Breast Health Services

Breast Health Experts in Eastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois

Woman who follows routine breast health screenings at AuroraAurora’s breast health services focus on making it as convenient and comfortable as possible for you to seek preventive care for your optimal breast health. Find one of our mammography locations.

Screening Guidelines

The breast health experts at Aurora Health Care recommend the following general breast cancer screening guidelines for women at average risk for breast cancer:

Breast self-awareness: Women are encouraged to develop a general awareness of how their breasts look and feel and to report any changes such as a new lump or mass, dimpling of the skin, swelling or redness, abnormal nipple discharge or a lump in the axilla to their physicians.

While you may have a team of experts caring for you, we understand the sensitive and complex nature of breast health and disease. Many women feel overwhelmed with the decisions that must be made after a breast cancer diagnosis.

That’s why we support you by providing a personal cancer nurse navigator, a registered nurse specially trained in the area of breast cancer. Your navigator provides support every step of the way by acting as your advocate and educator. She also helps you coordinate care and ensures that we address all your concerns.

Clinical breast exam: Annual examination of the breast by a physician or other qualified health care provider as part of a routine physical examination or as part of mammographic evaluation is recommended beginning at age 40.

Mammography: It is difficult to weigh the potential benefits of early diagnosis in a limited number of women against the distress and costs associated with unnecessary additional imaging studies and biopsies resulting from mammographic screening in a larger group of women. However, we feel the benefits of early detection outweigh these risks.

The United States Preventive ServicesTask Force (USPSTF) recommends that women aged 50 and older have mammography every two years. Other organizations recommend screening every year starting at age 40. Aurora recommends average risk women have mammography at least every two years beginning at age 40. Women who are at high risk for breast cancer (i.e. have a family history) may need to have mammograms starting at an earlier age and more often, or other studies.1* 

Women at higher risk due to a strong family history of breast cancer, known genetic mutations associated with an increased risk such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 or a history of radiation therapy to the chest, should consider earlier and more intensive screening. A woman’s risk is best determined in consultation with her primary care physician. Women thought to be at higher risk may benefit from consultation with a genetic counselor.

Most importantly, these are only general guidelines. We encourage you to discuss your personal risk for breast cancer along with the potential benefits, limitations and risks of a screening program with your physician so he or she may make an informed decision about the type of screening that is right for you.

Advanced Diagnostics

Breast imaging: Imaging is an important component of routine breast health evaluation and the diagnosis of breast cancer. Three major types of imaging used include:

  • Mammography
  • Ultrasonography
  • Breast MRI

Breast biopsy: After imaging, the decision may be made to confirm suspected breast disease with a tissue biopsy. During a biopsy, a radiologist or surgeon samples a portion or all of the suspicious tissue. A pathologist examines the tissue sample for cancer cells and makes the diagnosis.

Breast MRI: MRI can be used to screen women with a hereditary risk of developing breast cancer or for women who have dense breasts or scar tissue in which a mammogram may be unclear. Breast MRI is also helpful in determining the extent, size and distribution of newly diagnosed breast cancer.

Cancer Nurse Navigator

While you may have a team of experts caring for you, we understand the sensitive and complex nature of breast health and disease. Many women feel overwhelmed with the decisions that must be made after a breast cancer diagnosis.

That’s why we support you by providing a personal cancer nurse navigator, a registered nurse specially trained in the area of breast cancer. Your navigator provides support every step of the way by acting as your advocate and educator. She also helps you coordinate care and ensures that we address all your concerns.

Breast Cancer

If you or a loved one has a concern related to breast cancer or are at high risk to develop breast cancer, please contact a breast care center. Learn more about Aurora's breast cancer program.

1*. Resources: United States Preventive Task Force, American Cancer Society