Breast Problems

Breast Problems

There are many conditions that can affect the breasts.  The majority of these are benign, that is, not cancer.  However, in my opinion, the determination that something is or isn’t cancer should be made only by a specialist.  We see these conditions much more often than general practioners and, therefore, have much more experience in making this determination. A good history and physical exam by an experienced physician is also extremely important.

Mammograms of the breast are important tools in screening and evaluating breast problems, but they are, by no means, 100% accurate.  Even in cases where a woman can feel a cancerous lump in her breast, the mammogram can be negative 10% of the time.  Unfortunately, I have seen women whose breast cancers were ignored because the mammogram was negative!
Ultrasound of the breast can be very helpful in differentiating something bad from something benign.  Again, it is not a foolproof test.  The ultrasound is performed by a technician and, then, the still images are read by the radiologist at a later time.  Often times the radiologist has very little information as to why the ultrasound is being done.  Sometimes a finding is erroneously dictated as “left” instead of “right” or “10 o’clock” instead of “1 o’clock”.  This can lead to confusion or mistreatment. If the radiologist finds something, the patient may then be referred or called back for an ultrasound guided biopsy.  Finally the patient may be referred to a surgeon.
Dr. Zahriya is certified in breast ultrasound. In evaluating patients for breast problem in our office, we perform our own ultrasound, right there and then.   We are able to see, in real time, the true location and live image of the problem.    If a biopsy is needed, we can do it in the office.  There is no need to have the patent running from place to place.


Sentinal Lymph Node Biopsy

Breast cancer first spreads to the axillary (armpit) lymph nodes. Traditionally, when breast cancers were removed, an operation known as axillary lymph node dissection was performed to remove most of the lymph nodes in the armpit. Because lymph node dissection can cause problems like pain and arm swelling, it is best to avoid the operation if possible.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy is an operation devised to reduce the need for axillary lymph node dissection. If no cancer is found in the axillary lymph nodes, patients do not require dissection.
There are many treatment options available for breast cancer and having to decide on the best option can often be frustrating for women.  We help make you well informed so that you can be comfortable that the decision you make is the best one for you.


Breast Cancer Myths

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