When you think of your breast health, you may become anxious. Just the thought of the tests—and their results—may put you on edge. You may be tempted to avoid the issue altogether, but avoidance is never the answer.
The medical professionals at the Breast Center at St. Petersburg General Hospital can help. They can explain the tests you need and assist you in gathering information. That’s the first step in helping you guard or regain your health.
In the battle against breast cancer, detecting a problem early is key. The sooner the issue can be treated, the better your chances are for recovery.
- Self-Exam. Monitoring your own breast health is a good start, and you can perform monthly self-examinations at home. If you have any questions about how to do these exams, talk to someone at the Breast Center to learn how.
- Mammogram. If you shudder at the idea of a mammogram, relax. At the Breast Center, we make every effort to address your needs. We’ll provide you with a comfortable gown to wear, and we’ll make the machine friendlier by using cushioned mammo pads. We offer digital mammograms, so you’ll get quick and accurate results. Also, the images will permanently be kept on a computer for future review and comparison.
If your doctor sees a potential problem when reviewing your mammogram, there are some options for diagnosis.
- Biopsy. During a needle biopsy, the doctor uses a needle to remove a tissue sample for testing. The Breast Center offers both stereotactic and core biopsies. Either is fairly quick and is done with local anesthesia, so you can go home the same day.
- Ultrasound. Your doctor may also use an ultrasound to get a better look at your breasts and any suspicious areas.
If your doctor does find cancer, we’ll be with you every step of the way. We’ll help you decide the best course of action and coordinate all your care.
- Surgery, Radiation, and Chemotherapy. If you require surgery, we will refer you to surgeons who understand your situation and won’t keep you waiting. We’ll also offer information about radiation and chemotherapy treatment.
- Support. At the Breast Center, we’ll provide you with resources and help educate you and your family about each part of the process.