Dr. Jill Wilkens looks closely at the image of a mammogram in front of her. Gray lines connect white splotches against a dark background. She carefully studies each area to determine if it could be cancer or just an area where tissue overlapped due to the compression of the breast during the exam.
She’s been doing this for more than 17 years and has specialized training in women’s imaging.
“I am focused on women’s breast health because that is what allows me to provide the best care,” explained Dr. Wilkens. “Most women won’t meet the person who is reading their images, but their qualifications really do make a difference.”
Women should ask three questions about their radiologist:
- How much experience do they have?
- Do they have fellowship training in mammography?
- Are they board certified in mammography?
“The breast is unlike any other structure of the body,” Dr. Wilkens explained. “And unlike other imaging, a mammogram involves compression, which causes tissue to fold over on itself. This is where training and experience make a difference.”
In fact, a study published in the journal Radiology confirmed that radiologists who specialize in women’s imaging are more likely to identify cancers and less likely to order additional tests.
Like all of Ella Health’s radiologists, Dr. Wilkens is fellowship trained and board certified. She began her career in pediatric radiology but she always had an interest in women’s imaging. Early in her career, she worked with a women’s imaging center, which fostered her interest in mammography.
“I am very passionate about educating women about their health care and offering them advanced technology coupled with a relaxing, comfortable, positive experience.”
Women’s imaging has changed significantly in recent years, first with a move from film to digital technology and most recently to 3D mammography, which is offered by Ella Health. Dr. Wilkens said this new technology offers greater accuracy.
“This accuracy makes a real difference to women because we are better able to detect breast cancers at earlier stages,” she said. “It also enhances our ability to determine if something we see on the image isn’t cancer, which means women are less likely to be asked to come back for more testing.”
Take “Just One” step for your health. Ella Health promotes an approach to wellness that works. Take just a step at a time to make a long lasting difference. Get an annual mammogram, do a monthly breast self -exam or try a daily set of pelvic perches to strengthen your pelvic floor. Come into an Ella Health Center to get your Ella Essentials reminder card.