Breast Care Center

Overview

Welcome

Comprehensive breast care in one convenient location.

The Breast Care Center at Lovelace Women’s Hospital is here for you every step of the way – from 3D MAMMOGRAPHY(R) and diagnostic testing to treatment and aftercare of cancer and non cancer-related breast health issues. We are accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers for providing the highest level of quality breast care to our patients.

Our experienced breast care support specialists will guide you through mammograms, clinical exams and treatments, and we will teach you the proper method for breast self-exams – so that you are part of the team that is monitoring your ongoing breast health. We also offer patient navigation, education, community resources, and psychosocial and emotional support programs.

 

Screenings

Genetic Counseling

Women and their families concerned about breast cancer can be evaluated by our comprehensive Breast Care Center team. The High Risk Breast Cancer Program combines the latest medical and scientific knowledge with the most advanced surveillance and diagnostic methods.

Our evaluation includes:

  • Clinical breast exam
  • Detailed family and personal risk assessment
  • Digital mammography and ultrasound
  • Breast MRI*
  • Genetic counseling and testing*

*Dependent on your risk factors

Our team of breast cancer specialists will develop a plan specific to you, which may include:

  • Risk reduction education
  • Prevention strategies
  • Preventive therapies/clinical trials
  • Prophylactic surgery
  • Six-month screening service rotation
  • Custom breast imaging screening
  • Personalized surveillance plan
  • One-on-one breast self-awareness education

Mammogram

The Breast Care Center at Lovelace Women's Hospital offers state-of-the-art technology for screening and evaluation of breast cancer, including 3-D mammography for faster and more accurate results. We also provide diagnostic breast MRI for patients at high risk for breast cancer and those requiring more definitive breast imaging.

Women over the age of 40 should have an annual mammogram. Talk with your health care provider about your risk for breast cancer and the best screening plan for you.

Schedule Mammogram

Radiology & Diagnostic Testing

The Breast Care Center at Lovelace Women’s Hospital offers state-of-the-art technology for screening and evaluation of breast cancer, including 3-D mammography for faster, more accurate exams. We also provide diagnostic breast MRI for patients at high risk for breast cancer and those requiring more definitive breast imaging.

Radiology and Diagnostic Testing services include:

  • Screening & diagnostic mammography
  • 3-D mammography for more accurate exams
  • Cryoblation
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Breast MRI
  • Stereotactic breast biopsy
  • Ultrasound breast biopsy
  • Bone densitometry
  • Use of specialized breast pads for more comfortable mammograms

Diagnosis

Breast Care Navigator

Personal support when you need it most. Our breast care navigator is a trained health care professional who is available to all breast cancer patients and their loved ones to help coordinate care, support, and act as an advocate. A breast care navigator’s main goal is to be a resource to you through every step of your care to help give you peace of mind and comfort.

A Certified Breast Care Navigator serves as:

  • A consistent care coordinator throughout the continuum of care assessing the physical, emotional and social needs of the patient.
  • A support person for the breast cancer patient and their loved ones in understanding and coping with the strong emotions and social recovery.
  • A facilitator of available community resources for patients and their loved ones (such as gas vouchers, co-pay relief, transportation services, local support groups, etc.)
  • An educator in breast cancer treatment options and general breast health issues.
  • A personal advocate for the needs of breast cancer patients and their loved ones.

Additional Support Services

  • Multidisciplinary consultation
  • Instruction on performing breast self-exams
  • Dietary consultation
  • Education & psychosocial support
  • Patient & family support
  • Survivorship partners
  • Permanent make-up technician
  • Genetic testing and counseling
  • Breast health education and information
  • On-site nipple areola repigmentation
  • Community partnerships (local support groups, etc.)
  • American Cancer Society Gift Closet (free wigs, scarves, bras and prostheses)

Counseling & Social Work

We understand that the diagnosis and treatment of cancer can be a difficult time for patients and their families. Lovelace Women’s Hospital has a licensed social worker who is able to help our patients and their families cope with during cancer treatment.

Services for Patients

  • Provide acute interventions and assessments
  • Provide additional emotional support
  • Assist the Patient Navigator in identifying and obtaining resources
  • Provide on-site counseling
  • Help with stress reduction techniques, including:
    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
    • Guided imagery
    • Meditation sessions

Services for Families

  • Provide a family assessment to identify internal supports and resources
  • Provide ongoing information about patient symptoms and how these may affect the family dynamic
  • Assist the Patient Navigator in the identification of community support networks for your spouse, children and parents
  • Provide ongoing education, referrals and handouts
  • Provide other supports as identified throughout the process

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 727.6930. 

Treatment

 

Surgery

All of our highly-skilled breast surgeons are board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and are members of the American Society of Breast Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.

Surgical treatment options include:

  • Lumpectomy - breast-sparing surgery where the surgeon removes the cancer and margin of normal tissue surrounding the cancer.
  • Mastectomy - complete removal of the breast tissue, including the nipple but not the muscle of the chest wall.
  • Nipple-sparing mastectomy - complete removal of the breast tissue, excluding the nipple and the muscle of the chest wall.
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy - lymph nodes most likely containing cancer are removed.
  • Axillary node dissection - the fat containing lymph nodes is removed to determine if the lymph nodes contain cancer.
  • Breast biopsies - procedure to remove a small sample of breast tissue for laboratory testing. Breast biopsy is considered the best way to evaluate a suspicious area in your breast to determine if it is breast cancer.
  • Treatment of benign breast problems/issues such as fibrocystic condition
  • Prophylactic mastectomy - surgery to remove one or both breasts to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, prophylactic mastectomy in high-risk women may be able to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by 90 percent.

Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT)

In recent years, a new approach has become available for the treatment of breast cancer. For some patients, a less invasive approach called intraoperative radiation therapy may be a treatment option. For more information on this technology please click here, or discuss this option with your physician. 

MarginProbe

The Breast Care Center at Lovelace Women’s Hospital offers the MarginProbe System to patients undergoing surgery for breast cancer.

During a lumpectomy, the breast surgeon will remove the cancerous tumor and some of the surrounding tissue (called “margin”) to determine if there are any remaining cancer cells. Traditionally, the tissue is examined by a pathologist and the process can take several days to confirm results. If the results show that cancer cells are still present in the margin, more surgeries are required to remove the tissue.

However, by using the MarginProbe System, our breast surgeon can determine results in real-time during surgery. The MarginProbe System differentiates between the regular cells of healthy tissue and cancerous cells by assessing the electromagnetic response of tissue during the lumpectomy.  The system allows our surgeon to achieve a “clean margin”, meaning there are no cancer cells left at the edge of the removed tissue. This also greatly reduces the need for re-excision surgery, benefiting the patient emotionally and financially.

Who is a candidate for MarginProbe?

  • All patients who undergo a lumpectomy

Consultations with plastic surgeons to perform breast reconstruction are available as well as a Post-Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Program at the Lovelace Women's Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation Clinic.

Treatment for Benign Breast Conditions

It is very common for women to experience benign (not cancerous) breast conditions during their lifetime. These typically do not lead to cancer, but it is still important to talk to your provider about any changes in your breasts. Oftentimes, they will recommend a biopsy to check for cancer. If the condition is benign, there are a variety of treatments available.

One common benign breast condition is a fibroadenoma, a solid breast tumor. Fibroadenomas are benign, meaning they are not cancerous and they will not turn into cancer. Some fibroadenomas can be felt during a breast self-examination or clinical examination, while others are detected during a mammogram. Once it has been identified, you will be scheduled for a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and confirm if the tumor is benign.

Although fibrodenomas are not cancerous, they may cause pain or anxiety regarding the breast’s appearance. If that’s the case, fibroadenomas can be removed in a quick, outpatient procedure called cryoablation.

Cryoablation is a non-surgical procedure that uses extreme cold to destroy the fibroadenoma tissue. The procedure requires local anesthesia to numb the area. Your provider will insert a small needle into the fibroadenoma and use extreme cold to destroy the tissue. The procedure is painless and takes about 15 minutes to complete. After cryoablation, your body will naturally absorb the destroyed cells. This procedure does not require stitches and many women will return to normal activities very quickly.

Lovelace Women’s Hospital is the only hospital in New Mexico offering cryoablation to remove fibroadenomas. To schedule an appointment, please call 727.6900 or discuss a referral with your primary care provider.

For more information about any of these treatment options, please call 505-727-6900.

Rehab

Therapy

Lovelace Women’s Hospital’s Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Program benefits women during or after breast cancer treatment.

The therapy program is designed to assist patients to:

  • Improve range of motion, strength and endurance
  • Decrease risk of lymphedema, chronic pain, and Axillary Web Syndrome
  • Improve ability to perform activities of daily living
  • Decrease risk of scar and soft tissue adhesions following a lumpectomy or mastectomy
  • Reduce fatigue and joint pain during chemotherapy
  • Decrease skin adhesion and cording during radiation

Lymphedema Program

Lymphedema is swelling that can occur due to a blockage in the lymphatic system. The therapists at Lovelace Women’s Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation are certified in lymphedema therapy and treat patients with lymphedema including:

  • Primary lymphedema (present at birth)
  • Secondary lymphedema (result of surgery, trauma, cancer)
  • Post-surgical lymphedema
  • Lymphedema related to breast cancer
  • Chronic venous insufficiency (i.e. long-standing varicose veins)

Lymphedema treatment may consist of:

  • Special massage techniques to move the lymph fluid and instruction on self lymph massage
  • Compression garment consultation and recommendations
  • Instruction in compression bandaging techniques
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Education in self-management and home program

Call 505.727.4628 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Survivorship

 

Support Services

Support from your family, friends and medical professionals is of great benefit after treatment. Our breast care navigator can provide information about various special resources and support services to help you and your loved ones.

Services may include:

  • Multidisciplinary consultation
  • Instruction on performing breast self-exams
  • Dietary consultation
  • Education & psychosocial support
  • Patient & family support
  • Survivorship partners
  • Permanent make-up technician
  • Genetic testing and counseling
  • Breast health education and information
  • On-site nipple areola repigmentation
  • Community partnerships (local support groups, etc.)
  • American Cancer Society Gift Closet (free wigs and scarves) and "Look Good Feel Better" classes

To schedule an appointment at the Breast Care Center, please call 505.727.6900.