COMPREHENSIVE BREAST CARE
The scope of “comprehensive breast care” includes everything from screening mammography to referral for surgery or oncology, and all that lies in between. It is an ideal approach for both patients and clinicians, who can work together more efficiently, accurately, and effectively to ensure patients have the absolute best possible outcome. That means things like customizing a schedule for high risk patients and fast-tracking all aspects of their care. It means increased access to biopsy services, and that all patients leave with a care plan, not questions. As diagnostic clinicians, the scope of our practice extends from imaging modalities, correlative physical exam, to biopsy and completion of pre-surgical staging.
We have you covered, in a supportive and caring atmosphere. And, with the latest 3D mammography revolutionizing early detection, it is our hope that few of you will ever need our full services.
CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
Our new facility in Chico, California is one of only six Certified Quality Breast Centers of Excellence in California (the highest certification level) by the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers.
Our facility is accredited by the American College of Radiology in Mammography and Stereotactic Breast Biopsy, and we are in compliance with the FDA through the Mammography Quality Standards Act.
What Does This Mean for Our Patients?
It guarantees that all our physicians (radiologists) are board-certified and have particular expertise in breast imaging — they are not just people who wander in once a week or month. These physicians have undergone special training and/or fellowships in women’s imaging, because they have a genuine interest in this area of study. Just as important, our technologists must undergo special training as well. Together our staff makes up a team of specialists that are truly committed to “excellence” in the field.
It means that exams other than mammography are also held to accreditation standards. No matter what exam or procedure you need done, you can rest assured it will be done by highly qualified staff, in a first-class facility.
3D MAMMOGRAPHY: THE NEW GOLD STANDARD
Our Genius 3D Mammography™ from Hologic is simply revolutionizing how breast cancer is detected. It is the first and only clinically superior 3D mammography approved by the FDA, and now considered the new “Gold Standard” for all women, not just high- risk patients.
Your breast is three-dimensional. Your mammogram should be, too.
Genius 3D Mammography™ allows doctors to examine your breast tissue layer by layer, where fine details are more visible and no longer hidden by the tissue above or below. This makes it possible see masses and distortions associated with cancers and pre-cancerous cells significantly better than the “flat” image produced with conventional 2D mammography.
WHY 3D MAMMOGRAPHY?
3D Mammography detects 41% more invasive cancers, which are the ones that have spread outside of the milk duct into surrounding, healthy tissues. With early detection, the 5-year survival rate is almost 100%.
3D Mammography reduces false positives by up to 40%. False positives cause unnecessary emotional trauma for the patient and their families.
3D Mammography is clinically proven to be superior to traditional 2D mammography in extensive research published by the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).
If you are a woman over age 40, you could be at risk for breast cancer. If you have a family history of breast cancer, your physician may recommend you begin screening sooner.
Eight out of nine woman diagnosed have no family history of the disease. This is a troubling statistic, one that reminds us why it is so important for all women to take advantage of routine mammography screenings, especially now that 3D technology is available.
Doctors agree that early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. Successful treatment and survival rates for breast cancer patients are dramatically affected by early detection, as the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent.
Fortunately, for the majority of women mammography confirms that no signs of breast cancer are evident. However, if an abnormality is seen by your radiologist, you will need follow-up tests to check whether or not the finding is breast cancer. One of the follow up tests is called Ultrasound, (or sonogram) which most women associate with determining the sex of a baby during pregnancy. And, much like an abdominal ultrasound, the technologist uses a wand and lubricant to examine the area of the breast. It is completely painless and takes very little time.
An Ultrasound may find a benign breast condition (non-cancerous) or show that breast tissue is normal. Learn more about benign breast conditions. If the test does show a problem, you may need additional work-up.
A Breast MRI is a very sensitive exam that can provide additional information about your breast structure which may not be visible with mammography or ultrasound and may not be felt during a clinical breast exam. MRI utilizes a combination of a magnetic field, radio waves, and computer processing to derive images and can be used to screen women who are at high risk for developing breast cancer due to a strong family history or those who carry the breast cancer genes BRCA 1 or 2. It is also used to stage cancer in women recently diagnosed, to assess the response to chemotherapy in women being treated prior to surgery, and to assess the breast tissue in women with implants.
If you have an abnormal mammogram, the follow-up tests you will have depend on the recommendations of the radiologist. Sometimes, a follow-up mammogram, also called a “diagnostic mammogram”, or breast ultrasound is done. If the finding does not look like breast cancer (for example, it could be a non-cancerous cyst), no further testing is needed and you return to your regular schedule of breast cancer screening. In some cases, additional tests such as a breast MRI may be recommended.
If the finding looks suspicious, the next step is a biopsy to remove some of the tissue to check for cancer. Your radiologist will recommend what kind of biopsy should be done.
After having a biopsy, 70% of patients receive a call from our nurse navigator with good news: the biopsy is negative for cancer. For the 30% of patients with concerning pathology, they return to Halo Breast Care Center.
If the biopsy shows no cancer, you return to your regular schedule of screening with clinical breast exams and mammograms. If the biopsy confirms cancer, there will be a host of options to consider with your doctor, depending on what kind of cancer and what stage it is classified.
While millions of lives have been saved due to advances in cancer treatment, patients now face far more complex treatment decisions and follow-up options than in the past. Helping patients navigate the maze of the medical system and all its minutia of detail and potential for miscommunication is crucial. We are happy to offer “Nurse Navigation” services to our patients, who will find that it greatly reduces anxiety and frustration. Here are some of the services provided:
Helping patients move from diagnostic imaging to biopsy.
Support patients during biopsy and while they wait for pathology results.
Facilitate prompt communication of results to each patient.
Track outcomes of all biopsies and facilitate appropriate referrals.
Serve as a liaison between patients and medical staff when needed.
Assist patients as they move through the health care system.
Connect patients with resources and support systems
Assist patients in finding financial resources to help with health care costs
Assist in ongoing patient education.
Provide risk assessment profiles when needed to other physicians.