Posts Tagged ‘breast cancer treatment’

The Importance of Regular Breast Cancer Screenings

breast cancer screenings

Cancer is a heartbreaking illness that is very difficult to treat and incredibly painful to go through. Based on 2010-2012 data, 39.6% of Americans are diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime. There are several forms of cancer that can develop many different ways, and a few ways to take breast cancer screenings.

Breast cancer is a form of cancer that develops from breast tissue. It is most common in women over the age of 40 but also affects younger women as well. Men also have a risk of developing breast cancer, although the rate of breast cancer seen in men is far lower than the rate of breast cancer seen in women. In the United States, less than 5 percent of women with breast cancer are younger than 40. Breast cancer rates are highest among women over the age of 70. With any form of cancer, it is better to detect the problem earlier on before it escalates further and becomes harder to treat.

There are several ways to check if breast cancer is present. One way to check yourself for breast cancer is to do a self-examination once a month. Self-examination is the process of an individual looking for physical or visual changes in the breasts. To do a self-examination, your breasts should be dry and there should be no lotions or other similar products on your fingers. Find a comfortable couch or bed and lay down flat on your back. Use the pads, not the tips, of your index, middle, and ring fingers. Start from the outer areas of the breast and work your way towards the center, carefully feeling for any lumps that might exist. If you feel anything, do not panic, for many of these lumps turn out to be non-cancerous.

Self-examinations are just one way to check for breast cancer, but the best and most effective way to screen yourself for breast cancer is by making an appointment with your doctor and scheduling a mammogram or breast ultrasound. Even if no lumps are felt by the self-examination, women over the age of 40 should schedule these breast cancer screenings regularly. Always keep an eye on your health and be sure to check with your doctor if you come across anything concerning. The best way to fight cancer is to detect it early.

Peninsula Radiology urges you to do a monthly breast self exam.  If you or a family member require guidance to find a qualified breast health specialist in your area, please contact one of our seven locations for help.  

Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital Offers Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 4.22.20 PMRiverside Shore Memorial Hospital now offers ultrasound-guided breast biopsy to patients on the Eastern Shore. Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy is a quick, nonsurgical office procedure for obtaining tissue samples from suspicious breast abnormalities.

A suspicious area in the breast may be found by mammogram or may be large enough to be felt upon examination.  In order to determine if the mass is benign or malignant, a sample of the mass must be obtained.  Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy uses a hollow needle to obtain a tissue sample.

This method is a safe, effective and accurate way to diagnose breast problems, and in some instances is preferred over surgical biopsy.

“The procedure is less invasive than surgical biopsy, leaves little or no scarring and can be performed in about an hour”, explained Dr. William Marshall, Medical Director of Radiology at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital.   “By offering this advanced procedure, we eliminate the need for Eastern Shore residents to travel to multiple centers to receive their diagnosis.  We have the capabilities right here, close to home.”

In ultrasound-guided biopsy, a radiologist will first numb the skin and the affected area of the breast with a local anesthetic.  Using radiation-free sound waves, the ultrasound device produces a real-time image of the mass inside the breast.  The image allows the radiologist to guide the needle to the exact spot of the mass.

The collected tissue sample will then be reviewed under a microscope by a pathologist to determine if the suspicious area is malignant or benign.  Because most breast masses are benign, this low-impact biopsy method is often the last procedure that is needed for a suspicious mass, and patients can avoid more invasive surgery.  Aftereffects of the biopsy are minor and might include slight bruising or bleeding;  most patients can resume normal activities in 24 hours.

“This advanced diagnostic technology lets us quickly and accurately diagnose conditions and diseases.  The sooner a diagnosis is made, the sooner treatment can begin,” stated Dr. Marshall.

What is Interventional Oncology?

Newport News Doctor

Dr. Janice M. Newsome, M.D.

Interventional Oncology is the delivery of image guided treatments for patients with cancer. These treatments allow for the destruction of tumors without having to remove them.

The ability to use imaging to see inside the patient and then precisely deliver high doses of chemotherapy or radiation directly to the tumor allows not just effective treatments but also reduces side effects and preserves the normal unaffected tissue.

At Peninsula Radiology Associates, we use advanced imaging MRI, PET and CT to quickly and accurately diagnose cancer. The expertise of our radiologist not only delineate the type and extent of cancer but also selects and plans the best treatments and follows the effects closely.

By placing a small tube into the blood vessel feeding a tumor, Interventional Oncology doctors can precisely deliver various high dose chemo drugs or radiation directly into the tumor. Occasionally tiny clotting agents are used to stop the blood flow causing the tumor to shrink and die.

Extreme heat (radiofrequency ablation) or extreme cold (cryoablation) can also destroy tissue. Interventional Oncology doctors can use imaging to place small needles directly into a tumor within an organ. The needle is connected to heat or cold generator which precisely kills the tumor but does not cause damage to the healthy surrounding tissues. This kind of thermal ablation can be used to shrink a tumor making it possible for surgical removal when resection was not previously an option.

Pain caused by cancer spreading to the bones, especially to the spine can be successfully treated by minimally invasive techniques. Balloon kyphoplasty has been shown to provide significant relief of pain and suffering for most cancer patients Interventional Oncology offers these patients a procedure where bone cement is injected through a needle directly into the affected fractured vertebral body. Improving and preserving the quality of life for cancer patients can be achieved.

Interventional Oncology is a cutting edge field and more sophisticated therapies are discovered every day. Each patient can be assured of a creative innovative, personalized approach to their care when seen by the Interventional Oncology department at PRA.

We are pleased to work with a multidisciplinary team of hard working clinicians to offer our oncology patients a variety of therapy combination ensuring all aspects are addressed.