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Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center receives Breast Imaging Center of Excellence accreditation by American College of Radiology

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center has received the designation of Breast Imaging Center of Excellence and the renewal of a three-year term of accreditation for mammography, breast ultrasound and stereotactic breast biopsy for its breast cancer services in Detroit and at the Karmanos Cancer Center in Farmington Hills. This designation is the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR).


Sharon Helmer, M.D.

“We are pleased to have received this special designation and three-year accreditation from the ACR,” said Sharon Helmer, M.D., clinical service chief of the Karmanos Imaging Department and medical director of Breast Imaging at Karmanos. “We want our patients to know that we’re dedicated to providing the highest level of care when it comes to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.”

Peer-review evaluations, conducted in each breast imaging modality by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field, have determined that Karmanos has achieved high practice standards in image quality, personnel qualifications, facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs.

Renewing accreditation for the mammography, ultrasound and stereotactic breast biopsy services at the two outpatient treatment locations goes hand-in-hand with providing the most comprehensive cancer services to patients, according to Dr. Helmer.

“We recognize the distinct needs of every cancer patient,” said Dr. Helmer. “Our certified and experienced technologists understand our mission to create an environment where the patient knows they are receiving the best care possible.”

Karmanos performed almost 25,000 mammograms and breast ultrasounds in 2009 and more than 21,000 in 2008. Statistics for 2010 have not been finalized. The center also performed more than 840 stereotactic and ultrasound-guided breast biopsies in 2010; 850 in 2009; and more than 730 in 2008.

Mammography is an imaging test that uses a low-dose X-ray system to examine breast tissue. A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to make a picture of the tissues inside the breast. In stereotactic breast biopsy, a special mammography machine uses ionizing radiation to help guide the radiologist's instruments to the site of the abnormal growth. Mammograms, ultrasounds and stereotactic breast biopsies are used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.

The Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (BICOE) designation is awarded to breast imaging centers that achieve excellence by seeking and earning accreditation in all of the ACR’s voluntary breast-imaging accreditation programs and modules, in addition to the mandatory Mammography Accreditation Program.
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The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center is accredited by The Joint Commission.
If members of the public have any quality-of-care or safety concerns, they may notify The Joint Commission at 630-792-5800.