SLUCare Physician Group offers a world-class team of breast specialists — from the radiologists who specialize in breast imaging to the physician who performs breast surgery and everyone in between. Women and men with breast conditions are assured of expert care through SLUCare.
While breast cancer patients are usually 40-60 years old, non-cancerous breast abnormalities can happen to women and men of any age. Dr. Theresa Schwartz, the breast surgical oncologist with SLUCare, is specially trained to address any type of breast condition. She partners with Dr. Debbie Bennett, a fellowship-trained breast radiologist, and Dr. Christina Doherty to provide breast imaging.
If you notice physical abnormalities, like change in skin color, nipple discharge or a mass that wasn't there previously, you should contact your personal physician right away to have a physical exam and recommendations regarding breast imaging. Once breast imaging studies have been ordered, you can contact SLUCare's breast imaging center to schedule a mammogram. Additionally, women over 40 should have an annual mammogram to monitor subtle changes in breast tissue. If SLUCare's breast imaging specialists pick up on any type of change or abnormality, they may ask you to come in for additional imaging. Eight times out of 10, there is nothing to worry about.
Two out of 10 times, the radiologist may recommend either short-term follow up (for example, another mammogram in six months) or a biopsy of the abnormality. SLUCare's breast radiologists use image-guided technology to take the tissue sample and have it sent off for testing.
If the diagnosis is not cancer, the radiologist may decide that the abnormality is nothing to worry about, or you may be asked to come back in for a more imaging at a later date.
If the diagnosis is cancer, Dr. Theresa Schwartz will step in. Women (and men) diagnosed with breast cancer have many options for treatment. Dr. Schwartz will go over all of the options available to you and the corresponding benefits and risks for each option.
The weight of a breast cancer diagnosis can wear on you and your family. SLUCare neuropsychologist Dr. Lauren Schwarz is available to talk with the patient and their family members about how to cope with the diagnosis and how to move forward.