Patient Information




Breast Clinic: A clinic is held every week at the Breast Center for individuals without private insurance. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 670-2652.

Screening Mammography: Mammography that is performed in asymptomatic women. The current American Cancer Society recommendations is a screening mammogram in all non high risk women at 40 years of age and yearly thereafter. A mammogram can detect about 90% of breast cancers, usually in their earliest stages before a lump can be felt.

Diagnostic Mammography: Mammography that is performed in addition to or in lieu of a screening mammogram when there is a particular lesion in question on clinical breast examination, a previous mammogram, ultrasound or MRI. Also performed for women who have had recent breast surgery (< 2 years). Standard views may be done, as well as additional magnification or compression views.

Ultrasound: This test uses high frequency sound waves (no radiation) to examine the breast. It may be used to gain more information about a finding on mammogram or MRI, in women with dense breasts, in pregnant women or young women (<40 years old). It is useful in distinguishing between solid and cystic lesions. It is not used alone as a screening test in women ³ 40 years old.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An MRI uses magnetic waves (no radiation) and a contrast agent. It may be used to gain more information about a finding on mammogram, sonogram, women with a high genetic risk of breast cancer, or women with breast implants. It is not used as a standard screening test in average women.

Fine Needle Aspiration: 
For cysts: A thin needle is placed in the cyst and the fluid is removed. Not all cysts require this aspiration and whether this is to be performed is discussed at the time of appointment. If the fluid is not worrisome (nonbloody), it is not checked for cytology.

For solid lesions: A thin needle is placed in the palpable area of concern and few cells are removed. The specimen is sent to cytology. A positive result confirms a malignancy but a negative result may be negative or inconclusive and depends on each individual situation.

Core Biopsy: Anesthesia using a small needle is applied near the site of abnormality. Small tissue samples are removed by using a larger needle and the tissue is then examined by pathology. This procedure may be performed with or without the guide of a mammogram (stereotactic core biopsy) or ultrasound (ultrasound guided core biopsy).

Stereotactic Core Biopsies: A mammogram is performed at the time of biopsy in order to locate the abnormality and guide the biopsy needle to the correct position if a breast lump or lesion cannot be felt and is seen only on mammogram.

Ultrasound guided core biopsy: An ultrasound is performed at the time of biopsy to locate the lesion and guide the biopsy needle if the lesion is best or only seen on ultrasound or it is too small to core biopsy without the assistance of an ultrasound.

MammoSite Brachytherapy: When a lumpectomy for breast cancer performed, it is usually followed by radiation therapy to the whole breast. The time period for traditional external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) is everyday (Monday-Friday) for 7 weeks. Currently, for a selective group of patients who fit the criteria, another option is partial breast irradiation (brachytherapy) using the MammoSite catheter. This method delivers radiation to the tissue surrounding the site of the cancer from inside the lumpectomy cavity while minimizing the amount of radiation delivered to healthy tissue. This form of radiation is completed after twice a day treatments for 5 days.

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