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Breast Care


Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in Illinois women - and screenings save lives. Luckily you and women like you in Clinton and the surrounding counties have a vital resource minutes from home in the St. Joseph's Hospital Breast Care Program.

3D Mammography

HSHS St. Joseph’s Breese has upgraded its mammography equipment to include SenoClaire, GE Healthcare’s breast tomosynthesis solution designed with three-dimensional imaging technology. This state-of-the-art technology detects breast cancer at the earliest possible stage.

SenoClaire, which was approved by the FDA in 2014, uses a fast, low-dose X-ray sweep around the positioned breast with multiple exposures while removing the potential motion from the tube. This helps to reduce blur and increase image sharpness.

You'll find a comprehensive program of convenient and compassionate breast health services to screen, detect, diagnose and treat breast disease, including:

•    Screening and diagnostic digital mammograms
•    Breast ultrasound
•    Stereotactic guided biopsy
•    Ultrasound guided biopsy
•    Sentinel node biopsy
•    Consultations and second opinions
•    And more

To schedule a mammography appointment, call St. Joseph's Hospital Central Scheduling at (618)526-5396.

If you're diagnosed with breast cancer, you'll have access to specially designed services including:

•    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
•    And more

For more information about the Breast Care Program at St. Joseph's Breese, call (618) 526-5460.

What special training and certification does the breast care team have?
St. Joseph’s Hospital Mammography Services are accredited by the American College of Radiology – an honor awarded only to facilities that achieve high practice standards. You’ll be cared for by specially trained and certified technologists and radiologists who average more than 20 years’ experience in interpreting mammography images.

What's the benefit of a hospital-based breast care program?
The Breast Care Program offered through St. Joseph’s Hospital gives you the advantage of an integrated, multi-disciplinary breast care team of radiologists, pathologists, technologists and breast surgeons who collaborate at one convenient location for faster diagnosis. It’s a coordinated approach to breast care, for both well care and cancer care. To ensure the care you receive is the most comprehensive it can be, the team also collaborates with family practice physicians, gynecologists, oncologists and plastic surgeons.

What if I need breast surgery?
If you need surgery, your 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.

What is a digital mammogram?
A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray of the breast that 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 assess breast health in women with no symptoms who are having a routine breast evaluation. Diagnostic mammograms are used to diagnose breast disease in women with symptoms of a breast problem such as dimpling, a change in texture of the skin of the breast, a lump or discharge from the nipple.

What is ultrasound?
Most lumps and abnormalities turn out to be benign, not cancerous. An ultrasound helps determine if a lump is a benign cyst. 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.

What is stereotactic biopsy?
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.

What is ultrasound guided biopsy?
An ultrasound guided breast biopsy uses 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 take a sample of breast tissue for further diagnosis. It is also faster and less painful than traditional surgery biopsy.

What is sentinel node biopsy?
Sentinel node biopsy determines whether any cancer cells are present in axillary (underarm area) lymph nodes. The goal 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.