I prefer a proactive approach with my health.  What steps can I take today to ensure better breast health?

I found a lump in my breast today. What should I do first?

Suppose I don’t have a medical provider?

What is a Breast Patient Navigator?

How do I see the Breast Patient Navigator?

I’ve come to St. Joseph’s Imaging for my mammograms for years. What will The Program and Breast Patient Navigator mean for me?

What can I expect at my consultation?

At what age should healthy women begin having regular mammograms, and how often should they have them?

How long does it take to have a mammogram and how/when do I find out the results?

What is the difference between a screening mammogram and a diagnostic mammogram?

How does digital mammography differ from traditional film mammography and why is it preferred?

How do I know if I am at high risk for breast cancer?

What happens if something suspicious is found on my mammogram?

If a suspicious area is found on my mammogram and requires biopsy, what is the chance that it might be breast cancer?

When is an ultrasound recommended, and how does it differ from a mammogram?

When is breast MRI recommended for breast cancer screening?

Why not have an MRI right away instead of a mammogram?


 

 



Q:  I prefer a proactive approach with my health.  What steps can I take today to ensure better breast health?


A:  This depends on your age.  If you are 40 or older, monthly Breast Self Exam (BSE) with yearly Clinical Breast Exams (CBE) and yearly mammograms are recommended.  If you are at high risk for breast cancer you may also have yearly MRI of the breasts. 

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Q:  I found a lump in my breast today. What should I do first?

A:  There are many lumps that are noncancerous but it is important that with any breast change such as a lump, rash or change in your nipple that you make an appointment with your medical provider for a Clinical Breast exam (CBE).

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Q:  Suppose I don’t have a medical provider?

A:  The Program has a Breast Patient Navigator who can perform CBE and order needed diagnostic tests.

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Q:  What is a Breast Patient Navigator?

A:   Our Breast Patient Navigator is a Licensed Nurse Practitioner who will help expedite all aspects of your breast care.  When you require closer breast care follow-up the Breast Patient Navigator will be your guide and advocate.

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Q:  How do I see the Breast Patient Navigator?

A:   Based upon your personal risk factors and/or current breast exam results, you may be referred to the Breast Patient Navigator for a consultation.  You may also request a consultation with her.  An appointment may be made by calling (315)362-8346.  She is located in our Fayetteville office at the Northeast Medical Center.

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Q:  I’ve come to St. Joseph’s Imaging for my mammograms for years. What will The Program and Breast Patient Navigator mean for me? 

A:  Every patient who has their mammogram at SJIA will now have their breast risk assessment score calculated.  The Breast Patient Navigator is available to answer any breast health questions you may have.  If you have an abnormal mammogram, Mary will guide you through the process of additional testing or a biopsy.  She will refer you to the area's breast care experts as needed.

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Q:  What can I expect at my consultation?

A:  During and following the consultation the Breast Patient Navigator will:

  • Provide education specific to your circumstances and help you understand your current diagnosis or risk factors. 
  • Discuss your care and follow-up options.
  • Coordinate care with other providers as appropriate.
  • Expedite scheduling of appointments for additional studies.
  • Facilitate continuity of care between your primary care physician and the breast experts.
  • Keep you and your health care provider informed at each step along the way.
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Q:  At what age should healthy women begin having regular mammograms, and how often should they have them?

A:  Despite the recent controversy, The American College of Radiology and the American Cancer society both recommend yearly mammograms beginning at age 40.

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Q:  How long does it take to have a mammogram and how/when do I find out the results?

A:  A mammogram only takes a few minutes of your time.   Sometimes it is possible to get the results while you are there.  Otherwise, the results will be called to you that day.

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Q:  What is the difference between a screening mammogram and a diagnostic mammogram?

A:  A screening mammogram is a mammogram done when the patient has no breast issues.  A diagnostic mammogram is done when there is a concern such as a palpable lump or breast pain.  There may be additional views taken for the diagnostic mammogram.
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Q:  How does digital mammography differ from traditional film mammography and why is it preferred?

A:  The digital system utilizes a computer instead of a film cassette, allowing for a shorter exam time for the patient.  Magnification, orientation, brightness and contrast of the image may be altered after the exam is completed to help the radiologist see certain areas more clearly. Digital mammography is said to be more sensitive for detecting breast cancer in women under age 50 and for women with mammographically dense breasts.

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Q:  How do I know if I am at high risk for breast cancer?

A:  Your breast cancer risk assessment score will be calculated using the Gail Model when you have a mammogram at SJIA.  If your score is > 20%, you are considered high risk.

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Q:  What happens if something suspicious is found on my mammogram?

A:  It depends on what is found.  You may be called back for extra views or you may be followed more closely (for example, repeat mammogram in 6 months).  You may require a biopsy of the area.

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Q:  If a suspicious area is found on my mammogram and requires biopsy, what is the chance that it might be breast cancer?

A: There is a 20% chance that an abnormal area that requires biopsy will be breast cancer.

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Q:  When is an ultrasound recommended, and how does it differ from a mammogram?

A:  Ultrasound may be recommended to clarify mammographic information such as a lump or breast mass.  It is an imaging technique that bounces sound waves off of internal structures to create an image.

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Q:  When is breast MRI recommended for breast cancer screening?

A:  It is recommended yearly for the following women:

  • those with a lifetime breast cancer risk assessment  > 20
  • positive BRCA mutation
  •  first-degree relative of BRCA carrier, but untested
  • radiation treatment to chest between age 10 and 30 years
  • Li-Fraumeni syndrome and 1st degree relatives
  • Cowden and Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndromes and 1st degree relatives
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Q:  Why not have an MRI right away instead of a mammogram?

A:  There are different screening techniques for different conditions.  For example:  MRI will not show microcalcifications (better seen on mammography) and ultrasound may be better for interpreting cysts/masses than mammography.
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If you or someone you love would like to speak with Mary,
she can be reached at (315) 329-7555 ext. 6419.

 
To Schedule a Mammogram: (315) 452-2004
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