Breast Health

Breast diseases do not always mean breast cancer. Lake Charles Memorial’s Breast Health Program uses 3D digital mammography, breast sonography, and 3D breast MRI’s to determine the type and location of a breast mass or lesion.

Most women experience breast changes at some time in their lives. Age, hormone levels, and medicines may cause lumps, bumps, and discharges (fluids that are not breast milk). Minor and serious breast problems have similar symptoms. Although cancer is always our first concern, many breast problems are not cancer. Memorial’s Breast Health Program can treat:

  • Hyperplasia
  • Cysts
  • Fibroadenomas
  • Intraductal papillomas
  • Sclerosing adenosis
  • Radial scars
  • Breast cancer

With minimally invasive techniques such as stereotactic breast biopsy and intact breast biopsy to assess a breast abnormality, our specialized team of radiologists, pathologists, gynecologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, and technologists provide diagnosis and treatment options based on your particular diagnosis. Our surgeons also employ the technique of sentinel node biopsy, which uses cutting-edge, pinpoint accuracy to remove the first few lymph nodes into which a tumor drains. And although breast abnormalities aren’t always cancer-related, should more advanced treatment be necessary, our cancer center offers the latest therapies, including complex 4D cancer fighting technology such as intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and accelerated partial breast radiotherapy (APBR), as well as customized chemotherapy drugs based on the type and phase of cancer. We also employ a certified lymphedema specialist to assist in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lymphedema.

Commission on Cancer Accredited

Like every major national cancer center, Lake Charles Memorial Cancer Center is accredited by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). CoC accreditation assures that a cancer program meets or exceeds 34 CoC nationally-recognized quality care standards and maintains levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care. Like all CoC-accredited facilities, Memorial maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society (ACS). Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed through the NCDB and used to explore trends in cancer care.

Services include:

