expert and dedicated team of technicians, radiologists and support staff understand the anxiety that comes with breast screening and diagnostic testing. We have created a comfortable, supportive environment that offers unsurpassed care and state-of the-art, high quality imaging.

Services include:

  • 3D Mammography (digital breast tomosynthesis)
  • Breast Ultrasound
  • Ultrasound-guided Breast Biopsy
  • Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
  • Wire Localization
  • Bone Density Exam
  • Breast Cancer Risk Assessment

For Patients Following Breast Cancer Treatment

The Rehabilitation team at Valley Medical Center would like to help you recover faster, and be able to return to your normal activities following your treatment for breast cancer. Please review the Activity Guidelines and Exercises After Breast Cancer Surgery flyer to help your recovery. Please let your healthcare provider know if you are experiencing any of these symptoms beyond the normal post- operative period for healing (usually six weeks):

  • Pain in your chest or arm
  • Limited arm or trunk motion
  • Inability to perform normal daily functions
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Significant swelling of your arm, trunk, or breast

Your healthcare provider will help you determine if these symptoms are part of your normal healing process, or if you would benefit from the additional help from our rehabilitation team. A customized program will be developed for you, and may include any or all of the following:

  • Range of motion exercises, particularly for trunk and shoulder
  • Postural training
  • Gradual strengthening and conditioning exercises
  • Scar management
  • Pain and symptom management
  • Swelling management (see below)
  • Education about continued self care

In particular, if you notice swelling that persists in your arm or chest, your healthcare provider needs to evaluate if you may have early signs of lymphedema. This condition can occur following lymph node surgery or radiation therapy. Symptoms of lymphedema include:

  • Swelling of the arm or trunk
  • Feeling of heaviness of the arm
  • Achiness or pain
  • Tight clothing or jewelry

Valley Medical Center offers highly specialized treatment for lymphedema called Complex Decongestive Therapy. This internationally endorsed approach consists of four parts:

  • Patient and family education for prevention and self-management
  • Manual lymph drainage to stimulate lymph flow through specialized massage
  • Compression with bandaging, garments, and occasionally mechanical pumps
  • Active exercises to help mobilize fluid and assist motion

Skilled therapists who have been certified by a 175 hour training course provide this specialized care. They will design a program to meet your needs, whether it’s for early management and education or intensive daily therapy. Valley Medical Center is a National Lymphedema Network sponsored treatment center.

To Make an Appointment

A referral from your healthcare provider is needed for treatment and payment by your insurance. Talk about your concerns with your provider and ask for a therapy referral. The Rehabilitation Department is located in the Northwest Pavilion of the hospital. To schedule an appointment, call 425-690-3650.

Your entire breast cancer care team, in one visit, to create a personal care plan for you.  

 Our breast multidisciplinary clinic (MDC) brings providers from   different specialties together to collaborate with each patient   to design a coordinated, comprehensive and personalized plan   of care using nationally recognized best practice guidelines. 

A process that might otherwise take weeks or months and involve multiple visits for the patient is completed in a single day – allowing treatment to begin quickly.

Specialists in Oncology, Surgery, Radiation, Genetics spend time independently with each patient to explain treatment choices, encouraging questions and active participation.  By the conclusion of the MDC visit, patients have every appointment and treatment scheduled and are able to begin down their path of care. Throughout the process, our Nurse Navigators offer individualized support to patients, assisting with questions and concerns, scheduling appointments as they arise, and provides education and resources to facilitate informed decision making and timely access to quality health and psychosocial care throughout all phases of care.

Your Breast Cancer Care Team Includes:

Medical Oncologist      Radiation Oncologist
Breast Surgeon Breast Radiologist
Pathologist Genetic Counselor
Social Worker Nutritionist
Occupational Therapist                  Oncology Nurse Navigator

Bone Density (DEXA Scanning)

DEXA (bone densitometry) is an imaging study to measure bone density.  

A DEXA scan, also called a bone density scan, is an imaging study that measures bone density (strength).  DEXA scan results can provide helpful details about your risk for osteoporosis (bone loss) and fractures (bone breaks).    

DEXA scans are available at Valley's Breast Center in both Renton and Covington locations. A physician referral is needed for a DEXA scan. Please talk with your healthcare provider.

What is a bone density test?

A bone density test, DEXA, measures the mineral content of the bones in certain areas of the skeleton.  It's a way to measure bone loss as you age. 

What is a DEXA scan?

A DEXA scan is a type of medical imaging test.  Getting a DEXA scan is similar to having a standard x-ray.  It is an outpatient test that takes approximately 10-15 minutes.  You are able to wear your regular clothes.  There are no needles or injections.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a term used to describe brittle bones and also the risk for having a broken bone.  As you age, your bones can lose thickness and strength.  DEXA tests help your healthcare provider track your bone density and risk for having a broken bone over time.  Providers often use DEXA tests to help diagnose osteoporosis.

