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Services

The Breast Center provides screening and diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasounds, stereotactic biopsies, pre-operative needle localizations and much more. Click the links below to learn more about each service.

Screening Mammography

Women over 40 are encouraged to have a screening mammogram every year.  A screening mammogram is for those who do not have a specific breast concern or symptom, such as a lump.  If you have a lump or other concern, your provider will want to perform diagnostic testing.  A screening mammogram is a special x-ray that makes a picture of the inside of the breast. Mammograms use radiation, but a very small dose. A screening mammogram is used as the best way for most women to find cancers early, when they are small, and are very treatable. 

3D Mammography

We use digital mammography which provides a clearer and more accurate image of the breast and aids in accurate diagnosis or early stage breast cancers. 3D Mammography, also known as Tomosynthesis, is a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic breast imaging tool. During the exam, an x-ray arm sweeps over the breast, taking multiple images in seconds.

Diagnostic Mammography

If a screening mammogram has found a suspicious area, you will be called back for a diagnostic mammogram. During this exam, more images are taken than in a screening mammogram. The x-rays will be more focused on the area of concern.

Ultrasound

An ultrasound uses sound waves to make images of the breast.  An ultrasound is performed when abnormal findings are found on a mammogram.  An ultrasound is also suggested when a woman has dense breast tissue that might hide breast abnormalities.

Bone Density Testing

A bone-density test is a way to measure the strength of your bones. This test can help to bone loss, called osteoporosis, so that it can be treated and fractures can be prevented.

MRI

Breast MRI uses magnetic fields to create an image of the breast.   It is more invasive than a mammogram, because a contrast agent is injected into an IV before the procedure.  MRI is a very sensitive and useful for assessing invasive carcinomas.  It is also used to assess high-risk patients who have more than a 20 percent chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetimes based on genetics and a strong family history of breast cancer.

Biopsy Services

A biopsy is the only sure way to diagnose breast cancer.  A biopsy removes some cells from the area of concern so they can be checked under the microscope by the Pathologist. 

There are several different biopsy types. The choice of which type to use depends on several different things like how suspicious the tumor looks, how big it is, and the location in your breast.

Fine Needle Aspiration: The doctor uses a very small needle attached to a syringe, and aspirates a small amount of tissue for the Pathologist to examine under the microscope.

Core Needle Biopsy: The doctor uses a slightly larger needle to obtain small cylinders or cores of breast tissue from the area of concern.  There are usually 3-6 tissue samples obtained to send to the Pathologist for review. 

  1. Stereotactic core needle biopsy - A stereotactic biopsy uses x-ray equipment and a computer to analyze pictures of the breast.   The computer pinpoints exactly where in the abnormal area the needle tip needs to go.  You will lie on your stomach on a special table, and your breast will be stabilized with light compression to prevent movement.  This type of biopsy is often done to biopsy suspicious microcalcifications and some masses.
  2. Stereotactic core needle biopsy under Tomosynthesis - It uses tomosynthesis images to identify the target for taking biopsy samples.  It is an alternative to stereotactic biopsy.  You will be sitting in a chair with your breast under slight compression to prevent movement.
  3. Ultrasound guided needle biopsy - Your Radiologist will hold the ultrasound device against your breast to see the area of concern.  Ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of the inside if the breast.  The Radiologist then removes a sample of tissue with the needle in the device.  You will lie on your back or be tilted on your side for this biopsy.
  4. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guided biopsy - An MR–guided biopsy uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to help locate a breast lump or abnormality and guide a needle to remove a tissue sample for examination under a microscope.  This type of biopsy is used for areas of concern that cannot be seen by mammography or by ultrasound.  You will lie on your stomach for this biopsy.  Be sure to tell your Physician if you are claustrophobic. 

After the Radiologist has taken out all of the tissue samples needed with the biopsy, a very small, safe marker or clip will be inserted at the biopsy site.  This clip cannot be felt and is used to mark the area biopsied for future mammograms.

Needle Localization

This procedure can be performed under ultrasound or by mammography. The radiologist inserts a very thin wire into the breast where the cancer is a long with the clip placement. This wire serves as a road map for the breast surgeon to take out tissue surrounding the wire.  Local anesthesia is used with this procedure.

Lymphedema Therapy

The risk of lymphedema increases when the lymph nodes and vessels are surgically removed, or disrupted, such as with scar tissue after surgery and /or radiation treatments. This results in the buildup of excess fluids and causes mild to severe swelling.  Lymphedema can be treated by Physical or Occupational Therapists using specific methods. Our therapists will work closely with you to collect baseline data that can be used should lymphedema occur.

Lymphoscintigraphy

This procedure is used to identify the sentinel lymph node. (The closest draining lymph node near a breast tumor).  A radioactive colloid is injected into the breast with several small needles. When the lymph nodes take up the substance they can be identified by the Geiger counter the Breast Surgeon uses in Surgery. Once they are identified, they are removed for examination by the Pathologist.  The sentinel lymph node is typically the first node to receive cancer cells from a breast tumor.

Nurse Navigation

The Breast Center Navigation program is here for YOU. Our certified Navigators are members of the healthcare team who help patients “navigate” the healthcare system and get timely care. This a personalized service tailored to each patients need.  You never have to feel as if you are facing anything alone, with a nurse navigator just a phone call away. Navigators help coordinate patient care, connect patients with resources, and help patients understand the healthcare system. They offer continued support even when the treatment is completed.