St. Joseph’s Hospital offers a unique and highly coordinated breast care program. We know there is anxiety associated with maintaining your breast health, especially when a problem occurs. Our comprehensive program brings convenient and compassionate breast health services to screen, detect diagnose and treat breast disease in women in Clinton and surrounding counties. St. Joseph’s Hospital Mammography Services are accredited by the American College of Radiology. The American College of Radiology awards accreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards. Our technologists are specialty trained and certified and our Radiologists average over 20 years experience at interpreting mammography images.
The multi-disciplinary breast care team of radiologists, pathologists, technologists and breast surgeons collaborate at one convenient location to speed the time toward diagnosis. It is our goal to provide a rapid turn-around time for our patients presenting with breast abnormalities.We take a coordinated approach to breast care, for both well care and cancer care. Our team also collaborates with family practice physicians, gynecologists, oncologits, and plastic surgeons to ensure that the care you receive is the most comprehensive it can be.
Here is a list of the services available to our patients:
- Screening and diagnostic digital mammograms
- Breast ultrasound
- Stereotactic guided biopsy
- Ultrasound guided biopsy
- Sentinel Node Biopsy
- Consultations and second opinions
Services specifically designed for women diagnosed with breast cancer include:
- Surgery including sentinel lymph node dissection
- Reconstructive surgery
- Rehabilitative services by specialty trained Physical Therapists
- Breast cancer support groups
- Lymphedema program
- Dietary consultation
- Look Good, Feel Better Program
If you require surgery
Care is coordinated with board-certified breast surgeons. With early detection, most women are candidates for a lumpectomy, where the surgeon removes only the lump and a margin of tissue around it, sparing the breast.
Digital Mammography Services
A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray of the breast. It can detect a breast lump nearly two years before it can be felt. A routine mammogram is the main reason most women visit St. Joseph’s Hospital Breast Care Program. Screening mammograms evaluate breast health in women with no symptoms, and are used for those who seek routine breast evaluation. Diagnostic mammograms are used to diagnose breast disease in women with symptoms of a breast problem: dimpling, or a change in texture of the skin of the breast, a lump, or discharge from the nipple.
The majority of lumps and abnormalities turn out to be benign, not cancerous. A way to determine if a lump is a benign cyst is to perform another imaging procedure called an ultrasound. Ultrasound works by sending high frequency sound waves into the breast. These sound waves produce a pattern of echoes that are changed into an image of the inside of the breast. Ultrasound is painless and can distinguish between tumors that are solid and those that are filled with fluid (cysts). It can also help radiologists evaluate lumps that can be felt but cannot be easily seen on a mammogram.
In this procedure, a computer-guided needle pinpoints a lump precisely, allowing removal of only the tissue needed for examination. A stereotactic biopsy is performed under local anesthesia, and usually takes between 30 minutes and one hour. Results of the relatively simple outpatient procedure are generally available within two working days.
Ultrasound Guided Biopsy
An ultrasound guided breast biopsy is performed by using ultrasound to locate the area in question. Unlike procedures that require the use of X-Ray, ultrasound-guided biopsy requires no exposure to radiation. This procedure is very useful when suspicious changes can’t be seen by a mammogram or an ultrasound. This type of biopsy is a minimally invasive way to obtain a sample of breast tissue for further diagnosis. It is also faster and less painful than traditional surgery biopsy.
Sentinel node biopsy
A procedure performed that determines whether any cancer cells are present in axillary (underarm area) lymph nodes is the sentinel node biopsy. The aim of the sentinel node biopsy is to identify the node that receives lymph drainage directly from the cancer area in the breast. This “node on watch” is identified when a tracer substance is injected into the area around the breast cancer, and the lymph flow carries it to the sentinel node. A small biopsy is then done on that node using local anesthesia. Only if the sentinel node is positive is more surgery required to remove that node and other lymph nodes tested.
For Your Breast Health
Become familiar with your breasts by routinely checking them for signs and symptoms of disease. Please follow these guidelines as recommended by the American Cancer Society:
Monthly breast self-exams: All women should perform monthly breast self-exams starting at age 20. It should be done a few days after the last day of your period. If you don’t have periods any more, do your exam on the same day each month. Look for lumps, thickenings, nipple discharges, skin changes or any other signs of change.
Clinical breast exams: You should have a physician examine your breasts every three years if you are between the ages of 20 and 40, and every year after you are 40.
Mammograms: All women 40 and older should have a mammogram every year for the rest of their life. If there is a history of breast cancer in your immediate family (such as a mother, aunt, or sister), you may begin having mammograms as early as 35. If you feel you are at increased risk for breast cancer, talk to your physician about when you should begin having mammograms.
We are here to help! Call us to find out more about our breast care program or send us an email requesting information. For more information call 618-526-5460 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule an appointment – call St. Joseph’s Hospital Central Scheduling at 618-526-5396.