Breast Center Visitors

Who Visits the Breast Center?

You may be referred to our center when you or your doctor notices a change in your breasts.

What to Expect When You Visit

When you arrive, you will be greeted by our team. You will get help with paperwork, your vital signs will be checked and we will review your medications. We will talk about any changes in your breasts and you will be examined by our medical team. If we identify any concerns, we will set up further tests for you (mammogram, ultrasound or MRI). These can often be done the same day or over the next few days. The results will be discussed with you by the clinician that you first met.

Part of your evaluation is an assessment of your personal risk. If you have close relatives with breast and/or ovarian cancer, we offer consultation with the High Risk/Cancer Genetics Clinic, which has a talented medical oncologist. Genetics testing is available through this program. Many people who carry a gene that increases the lifetime risk for breast or ovarian cancer are followed by our staff and the genetics clinic and have routine exams at the breast center.

If You Need A Biopsy

Based on your test results, you may need a biopsy. This involves getting tissue for further analysis. A biopsy may be done in a number of ways (see more). But our surgeons and mammographers will help you understand your options and recommend the best method for you.

We arrange for your biopsy and check on your progress. When the results are final, you will sit down with our team and review the report. Most often, questions are resolved and only routine follow up is necessary. If further evaluation is needed, plans will be made to take the next steps.

If Breast Cancer is Found

If your breast biopsy shows cancer, you have a great team to help you. Our doctors, nurses and social workers will review your case in detail and help you understand your options. We find that this coordinated approach gives you the best care. A specialist from the three branches of medicine that are often needed to treat breast cancer will meet with you (surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology). Each doctor will review your condition and do an exam.

The entire team will meet to review all your test results, possible treatment plans and your personal situation. The team will provide a recommendation regarding your treatment and how to best support you.

Many times the first step is surgery. Most women need medical treatment (Chemotherapy or Radiation) before or after surgery. If chemotherapy is needed, we provide this at Cambridge Hospital or Everett Hospital. If radiation treatments are needed we most often collaborate with the radiation oncologists at Mount Auburn Hospital.

Emotional Support

This can be a difficult time for most people and we know a serious health problem can affect you emotionally. You can talk with our mental health specialist and social worker to get support and guidance based on your specific situation.