Who should get a DEXA scan?

  • Women over age 65
  • Women or men experiencing loss of height
  • Postmenopausal women with fractures
  • Postmenopausal women under age 65 with risk factors other than menopause
  • Women considering therapy for osteoporosis
  • Those who are considering stopping or have stopped hormone replacement therapy

How often should a DEXA scan be done?

Your healthcare provider will consider several factors, such as your age, level of fracture risk, previous DEXA scan and current medications.  Your healthcare provider will then make a personalized plan for how to assess and protect your bone health.

Janee's Story

“Right before Christmas, I discovered a lump (on my breast). I just had my mammogram in May, so I was thinking it was nothing. I had had lumps before, but they didn’t amount to anything. My mom convinced me to go to the doctor to have it looked at. An ultrasound at Valley’s Breast Center led to a biopsy, and in January I discovered it was breast cancer.”

— Janee, patient
VMC's Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic

Valley Medical Center's Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic brought Janee's specialists together to fast-track her treatment. A process that might otherwise take weeks was completed  in a single day, so that Janee's treatment could begin quickly.


Early Detection is Your Best Protection

Make your appointment today in Renton or Covington! Schedule directly through MyChart or see contact information below. Timely appointments are essential to maintaining breast health. Make breast health a priority in your life—do your monthly self-checks and schedule your annual mammogram today with the Breast Center in Renton or Covington.

Regular screening mammography can often detect breast cancer long before it can be felt.

 Every woman is at risk for breast cancer.  One in eight will develop the disease, and 85% of those who are diagnosed have no family history of breast cancer.  This is why experts at Valley Breast Center believe that mammography remains the most effective tool for the detection of breast cancer at its earliest and most treatable stages.

A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray that allows radiologists to look for changes in breast tissue.  Valley Breast Center is proud to provide patients 3D mammography combined with 2D mammography as our standard of care. 

The American College of Radiology, Society of Breast Imaging, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and American Society of Breast Surgeons recommend annual mammography screening starting at age 40 for average risk women.  In fact, with early detection the average five year survival rate for breast cancer is close to 99%. 

Types of Screening 

  • Mammography
  • Breast MRI
  • Breast Ultrasound 

Make breast health a priority in your life—do your monthly self-checks and schedule your annual mammogram today with The Breast Center in Renton or Covington. 

mychart_button.pngDirectly scheduleyour mammogram in MyChart.
( What is MyChart?)

 

The Breast Center at Valley Medical Center follows strict federal guidelines to ensure mammography equipment is safe.  The lowest doses of radiation are used, while capturing the breast tissue images more clearly in three dimensions. 


Advanced Imaging In Your Backyard

Digital mammography at Valley's Breast Center surpasses conventional X-ray film for detecting breast cancer. Digital images offer greater clarity giving our radiologists the best possible views for reading your exam.

Because digital images can be shared online, surgeons and other specialists can consult with little or no delay when necessary. Your mammogram also goes through an additional review using the computerized R2 ImageChecker® to aid the radiologist in identifying suspicious regions. Should you need care beyond routine screening, the Breast Center provides comprehensive services and collaborative, skilled practitioners to support you every step of the way.

The Breast Center at Valley is proud to provide patients 3D screening mammography combined with reconstructed 2D mammography as our standard of care for screening and diagnostic imaging. Our latest Genius 3D mammography™ allows doctors to examine your breast tissue layer by layer. So, instead of viewing all of the complexities of your breast tissue in a flat image, as with traditional 2D mammography, fine details are more visible and no longer hidden by the tissue above or below.

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A Doctor with a Mission

Shannon Markegard, DO, a VMC Family Medicine physician, has experienced both the heartache of a late stage breast cancer diagnosis within her family as well as the victory of early detection.

"My recommendations are influenced by personal experience: My mom died of breast cancer at age 38 and I have numerous patients diagnosed with breast cancer in their 30's and 40's who have beaten this disease. I want to find this cancer early so women have a greater chance of surviving.

"Along with most healthcare providers, I'll continue to recommend annual screening mammograms starting at age 40. Mammograms, along with clinical and self-exams of the breast, are all vital in detecting breast cancer early. For this reason, I refer my patients, as well as myself, to The Breast Center at VMC. I have full confidence in their digital mammogram equipment, technicians and expert radiologists.”

Service Locations

Breast Center

Covington Clinic North
16850 SE 272nd St
Covington, WA 98042
Call 425.690.3688 Fax 425.690.9688

Breast Center

Medical Arts Center
4033 Talbot Road S Ste 470
Renton, WA 98055
Call 425.690.3688 Fax 425.690.9688