Breast Care Center Services
The Breast Care Center offers amenities that contribute to a comfortable, supportive environment during diagnostic procedures and treatment-option education. These include the services of the Breast Care Coordinator, a private waiting area for breast care patients, individualized attention, specialty beverages, a consultation/ education room, mammopads for a more comfortable and accurate mammogram, and warm gowns and robes.
The Breast Care Coordinator, our care coordinator, helps guide the patient through all aspects of the patient’s breast care. She becomes a familiar and trusted contact who provides referral options and information, assistance in scheduling and wellness information and also helps facilitate our breast cancer support group.
DIAGNOSTIC, MEDICAL AND SUPPORT SERVICES
1. Fully digital screening and diagnostic mammography
- Recommendations for screening: Annual beginning at age 40, or earlier for women with certain risk factors. (More information about mammogram guidelines available here.)
- Digital mammography is a higher resolution (higher quality) image that can see abnormal areas earlier and more clearly than traditional analog mammography. The sooner an abnormal area can be detected, the earlier intervention and treatment can begin.
2. Computer Aided Detection (CAD)
- CAD allows us to have a ”second set of eyes” look at every screening mammogram. In addition to the radiologist reading the exam, the CAD program will review each image and point out areas that the computer sees as a change from a previous exam. The radiologist can then focus additional attention on these areas to determine if additional studies are required.
3. High resolution breast ultrasound
- Breast ultrasound works in conjunction with mammography to take a detailed look at dense or abnormal areas seen on a mammogram. Ultrasound is able to tell if an area of concern is cystic or solid. It is also used to guide the radiologist during interventional procedures such as a cyst aspiration or biopsy.
- We have the two highest resolution systems available today. Both offer superior imaging capabilities, which increase the accuracy of the diagnosis and potentially lessen the likelihood that a woman needs additional studies.
4. Mammography- and ultrasound-guided pre-surgical wire localization
- If a woman has to have a lump removed surgically, a wire is often placed to help guide the surgeon to the exact location, resulting in less removal of normal breast tissue. Depending on how the lesion was best seen, either mammography or ultrasound is used to guide a wire into the lesion.
- If possible, it’s good to have your mammograms and ultrasound performed in the same location as the wire localization. At Northfield Hospital, we offer a complete range of screening, diagnostic, and interventional services, so nearly all of your breast care needs are met in one location.
5. Ultrasound-guided core needle biopsies
- When a dense area is seen on mammography (or a lump is felt by a patient or physician), ultrasound can determine if the lump is solid or cystic. Solid lesions can be normal or abnormal and a biopsy can determine this. Core Needle biopsies take several tiny samplings of the abnormal area that are studied by a pathologist to determine what the actual tissue is and whether further intervention is needed.
- If the results of a breast ultrasound determine that a biopsy is recommended, we can do the biopsy typically the next day and often the same day. By having the original breast ultrasound on the same high-resolution system at Northfield Hospital, the radiologist is able to confidently ensure he is sampling the area of concern to provide the patient with accurate results.
6. Breast Cancer Support Group
- Northfield Hospital’s Breast Care Center offers a monthly support group, for women who are in any stage of treatment or recovery. The group meets the third Tuesday of each month from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Meetings are held at the Breast Care Center. They are free and open to the public. If you have questions, call the Breast Care Coordinator at 507-646-1455.