The best way for women to care for their breasts is with yearly clinical breast exams performed by trained healthcare professionals. By age 40, annual mammograms are recommended. The medical community is re-examining the role of breast self-exams. While these exams are a valuable tool for detection, they can also cause unnecessary fear in women.
Virtua offers women the latest preventive, diagnostic and treatment options to maintain breast health and treat benign (non-cancerous) breast disease and breast cancer.
Preventive Breast Health Services
Virtua provides a range of services to help women maintain breast health throughout their lives including:
- Classes and support groups on topics including breastfeeding and breast cancer
- Free cancer screening program for under- or uninsured residents of Burlington and Camden counties
Virtua also offers cancer risk assessment and genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancers.
Breast Diagnostic Services
When a suspicious area or lump is found in the breast, it's necessary to do further testing to determine if it's cancer. To support women with suspicious mammograms, the Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Program Breast Navigation service quickly connects these patients with breast surgeons.
It's important to remember that 80 percent of abnormal mammograms are benign. But to know for sure, a breast specialist needs to make a diagnosis. To help ease patients' anxiety about this process, Virtua connects women with an Access Navigator through our Breast Care Navigation service. The navigator helps women get answers quickly by connecting them with a Virtua breast specialist. Specifically, personal Access Navigators:
- Help women set up appointments with breast specialists in a timely manner
- Assist women in getting answers to questions
To contact an Access Navigator, call (856) 325-3676.
Breast Care Navigation Program
Access Navigation is just one piece of the Virtua Breast Care Navigation Program. Women diagnosed with breast cancer will be connected with a Nurse Navigator, an oncology nurse, who help patients through the breast care process from diagnosis to recovery. Within 48 hours, a breast navigator calls each patient to help her choose a surgeon.
To make a diagnosis, a surgeon does a biopsy to remove cells or tissue from the suspicious area in the breast. A pathologist (doctor who determines the cause of disease) checks this tissue under a microscope to see if there are any cancer cells present and makes a diagnosis.
Virtua breast surgeons offer traditional and minimally invasive biopsy techniques and image-guided procedures including:
- Fine-needle aspiration for removing fluid or cells
- Core needle biopsy for removing larger pieces of tissue
- Surgical biopsy for removing part or all of a suspicious area
- Stereotactic biopsy using x-ray for guidance
- Ultrasound biopsy using sound waves for guidance
- Wire or needle localization to guide a path directly to a suspicious area for biopsy
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for guidance in targeting suspicious areas that can't be felt or seen with a mammogram or ultrasound
Breast Treatment Services
Virtua's breast surgeons are dedicated to breast surgery. They offer minimally invasive and breast-conserving options for the surgical treatment of non-cancerous breast lumps and breast cancer.
Treating breast cancer requires a team of specialists because the care often includes surgery, radiation, drug therapy, nursing care, physical therapy, and emotional support. Learn more about the Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Program, which provides these and other cancer treatment services in a coordinated and supportive environment.