Nearly 250,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women this year. As Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October serves as a reminder for patients to undergo an annual screening mammogram at Saint Francis Medical Center’s Womancare or Saint Francis Health Center – Poplar Bluff.
In addition to providing 3-D mammograms for women, the experienced team at Womancare also cares for patients through every step of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
“The possibility of a breast cancer diagnosis is extremely frightening for patients,” says Laramie A. Bryant, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, nurse practitioner at Saint Francis Healthcare System. “Our radiologists and surgeons are on site and able to provide quick feedback on test results and necessary next steps, if needed.”
The process begins with a 3-D digital mammogram, which enables technicians to obtain multiangle breast images. This allows for a more comprehensive picture of the breast tissue without the need for multiple visits. If a mammogram shows a suspicious mass, the patient will typically undergo a breast ultrasound next.
In some cases, breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect certain cancers at an earlier stage.
When a biopsy is necessary, Saint Francis can use stereotactic breast biopsy as a minimally invasive way to evaluate an abnormality with better accuracy, faster recovery, less discomfort, fewer complications and a lower cost.
“What makes Saint Francis unique is our approach to the process,” says Bryant. “We do not leave the patient to fend for herself as she faces a breast cancer diagnosis. We help her make her appointments and ensure she is seeing the right specialists at the right time.”
After diagnosis, treatment continues in conjunction with the Saint Francis Cancer Institute and may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of all three treatments. “Our patients are never alone,” says Bryant. “We are with them every step of the way.”
In the Poplar Bluff area, call Saint Francis Health Center – Poplar Bluff at 573-778-2637 for more information or to schedule a 3-D mammogram. Walk-ins are also welcome.
In the Cape Girardeau area, call Womancare at 573-331-5209 to schedule a 3-D mammogram.