Going Beyond Exams for Life-long Health
There are some key essentials to caring for your breasts. Yearly clinical breast exams with a trained healthcare professional are a must. You also have to know the texture of your breast tissue—smooth, bubbly or bumpy like a bag of frozen peas. The best way to know this is by doing monthly self-breast exams.
Between yearly clinical exams, doing monthly self-exams helps you check for lumps that are unusual for you or for changes in the skin or nipple. If you detect changes, see your doctor for further examination. Most breast changes are benign (not cancerous).
In addition, women age 40 and older should have annual mammograms for a better view of the breast tissue and ducts.
Breast Health Services at Virtua
Virtua provides the latest preventive, diagnostic and treatment options to maintain breast health and treat benign breast disease or breast cancer, including:
- Digital mammograms read by board-certified and fellowship-trained radiologists, as well as breast ultrasound and MRI
- Free cancer screening program for under- or uninsured residents of Burlington and Camden counties
- Cancer risk assessment and genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancers
- Treatment services including traditional and minimally invasive surgeries for non-cancerous breast lumps or breast cancer
When a suspicious breast lump or area is found, it's necessary to do further testing to make an accurate diagnosis. To help ease patients' anxiety about this process, the Virtua Cancer Program's Breast Navigation service provides patients with navigators to quickly connect them with skilled breast surgeons and assist them in getting answers to questions.
In addition, women diagnosed with breast cancer will be connected with an oncology nurse who helps them through breast cancer from diagnosis to recovery. Shortly after diagnosis, an oncology nurse calls each patient to help her make an appointment with a surgeon.