The Breast Center at Providence Hospital is a state-of-the art facility staffed by specially trained physicians and other caregivers from multiple specialties who are experts in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Numerous resources are engaged to provide every patient with holistic care in a spiritually centered setting. Our emphasis is on the timely evaluation of the problem, rapid diagnosis and an optimal course of individualized treatment for women and men with breast disease.

Providence Hospital
MD Anderson

Breast Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment

The statistics are sobering: one in eight women will develop breast cancer:

The Comprehensive Breast Center at Providence Hospital is dedicated to the prevention and early detection of breast cancer. A variety of factors influence a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. While all women are at increased risk of developing breast cancer with advancing age, some women are at a significantly increased risk. Risks for developing breast cancer depend on lifestyle traits and identified risk factors.

Know Your Risk
The following risk factors are strongly related to the disease and can alert you and your physician to the need for careful follow-up:

  • A family history of breast cancer, especially in your mother, sister(s) or daughter
  • Age-in general, the older you are, the greater the risk
  • First menstrual period before the age of 12
  • Having a first child after age 30 or never having a child
  • Never breastfeeding
  • Late menopause (after age 55)
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy
  • Being overweight/obese (only after menopause)
  • A history of breast disease that required biopsies

Upon entering the Breast Center, you will also be asked to fill out a High Risk Breast Cancer Questionnaire. This provides information related to your own personal risk of breast cancer based on maternal and paternal family history. It also follows the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for genetic counseling and testing and lifetime risk assessment for breast cancer. Your lifetime risk assessment will be calculated using the Tyrer Cuzick risk model. If your lifetime risk of breast cancer is greater than 20%, additional diagnostic tests may be considered. If you meet NCCN guidelines, you will be offered genetic counseling and testing after your mammogram. If you agree to counseling, you will meet with a health care provider that will review your history and provide information on testing. The test can be collected at that time and sent to the lab. Genetic testing is now considered a preventive test and most insurance providers cover testing based on NCCN guidelines.

Early Detection Saves Lives
While breast cancer cannot be prevented, early detection plays an important role in breast cancer treatment and management. Annual screening mammograms are essential for all women age 40 and older. The Breast Center at Providence will work with you and your physician so that your annual mammogram is as easy and convenient as possible. Your doctor can schedule your mammogram for you, or, if you prefer, you can call us directly at (251) 266-1196 to schedule this important screening procedure.

3D Mammography
In addition to screening mammography, the Breast Center at Providence offers GeniusTM 3D mammography, diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound, stereotactic needle biopsy and ultrasound-guided biopsy. We are committed to education and community outreach, through educational programs and support of breast cancer research organizations.

Providence was one of the first hospitals in Mobile to routinely use ImageCheckerTM computer-assisted diagnostic technology for all screening mammograms. ImageChecker helps ensure that the results of the mammogram are as accurate as they can be.  This technology converts X-ray pictures to digital images, electronically scans them to identify any possible areas of abnormality, and highlights any of those areas for further medical review. Research has shown that ImageChecker can result in fewer false-negative readings and significantly earlier detection of breast cancers—and earlier detection means better outcomes.

You've found a lump in your breast. Now what do you do?

Donít panic. About 90% of breast lumps are noncancerous or benign. The important thing is to get the breast lump evaluated by your physician.

Step 1: Make an appointment with your physician.

Step 2: During the visit, your doctor will perform a clinical breast examination, which includes:

  • Asking you questions about symptoms
  • Examining your breasts, the overlying skin and any nipple changes or discharge
  • Evaluating the deeper tissue in your breasts and armpits

Step 3: If your physician detects a lump, the next step is to determine if it is noncancerous or cancerous. Your doctor may order additional testing including mammography, ultrasound, MRI, a breast biopsy or fine needle aspiration. Learn more here.

Step 4: If testing shows that the lump is benign, or noncancerous, your physician will recommend follow-up care and monitoring. If testing shows that the lump is malignant and you are diagnosed with breast cancer, be assured that the team of breast cancer experts at the Breast Center will be a partner in your journey. With our specially trained staff and our dedicated Patient Care Coordinator, we will assist you in understanding your treatment options and the medical management of breast cancer. Your questions will be answered and your concerns discussed. We will also provide educational, emotional and spiritual support in the days ahead to assist you in understanding and managing your disease.

For more information about the Breast Center at Providence, please call us at (251) 266-2704.

Breast Center Scheduling (251) 266-1196
Breast Center Coordinator Shannon Andrews (251) 266-3577
Patient Care Coordinator Robi Jones (251) 266-2852

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