State suspends Belleville Imaging breast cancer screenings - KMOV.com

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State suspends Belleville Imaging breast cancer screenings

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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) - Thousands of women are questioning their mammogram results after the State of Illinois suspended operations at Belleville Imaging, a radiology center in southern Illinois. 

Belleville Imaging has screened about 2,000 patients for breast cancer and state regulators suspended them because of problems with mammogram imaging, saying the images did not meet quality standards.

Reviewers disputed the findings of nine out of 30 exams, eight of which should have resulted in follow-up appointments. 

In a letter sent to patients, the manager of Belleville Imaging, David Horace, says a patient had a mammogram between May 13, 2016 and August 31, 2016, they should have it reviewed.

All images have been sent to Memorial Hospital. But the letter notes images from 2015 may not be available because the digital storage system failed. Radiologists at Memorial Hospital recommend getting another one.

"We would simply recommend repeat imaging. Any site that is not meeting quality standards of the American College of Radiology, I would recommend repeating those films," said Dr. Nicholas Hilpipre, the least breast radiologist at Memorial Hospital.

Brenda Meadows was one of the women to receive that letter in the mail two weeks ago.

"I've been going to Belleville Imaging since I retired in 2006. For the past 10 years, I thought I was doing the right thing."

Meadows had two exams during the time in question and said at the time she was given the all clear, but now she is questions the results.

"I was upset knowing I had issues in my back in May and now this, that the last two mammograms are in question. Yeah, I was very concerned."

Meadows stated that although Hilpipre is advising all patients to get another mammogram, she is on Medicare which only pays for one screening per year. Without insurance, the cancer screening costs a couple hundred dollars.

The hefty price tag is one that most women said they will pay because they know how important the mammogram is for their health.

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