Patient Education

Metro St. Louis and Southern Illinois Breast Health Centers would like to be your partner in health care. Feel free to ask your questions and share your concerns with us. We will work with you to develop a wellness program for the care and treatment you need.

We welcome you to our practice and look forward to caring for you.

Metro St. Louis and Southern Illinois Breast Health Centers provides a full range of medical services including the following:


Breast Self-Exam

Breast cancer affects a significant number of women each year. Most breast cancers are slow-growing, but there are types that are aggressive, which is why early detection is essential. Regular screenings are the best way to detect breast cancer in its early stages. The most common recommended screenings are mammograms and doctor-performed clinical breast exams. ...


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Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second-most-common cancer, and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths, among women. Most breast cancers are slow-growing, but there are types that are aggressive, which is why early detection is essential. Breast cancer is defined by the type of breast cells in which it begins, and is generally categorized as invasive or noninvasive. Breast cancer can also affect men, but it is 100 times more common in women. ...


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Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer affects a significant number of women each year. It is the second-most-common cancer, and the second-leading cause of cancer death, among women. Most breast cancers are slow-growing, but there are types that are aggressive, which is why early detection is essential. Regular screenings are the best way to detect breast cancer in its early stages. The most common screenings are mammograms and doctor-performed clinical breast exams. ...


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Breast Lesions

A breast lesion is an abnormality in the breast tissue that usually manifests itself as a lump or swelling. Breast lesions are typically found through self exams, exams by physicians or through mammograms.

Breasts are made up of fibrous tissue, fat and milk producing glands. Breasts may change over time due to different levels of hormones in the body caused by menstruation, pregnancy, breast feeding and menopause. Birth control and hormone treatments may also cause changes in the structure of the breast. ...


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Fibroadenomas

Fibroadenomas are breast lumps composed of fibrous and glandular tissue. They are the most common of benign breast tumors and, unless considered "complex," meaning they contain cysts, enlarged lobules or small bits of calcium, do not increase the risk of getting breast cancer. Often discovered when a woman does a breast self-exam, fibroadenomas are usually painless, and may not need treatment because they sometimes shrink or disappear on their own. ...


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Breast-Conservation Surgery

Unlike mastectomy, in which the entire breast is removed, breast-conservation surgery saves as much of the breast as possible by removing only cancerous tissue and a small margin of healthy tissue. The advantage of this type of surgery, which is also referred to as partial, or segmental, surgery, is that most of the breast remains intact, reducing the need for reconstruction. Whether breast-conservation surgery is possible depends on the size of the tumor, and whether the cancer has spread to nearby tissue or lymph nodes, or other parts of the body. If post-surgery radiation therapy will be part of the treatment, small metallic clips that show up on X-rays may be placed inside the breast during surgery to mark the area that will receive the radiation. ...


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Benign and Malignant Breast Cysts

Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs within the breasts. They may be malignant (cancerous ) or benign (noncancerous); may occur alone or in clusters in one or both breasts; and may be tiny and unnoticeable, or large and painful to the touch. Benign cysts occur in the breast's glands and, occasionally, connective tissue, whereas cancerous cysts form in the ducts or lobules. Benign breast cysts are quite common, occurring in about half of all women, most commonly when they are perimenopausal (between the ages of 40 and 50). Breast cysts can cause uncomfortable symptoms, and sometimes indicate the development of cancer. ...


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Breast Exams

Breast exams are physical and visual inspections of the breasts. They are an important part of an yearly checkup because breast exams can help identify any unusual lumps or suspicious growths around the breasts. In addition, a doctor can teach a patient how to perform these exams at home every month in order to recognize any changes on their own breasts. Breast exams can be a very useful tool for the early diagnosis of breast cancer. ...


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Mastectomy

A mastectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the breast(s) in a patient with breast cancer. It is one of the most commonly used and effective options for treating breast cancer because it removes all traces of cancer, and reduces the risk of its recurrence.

Types of Mastectomy

There are several different mastectomy procedures designed to eradicate the cancer but retain as much of the natural breast as possible. Some of the most commonly used techniques include: ...


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Surgical Breast Biopsy

A surgical breast biopsy is performed to remove a sample of tissue from a solid mass to determine whether it is cancerous or noncancerous.

A surgical breast biopsy may be performed after abnormalities have been detected during a self-exam, or after a mammogram or other imaging test has been performed. There are two types of surgical biopsies available for removal of suspicious tissue and its subsequent microscopic examination; one is incisional and the other is excisional. ...


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Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

A stereotactic breast biopsy is a procedure in which a mass, such as a nodule or tumor, is removed from a patient's breast through a needle and suction device. This procedure is recommended when a mass can be seen on a patient's mammogram but not her sonogram. The abnormalities removed during the biopsy are typically calcium deposits, but sometimes they are nodules or small tumors.

Preparing for the Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Before a stereotactic breast biopsy, the doctor will perform a physical exam and review the patient's medical history. The patient should notify the doctor is she may be pregnant because the radiation used by the mammography equipment can be harmful to the unborn child. ...


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Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy

A sentinel lymph node biopsy is a diagnostic surgical procedure performed to determine whether cancer has spread into the lymphatic system from its original site. The sentinel node is the first node to which the cancer spreads after leaving its site of origin. In the case of breast cancer, the sentinel node is located under the arm. ...


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Breast Abscess Drainage

A breast abscess is a a painful mass on the breast. It presents as a pink to reddish swelling, warm or hot to the touch. Like other abscesses, it is filled with fluid and pus. Pus is a combination of bacteria, white blood cells the body sends to eradicate the bacteria, and dead tissue. The accumulation of these materials causes inflammation and pain. ...


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