Fewer than 30 breast cancer facilities nationwide can call themselves a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence, and now Charleston is home to one of them.

Trident Breast Care Center recently claimed that level of certification from the National Consortium of Breast Centers. The facility is the only one in South Carolina to receive the recognition.

Wesley Fox, Trident Health director of medical imaging, said the honor speaks to Trident's more than 35 years of experience in breast care.

"This certification really puts us in another tier," Fox said. "We have a superb team. Our staff is fully equipped, and our technology is cutting-edge. Women have the right to make a choice of where they want to have their procedures and screenings performed, and not every facility is the same."

The National Consortium of Breast Centers bases the recognition on several quality standards criteria involving both preventative and post-diagnosis care. To be named a Center of Excellence, a breast care center must perform above the 25th percentile on 90 percent of those.

"They look at your entire process of turnaround time of results, from the mammography to pathology results: how quickly we can interpret those and expedite patient care," Fox said. "Really, the turnaround time is what distinguishes us from other centers, and it plays a huge part in helping with patient anxiety."

Another one of the center's assets is its nurse navigator, Penny Fanning, who guides patients through the treatment process, Fox said.

"It ensures that no one falls through the cracks or feels lost," Fanning said.

The recognition is the most recent for Lowcountry breast care centers. The MUSC Hollings Cancer Center and Roper Breast Care Center have received accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. Trident Breast Care Center and East Cooper's Breast Center are American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence.