Founder of Belladonna Breast Imaging Center wants to make a difference in women’s lives

Bellevue resident Marita Acheson, M.D. founded the newly opened Belladonna Breast Imaging Center (BBIC) to make a difference.

Bellevue resident Marita Acheson, M.D. founded the newly opened Belladonna Breast Imaging Center (BBIC) to make a difference.

Knowing that early detection of cancer can lead to a prolonged lifespan in patients, Acheson worked to create a facility where she could offer state-of-the-art technology and a warm atmosphere to put her patients at ease. She opened BBIC in Bellevue.

“This has been my dream for a long time coming now,” Acheson said, as she sat in the lobby of her new space. “I like to think of this center as a place where women can come and feel safe. Women feel enough anxiety when having a mammogram or biopsy, it’s our job to provide a friendly and calm atmosphere that may help alleviate some of those fears.”

The center incorporates integrated digital technology used for screening mammograms and diagnostic examinations, ultrasound exams with shear wave elastography, ultrasound guided and stereotactic biopsies, fine needle aspirations, cyst aspirations and pre-operative guide-wire localizations.

The England-born Acheson was formally president of the Breast Imaging Associates at Overlake Hospital Breast Health Center for nine years. She has now opened the only independent female owned center dedicated entirely to breast imaging services in the region.

Acheson has gained such a respected reputation for her patient care, a previous patient of hers travels all the way from Utah to Bellevue each year for her annual mammography screening.

“I build a relationship with my patients that revolves around trust,” she explained. “They are the reason I work in this field (of medicine).”

Acheson encourages all women, regardless of ethnicity, to schedule their annual mammogram, whether at her clinic or another in the area.

“It doesn’t matter if a new patient speaks another language. We will work with them. We want to make the entire experience is as simple, yet effective as possible,” she explained. “When I opened this new center, I had the opportunity to handpick my entire staff to ensure a high level of service for my patients. Together, we have created something very unique for this area and its right here in Bellevue.”

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 192,500 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. in 2009. Acheson reads over 7,000 breast imaging exams annually using the best in digital technology and recommends women begin annual mammography screening at the age of 40, unless breast cancer runs in the family or symptoms appear. The most common symptoms of breast cancer include lumps, dimpling of the breast tissue and fluid out of the ducts.

“My hope is that more women would learn about the importance of scheduling your annual mammogram and self-breast exams. Early detection is key. I can’t emphasis that enough,” she said.

Belladonna Breast Imaging Center PLLC is located at Eastside Professional Center, 1810 116th Avenue NE, Suite 101, Bellevue. Appointments can be made by calling 425-974-1044. For more information visit

Lindsay Larin can be reached at 425-453-4602.