You’ve probably heard this statistic: One in eight women will get breast cancer.
For women, breast cancer is the second most frequent cause of death for women in the U.S., following lung cancer. Skin cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among American women. Men can get breast cancer, too, although it’s not very common.
Cancer begins when the body starts to produce abnormal cells. Our bodies typically create new cells whenever they are needed, but sometimes the cells grow out of control and look unlike normal cells. They form a mass called a tumor. If the cells in the tumor are like regular healthy cells, the tumor is called benign. If the cells are unlike regular healthy cells, they are called malignant.
As in all cancers, the body site where these abnormal cells come from gives its name to the cancer. So if you have breast cancer, the abnormal cells started in your breast. Just as other cancers, these cells can invade other areas and create new tumors. This spread is called metastasis.
Your first day with us starts with your screening. For many this is where the process ends. The screening is pronounced normal and we see you in a year. For some, abnormalities are found and you are called back for diagnostic testing. This testing takes place within one week of our finding any abnormalities.
This generally involves a follow up mammogram or an ultrasound. This is often a nervous time. Our imaging coordinators work with you. Our coordinators have worked with patients for years and understand that the process can be fraught with anxiety. Our team is at-the-ready to anticipate all of your concerns.
If there are any questions from diagnostic testing, we then order a biopsy. This happens quickly (with 72 hours of the diagnostic testing) Once your biopsy occurs, a lead nurse navigator will call you directly with results.
Our nurse navigators make it their personal mission to explain what to expect next. They have worked with patients for years and have given our center the reputation for personal care. You will have your own nurse navigator providing valet service to you throughout your time with us.
Navigators are a patient’s first line of contact following a diagnosis,” says Tina German, R.N., a certified breast patient navigator. “My job is to guide patients on their journey to survivorship.”
After a positive biopsy, within 48 hours, you will be matched with and visit one of our breast surgeons.