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Breast Health

Your OMC healthcare team will help you with everything from scheduling breast exams to post-operative care.

Preventive Services

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in American women. And while some women’s genes place them at risk for breast cancer, every woman can be proactive by taking protective measures and avoiding recognized risk factors.

Olmsted Medical Center is here to help you understand, and follow, the steps you should take to maximize your breast health. In addition to the expertise offered at your annual exams, we share our recommendations and guidelines for preventive care in our HealthNotes print newsletter, our Health e-Living electronic newsletter, and our online patient education library.

Self-care

If you notice any breast changes listed below, let your healthcare provider know. These could be warning signs that need further attention:

  • a lump or firm spot in your breast or under your arm
  • differences in the size or shape of your breast
  • redness, swelling, or scaly spots on your skin
  • nipple discharge

In addition to self-exams, OMC teaches you how to best take care of your body to help protect against breast cancer and reduce breast cancer risk factors. Your healthcare team will also help you determine a personalized schedule for breast health screenings, such as clinical breast exams and mammograms.

Diagnostic Services

Olmsted Medical Center offers a state-of-the-art breast-imaging facility. Designed with our patients’ comfort and privacy in mind, our new facility delivers both peace of mind and personalized service.

The tools recommended for breast cancer screening change with age:

  • 20s and 30s. If you are in your 20s and 30s, it is recommended that you consider having a clinical breast exam every three years. A clinical breast exam (CBE) is a physical breast exam done by a provider during an office visit.
  • 40 and older. If you are 40 or older, OMC recommends that you consider having a mammogram and a clinical breast exam every year. A mammogram is a technique that uses low-dose x-rays to look for changes in breast tissue. It’s the most accurate method of early detection of breast cancer.

In addition to clinical breast exams and mammograms, Olmsted Medical Center offers a wide range of specialized on-site diagnostic services for your breast health. These include:

  • Ultrasound-guided biopsies and stereotactic biopsies: an ultrasound-guided biopsy is done when an abnormal mass is found in the breast. A stereotactic biopsy is done when abnormal calcification is found in the breast. Both of these biopsies are able to tell your healthcare provider whether the abnormality is benign (not cancerous), at a high-risk for turning cancerous, or cancerous.
  • MRI scans: these scans are used for screening people who are considered “high-risk” or who already have cancer. In women who have cancer, an MRI can tell us if there are other worrisome areas in the breast besides the cancer that has already been detected.
  • MRI biopsy: this type of biopsy is used when an MRI scan has detected more worrisome areas that your healthcare provider is unable to biopsy using ultrasound or stereotactic methods.

It is important to talk to your primary healthcare provider regarding when you should either be getting mammograms or other screenings.

Surgery

Olmsted Medical Center offers two main options for breast cancer surgery:

Breast-conserving (lumpectomy): in this common form of breast cancer surgery, part of your breast containing the tumor (the “lump”) is removed from the breast. Lymph nodes may also need to be removed. A lumpectomy typically is outpatient surgery. Following surgery, all of the tissue is sent to our pathology lab to be reviewed by a pathologist, who then sends the results to your surgeon.

Mastectomy: In this operation, the whole breast is removed. During the procedure, the surgeon will make an incision across your chest, and remove the affected breast and lymph nodes, if needed. A mastectomy requires an overnight stay in the hospital.

Following a lumpectomy or mastectomy surgery, your healthcare team will work together with you to recommend further treatment, such as hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, or both. Reconstructive surgery is also an option to improve the appearance of the affected breast or to create a new breast. Reconstructive surgery may be done at a future date, or at the time of your initial surgery.

Need more info? Talk with your primary healthcare provider about breast health services that might be right for you.


Pat’s Mammography Story

“Since I started going to OMC’s Women’s Health Pavilion, the difference couldn’t be more striking. Warm. Personal. I may have gone into OMC as a patient, but I felt like I came out as a friend.”

Stephanie Jakim, MD, Talks about Breast Cancer

We invite you to listen to Stephanie Jakim, MD, talk about breast cancer, guidelines for mammography, and the importance of breast imaging.


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