Our breast disease management team provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care to breast cancer patients, including genetic counseling, endocrine care, and physical therapy. Our board-certified doctors – including breast surgeons, breast cancer medical oncologists, reconstructive surgeon, and radiologists – work as a multidisciplinary team to provide optimum care to breast cancer patients.
In this section you can find information about our expertise in treating patients with breast cancer, our services, and our research.
- Benign breast disease
- Breast cancer
- Reconstructive surgery
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The St. Francis comprehensive approach to breast care begins with early-detection programs. The DeMatteis Diagnostic Center offers mammography, clinical breast examination and self-examination instruction.
Breast MRI is a painless, noninvasive procedure that is extremely helpful in identifying early breast cancer, especially in women with a family history of the disease. The procedure can detect breast cancers the size of a pea even when mammograms or physical exams are normal. Breast MRI is most helpful in patients diagnosed with known breast cancer, for assessment of possible implant rupture, and assessing woman at risk who are carriers of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
With this procedure, surgeons need to remove only a single lymph node for examination-the “sentinel” node, where cancer cells from a breast tumor would travel first. If this lymph node turns out to be free of cancer, the remaining nodes can be left intact and the surgery to remove the tumor is completed. If it contains cancer cells, the remaining nodes are also removed and analyzed.
Advanced Imaging Technology
Breast imaging specialists at St. Francis are now refining and demonstrating the benefits of stereotactic needle biopsy. The procedure uses computer-imaging techniques to guide a needle into the breast to collect abnormal cells from a suspicious area observed on an x-ray. For many women, stereotactic needle biopsy can spare them a more uncomfortable and expensive surgical biopsy. It also allows them to start their treatment sooner.
Innovative Reconstruction Techniques
For women who have had a mastectomy, our surgeons offer innovative reconstruction techniques. A major advance in breast reconstruction is called “skin-sparing mastectomy.” The surgeon removes the inner breast tissue and nipple, leaving a shell of skin in place; then the surgeon fills in the shell with tissue from the woman’s abdomen and later, reconstructs the nipple, resulting in a natural-looking breast.
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Research & Clinical Trials
Doctors in this department are active participants in the cancer and leukemia Group B Project, the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, and other trials to improve the prevention, detection, and treatment of breast cancer.
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