In the unlikely event that your annual screening exam reveals a suspicious lump or other tissue changes in your breast, Central Maine Healthcare is here for you. We will hold your hand and offer the most compassionate support through the whole process. To ensure that we get the proper diagnosis, we offer several diagnostic options. We value the newest research and technology, which allows us to provide the best care for our patients.
We know that ultrasound is an important tool in breast disease detection, so we offer it at all our hospital locations. Breast ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses high frequency sound waves to scan the breast to locate, measure, and evaluate abnormal changes or lesions found on a mammogram. Ultrasound can determine if a breast lump is solid, which is indicative of a benign or malignant tumor, or is filled with fluid, which indicates that it is a cyst, a benign condition.
A ductogram helps to diagnose breast changes. It’s a mammography procedure that looks for small growths in a breast duct, to determine what’s causing clear or bloody discharge from the nipple. Ductography is a minimally-invasive diagnostic procedure that involves inserting a tiny catheter tip into the duct. A small amount of liquid is then inserted, which is then tracked through a mammogram. This helps us detect any abnormal growths in the breast tissue. Most of the time, the growth is a papilloma which is a benign growth in the lining of the breast duct.
We offer MRIs to our patients at Central Maine Medical Center, our hospital located in Lewiston. An MRI can help with further detection of breast cancer once suspicious tissue or growths have been identified. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) may be recommended in combination with mammography for women with dense breasts and who are at a high-risk of hereditary breast cancer. Our MRI features the largest diameter bore for patient comfort and produces detailed and high-quality images. It’s a painless procedure. Patients lie comfortably in the MRI unit for a short time, as images are produced.
Central Maine Healthcare offers comprehensive breast biopsy services at The Sam and Jennie Bennett Breast Care Center, which is located at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. Our biopsy services include care for a range of issues.
The following procedures are performed at our Breast Center:
- Breast cyst aspiration: A simple procedure of removing fluid from a cyst using a fine needle. We usually use ultrasound to guide this procedure. A cyst is a fluid-filled, non-malignant growth that is aspirated only if is painful or very large.
- Ultrasound and stereotactic core breast biopsy: Performed to obtain tissue to send to pathology for testing. It’s minimally invasive and done using either ultrasound or digital mammography to guide the procedure.
- Needle localization: The insertion of a fine wire into an area of concern prior to an open surgical procedure. It’s done to guide the surgeon doing the biopsy when a breast lesion can’t be felt.
- Sentinel node evaluation: A procedure done to guide the surgeon in removing the important lymph nodes in a patient undergoing breast cancer surgery. The procedure involves the injection of a small amount of radioactive solution in the breast which is then filtered out by the key lymph nodes that act as gatekeepers. The lymphatic system carries the dye to the first lymph node in the pathway – otherwise known as the sentinel node. The injection is done on the day of surgery in the nuclear medicine department. The surgeon uses a special detector to locate and remove the identified node(s) for testing by pathology.