Breast Cancer Risk Assessment

Early detection of cancer increases the number of treatment options available and the potential for a cure. Simply put, it saves lives. That’s why Portsmouth Regional Hospital is committed to bringing high-quality breast and diagnostic screening services to the women of the Seacoast.

Our team focuses on treating the whole patient—your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Our breast care specialized staff will offer you support and education throughout your treatment, and will remain part of your care team while you are a patient at The Breast Center. We encourage you to ask questions; we’re here to help.

Nationally Accredited with Advanced Technology

We offer the highest quality patient care, including:

  • Timely and accurate diagnosis, results of screening exams are provided within 24 hours, diagnostic exam results are personally provided by the radiologist reading your exam at the time of your appointment
  • Same day Biopsy appointments available
  • Imaging and Breast Cancer Patient Navigators to help you through the process efficiently and to keep you informed
  • State-of-the-art imaging and diagnostic services
  • A multi-disciplinary team approach to your care, with specialists from breast surgery, oncology, radiology, plastic surgery and other disciplines
  • Integrative Care Services
  • Full array of breast health services for you and your personal physician through one centralized service

Your Breast Care Team

Our team of highly skilled and experienced breast care experts will answer your questions and provide accurate results in a timely and caring manner. The Breast Center at Portsmouth Regional Hospital’s breast care team includes a comprehensive team of highly trained, specialized clinicians including radiologist, a mammography technologist, an ultrasound technologist, MRI technologist and breast care navigators.

The technologists will work with your radiologist to complete all necessary screening and diagnostic procedures. If necessary, the breast imaging navigator will help you schedule additional breast imaging tests or a breast biopsy.

If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, the breast imaging navigator will connect you with a breast cancer nurse navigator who will work closely with you and your doctors so you will know your options and receive the treatment, care, education and support you need.

Learn more about how we care for breast cancer at Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

Quality and Accreditation


The Breast Center at Portsmouth Regional Hospital has been awarded Accreditation from the American College of Radiology in Mammography, Breast MRI and Stereotactic Breast Biopsy for achieving high practice standards in image quality, personnel qualifications, facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs. The Breast Center also holds certifications as a Medicare Mammography Screening Facility, Softer Mammography provider and is FDA Certified in Mammography.

Complete Diagnostic Breast Services

The Breast Center at Portsmouth Regional Hospital offers a full range of breast imaging and related tests for the diagnosis and treatment of cancers in women.

Let’s face it: No woman looks forward to her mammogram. But, with our advanced technology and compassionate team at the Breast Center at Portsmouth Regional Hospital, we strive to make your mammogram experience as comfortable as possible. We offer 3D screening and diagnostic mammograms. Mammograms can be used for screening (for patients with no symptoms), as a diagnostic tool (for patients with breast symptoms), or as a way to monitor breast treatments. A screening mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer early.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) recommends a yearly mammogram for women age 40 and older unless otherwise advised by your primary care provider.

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This test uses sound waves to produce an image of breast tissue. It is most commonly used following a mammogram to evaluate a specific area of concern. The American Cancer Society does NOT recommend its use alone as a screening tool (e.g., instead of a mammogram).

What to expect at your Breast Ultrasound Appointment

  • Wear a two piece outfit to your exam, you will be asked to remove clothing from above the waist and change into a gown.
  • You will lay on your back with your arm raised above your head.
  • A water based gel will be applied to the area to be examined. This allows sufficient contact between the skin and the transducer.
  • These images are done in real-time and will be reviewed by the technologist and Radiologist at the time of your appointment.
  • Plan a time of one hour for a breast ultrasound examination. The actual exam will take between 30-45 minutes.
  • Any questions or concern you can contact the Ultrasound Department at 603-433-5190 option 3

Like all MRIs, a breast MRI uses a magnetic field to create detailed images. Combining a mammogram with a breast MRI is the most complete method of breast imaging available. That is why it has become the standard of care for women at high risk of breast cancer, including those who have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancers.

How to prepare for your Breast MRI Appointment

  • Try to schedule your exam during days nine to fourteen of your menstrual cycle; The Technologist will be able to get the best pictures during this time.
  • If you have had a recent mammogram at another facility please bring your images to the appointment
  • Wear a two piece outfit to your exam, and clothing from the waist down has no metal zippers, snaps or belts. You will change into a gown, and will be asked to remove clothing from above the waist
  • All glasses, hearing aids, dentures and jewelry will have to be removed.
  • During the exam you will lie face down on the MRI exam table, there is no compression used for this procedure.
  • Contrast agent will be given during the exam. This contrast agent is injected half way through the exam.
  • Plan a time of one and half hours for a breast MRI examination to allow changing of clothes and filling out forms. The actual exam will take between 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Any questions or concerns you can contact the MRI Department at 603-433-5190 option 2
  • To save time at your appointment, download our Breast MRI Screening forms.

These advanced techniques allow the Radiologist at Portsmouth Regional Hospital to quickly and accurately get samples of breast tissue for evaluation. Stereotactic biopsy uses a combination of mammography and minimally invasive techniques to get samples of tiny calcifications or spots in the breast. Ultrasound guided biopsy enables physicians to get a sample of breast tissue as small as your fingernail with high accuracy.

Our patient centric biopsy services are guided by our imaging services navigator who will help you through the process of what to expect. All biopsies are offered on an outpatient basis and are available for same day appointments at The Breast Center at Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

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Breast tissue is made up of a mixture of fibrous and glandular tissue and fatty tissue. Your breasts are considered dense if you have a lot of fibrous or glandular tissue but not much fat. Density may decrease with age, but there is little, if any, change in most women.

Finding out if you have dense breasts can only be determined by the radiologist who reads your mammogram. It is important to know if you have dense breast tissue as it can make it more difficult for doctors to spot cancer on mammograms. If you have dense breasts, please talk to your doctor. Together, you can decide whether additional screening exams are right for you.

The breast patient navigator guides and supports patients after having an abnormal mammogram finding from a diagnostic mammogram or breast ultrasound. She will coordinate and guide you through informed decision making about future follow up imaging appointments or a breast biopsy.

In the event you need to have a breast biopsy, our breast patient navigator will be by your side through the process including follow-up care.

  • Wendy Blood, RT(R)(M), CN-BI
    Breast Patient Navigator

    Wendy is an experienced mammogram technologist and has been with The Breast Center at Portsmouth Regional Hospital for 27 years. She has an advanced certificate Breast Patient Navigation from the National Consortium of Breast Centers, Inc.

The Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator is a professional whose clinical nursing expertise guides patients, families and their caregivers to informed decision-making and supportive care across the breast cancer continuum.

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Bone density testing is available for both men and women of all ages and helps determine the risk for osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become fragile and break easily. It can occur at any age, in both men and women, but is more common later in life. There are treatments to slow down the bone loss that leads to osteoporosis. Therefore, early detection is critical to lessening the impact it can have on overall health and quality of life.

Breast Care Related Resources

Learn more about these and other related conditions in our online Health Library.

Visit the American Cancer Society