The diagnosis of breast problems can usually be done by taking a history from the patient and having a physical examination by one of our experienced breast surgeons. Mammograms and ultrasounds are valuable aids to the diagnosis of breast problems. Mammograms are also recommended annually to screen all woman over the age of 40 for abnormalities in the breast that cannot be felt. When further diagnostic methods are needed, our surgeons have many techniques available including an office breast ultrasound unit.
A variety of breast biopsy procedures are needed to help determine the diagnosis. We offer or help coordinate a number of Non-Surgical Biopsy Techniques:
- Fine Needle Aspiration Biospy ( FNAB )
- Ultrasound Guided Biopsy
These three techniques are all outpatient procedures. All can be done quickly with the patient able to resume normal activities immediately afterwards.
Surgical Biopsies are occasionally required where incisions are actually made on the breast. These biopsy techniques include the wire localized biopsies that are particularly useful when microscopic calcium deposits noted on the mammogram are of concern. These surgical biopsies are done in the various operating rooms in our community and can be done with local anesthetic sedation, or full general anesthesia, but are almost always outpatient procedures.
If breast cancer is diagnosed by one of the biopsy techniques, various breast therapeutic procedures and treatment plans are available. Some of these treatment plans start with surgery and others start with chemotherapy and finish with surgery. Our breast surgeons are part of a breast cancer treatment team that meets weekly to plan the breast treatments for each person. This team concept ensures that the latest and most effective therapies are available including investigational therapies.
- Breast Lumpectomy
- Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
Helpful Breast Cancer Links
American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society’s (ACS) website is an indispensable tool for cancer patients. The information is user friendly and comprehensive.
Breast Cancer Research Foundation
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation funds clinical and genetic research into the causes and treatment of breast cancer.
Choose the site of cancer in which you are interested, and you’ll find dozens of articles sorted by category.
OncoLink® was founded by University of Pennsylvania cancer specialists, and provides comprehensive information about specific types of cancer.