Advanced digital mammography – Digital mammography is different from conventional mammography in how the image of the breast is acquired and, more importantly, viewed. The radiologist can magnify the images, increase or decrease the contrast and invert the black and white values while reading the images. These features allow the radiologist to evaluate microcalcifications and focus on areas of concern.
Breast Ultrasound – This technique uses sound waves that cannot be heard by humans to examine the breasts. This helps specialists to see if the growth found in the breast is a solid mass or a cyst.
Breast MRI – A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the breast is a noninvasive method to create detailed pictures of the breast and surrounding tissues. It may be done in combination with mammography or ultrasound. However, it is not a replacement for mammography.
Ultrasound-guided needle biopsy – In an ultrasound-guided breast biopsy, a tiny needle guided by an ultrasound is used to help guide the radiologist's instruments to the site of the abnormal growth. A breast biopsy is performed to remove some cells - via the hollow needle - from a suspicious area in the breast and examine them under a microscope to determine whether the area of concern is benign or malignant.
Stereotactic biopsy – A stereotactic biopsy occurs when a physician strongly suggests the use of a non-surgical method to conduct a breast biopsy. A needle is guided by ionic radiation to the site of the area of concern and cells are extracted for biopsy. Stereotactic guidance is used in two types of procedures:
- Core needle (CN) which uses a large hollow needle to remove one sample of breast tissue per insertion.
- Vacuum-assisted device (VAD) which uses a vacuum powered instrument to collect multiple tissue samples during one insertion.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy – A Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLN biopsy) is done under the theory that suggests that cancer cells spread in an orderly fashion directly from the malignant tumor to the Sentinel lymph node(s) and then to other lymph nodes within the body. A SLN biopsy is taken by removing the Sentinel lymph node and then examining to determine whether cancer cells are present.
A negative SLN biopsy suggests that cancerous cells have not spread to the lymph nodes. A positive SLN biopsy suggests that cancerous cells may be present in other lymph nodes around the same area, which can help to determine the stage of the cancer. This information will also help physicians when trying to determine a treatment plan for the patient.
Digital bone densitometry – A noninvasive procedure used to determine the extent of bone loss and assess a patient's risk of osteoporosis by measuring bone mineral density. During a digital bone densitometry, also known as a bone density scan, an imaging device sends low-dose beams that examine soft tissue and bone to determine the patient’s bone mineral density. There is no pain associated with this procedure and patients can return to their normal activity immediately.
Clinical Trials – access to appropriate clinical trials. When a proven standard-of-care treatment seems to provide insufficient attack against a patient’s cancer, qualified patients can be enrolled in ongoing community-based trials.
Dedicated Breast Cancer Conference – each diagnosis of breast cancer is discussed in a multi-specialty conference that includes a specialized team of cancer experts. Recommendations by these experts regarding further testing and treatment are relayed to the patient via the physician or Breast Patient Navigator.
Dedicated Breast Surgeon – highly trained and dedicated breast surgeon that specializes in minimally invasive technology.
Breast Cancer Patient Navigator – expert breast technician and patient advocate who assists patients upon being diagnosed with cancer while serving as a liaison throughout the continuum of care. The patient navigator redefines the patient experience and ensures quality outcomes by combining knowledge and skills with support and compassion.