For many women, the potential risk of breast cancer can lead to long, difficult periods of worrying, waiting and uncertainty. That’s why the surgeons and staff at Great Lakes Surgical Associates assure our patients of the quickest process possible. When a patient calls for breast care they are scheduled to meet with one of our surgeons as soon as possible. The surgeon will help you make the right choice of diagnostic and surgical procedures. There are many new techniques available to detect problems sooner than ever before, and surgical techniques that greatly minimize discomfort and disfigurement while maximizing your result.
When detected early, breast cancer is a treatable disease with good survival rates. Great Lakes Surgical Associates offers the latest diagnostic and treatment options to ensure every woman has the best chance for a long and healthy life.
In years past, breast biopsies were done only by using an open surgery procedure. A patient was required to go into an operating room, put under anesthesia, and a large incision was made in the breast in order to take out the abnormal area or lump. Today, open breast biopsy is rarely needed. There are more viable options for women – less painful with less recovery time, allowing them to get back into their day to day lives sooner.
What are the Types of Breast Biopsy Offered?
Ultrasound Guide Mammotome: The Mammotome’s main purpose is to sample the suspicious breast tissue that has been detected. The entire sampling procedure takes only 20 minutes and requires the use of only a small amount of local anesthesia. Many women are able to return to work the same day that they complete the procedure right in our offices!
How does it work? By using imaging methods such as X-ray, mammogram, or ultrasound, a breast lump can be detected, even in its earliest stages. Using the same imaging methods, the physician guides a Mammotome probe into the suspicious area of the breast to gently collect the abnormal tissue through a small, 1/4 inch incision in the breast.
Stereotactic biopsy: During stereo imaging, two-dimensional digital images of your breast are taken from two different angles. Both images are sent to a computer for image analysis. The computer compares the data from each image and calculates the three-dimensional location coordinates for your breast abnormality. With such precise information to guide the biopsy needle, your doctor can accurately sample breast tissue.
What to Expect During a Stereotactic Biopsy: Your breast is numbed, and you are positioned for stereotactic mammography. Some compression is used to keep your breast still. Several pairs of images are taken. A small cut is made in your breast skin, so the needle can enter your breast. Your doctor uses the image-guided needle to target the breast abnormality. More images are taken to confirm that the needle is in the right place. Then using vacuum assisted core biopsy, breast tissue is collected for examination.
Once one of the above procedures is chosen and completed, the biopsy is sent to the pathologist for evaluation under a microscope. The results are reported back to the patient by their surgeon as soon as the pathologist is finished with them – typically 6-7 days.
Today’s women and men have the advantage of rapid, accurate sampling of the breast abnormality, helping to alleviate the worry and apprehension of a breast cancer diagnosis. It’s important to remember that on average 80% of biopsies come back non-cancerous. In the case a cancer diagnosis is the reality, the quick and early diagnosis can be key to successful treatment.
What if my biopsy is positive for cancer?
If a breast cancer diagnosis is made, be assured that our surgeons will provide state-of-the-art care. The vast majority of women with breast cancer can be treated with breast conservation, meaning removal of the breast will not be necessary.
One in eight women or 12.6% of all women will get breast cancer in her lifetime. Breast cancer risk increases with age and every woman is at risk. Every 13 minutes a woman dies of breast cancer. Seventy-seven percent of women with breast cancer are over 50. Early detection of breast cancer offers the best chance for survival. Ninety-six percent of women who find and treat breast cancer early will be cancer-free after five years!