  • Genuis 3D Digital Mammography: Genius™ 3D Mammography views each layer of the breast like the pages of a book for more thorough imaging of breasts of all shapes, sizes and densities. It scans all the complexities of the breast tissue in greater detail which allows better evaluation of the breast tissue layer by layer, making fine details more visible and no longer hidden by overlapping tissue.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound following a standard mammogram increases detection of breast cancers that are small. Sound waves look inside the breast with powerful ultrasound technology giving a more realistic view of the whole breast, its physical structures while providing multiple views. It helps distinguish normal findings like cysts or fat lobules from suspicious breast changes that need biopsy.
  • Magseed: Most surgeries to remove a breast tumor use a “wire localization” procedure where a wire is inserted into the tumor serving as a road map for the breast surgeon to remove the diseased tissue. A new option called Magseed is smaller than a grain of rice and can be placed into a tumor up to 30 days before the patient’s surgery. It produces no discomfort, rarely moves and stays within the breast. During surgery, a magnetic probe detects the Magseed, guiding the surgeon to the tumor. The outcome is a better cosmetic result and a more accurate removal of cancerous tissue.
  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy
  • Accelerated Partial Breast Radiotherapy: Accelerated Partial Breast Radiation (APBR) focuses specifically on the part of the breast where the tumor was removed, so radiation is contained to the tumor cavity as much as possible. It affects less of the healthy tissue and organs close to the breasts, including the lungs and heart.
    APBR often reduces the length of treatment for breast cancer. Requirements typically include a small tumor, clear surgical margins after a lumpectomy and preferably no lymph nodes containing cancer making it a suitable treatment option for women with early stage breast cancer.
  • 3D Stereotactic Breast Biopsy: Using a local anesthesia to reduce discomfort, this image-guided biopsy is able to remove several cores of sample tissue and used most often when a distinct lump can’t be felt, but an abnormality is seen on a mammogram. A needle is guided to the suspicious location with the help of 3D stereotactic imaging technology. A small metal clip may be put into the breast to mark where the biopsy sample was taken in case the tissue is cancerous and surgery is needed.
  • Intact Breast Biopsy: Intact Breast Lesion Excision System is a minimally invasive excision performed at the time of biopsy on high-risk breast lesions using ultrasound and stereotactic guidance in place of conventional surgery. High-risk breast lesions are labeled as such because they have an elevated chance of becoming cancerous, prompting many patients to opt for their swift removal. The intact biopsy uses local anesthesia and a small incision to completely remove all suspect tissue. Recovery time is quicker with far less physical discomfort.
  • Sentinel Node Biopsy: Sentinel node biopsy is a surgical procedure used to determine whether cancer has spread beyond a primary tumor into the lymphatic system. The sentinel nodes are the first few lymph nodes into which a tumor drains. Prior to the surgery, the radiologist injects tracer material that helps the surgeon locate and remove the sentinel nodes during surgery. Under general anesthesia, a small incision is made in the area over the lymph nodes. During the procedure, the sentinel nodes that are removed are then sent to a pathologist to examine for signs of cancer.
  • Breast-conserving Lumpectomy: Breast-Conserving Lumpectomy removes the tumor as well as a small, clear (cancer-free) margin of healthy tissue around it while leaving as much normal breast as possible. Some surrounding healthy tissue and lymph nodes may be removed. How much of the breast is removed depends on the size and location of the tumor and other factors. Most of the breast remains. For those with early stage breast cancer this may be an option. Follow-up radiation therapy to the remaining breast tissue is generally recommended.
  • Chemotherapy: Depending on the stage and molecular characteristics of the cancer, chemotherapy or targeted therapy (including hormone therapy) may be part of the treatment. Our medical oncology team customizes chemotherapies based on the patient and the specifics of the cancer using complex drugs to destroy cancer cells by stopping their ability to grow and divide. Chemotherapy is generally given after surgery to lower the risk of recurrence or sometimes before surgery to shrink the tumor.
  • Immunotherapy: When paired with chemotherapy, immunotherapy is changing the treatment of cancer by harnessing the body's natural strength to fight cancer—empowering the immune system to conquer more types of cancer. It uses substances made by the body or in a laboratory to improve immune system function which can help make the cancer cells more receptive to chemotherapy drugs.
  • Align RT
  • Genetic testing: For breast cancer, there are two groups of patients that may benefit from genetic testing: Patients who have breast cancer in their family, where suspicion is high for inherited breast cancer risk, even if they have never had breast cancer personally or patients who currently have breast cancer for whom chemotherapy would be recommended if the tumor has a high risk of recurrence based on a genetic test.
  • Hereditary Genetic Testing: BReast CAncer (BRCA) susceptibility genes are the most common inherited breast cancer genes. BRCA genetic testing is a blood test ordered by a physician, drawn in our lab and sent to a specialized lab that uses DNA analysis to identify harmful changes (mutations) in either one of the two inherited breast cancer susceptibility genes. Mutations to either breast cancer gene — BRCA1 or BRCA2 — increase the risk of developing breast cancer when compared with the cancer risk of a people without a BRCA gene mutation. A positive result may increase risk of other cancer types as well.
  • Recurrence Risk Genetic Testing: This genetic test may be recommended in a patient with a current breast cancer diagnosis to determine risk of late recurrence. This is a blood test ordered by a physician, drawn in our lab and sent to a specialized lab that uses DNA analysis to identify harmful changes (mutations) in a large panel of genes, which increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence. A positive result may indicate the need for chemotherapy.
  • Oncology Certified Nurses: Nurses who obtain certification by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) provide tangible evidence that nurses have the knowledge required to effectively provide care to patients experiencing the complex problems associated with a diagnosis of cancer. Currently, 43% of our oncology registered nurses system-wide are certified by the ONCC with 100% of our main campus chemotherapy nurses certified.
  • Cancer Patient Navigator & Support Groups

View our comprehensive Breast Health Brochure here.

Memorial Breast Health Oak Park Campus

1701 Oak Park Blvd., Lake Charles

(337) 494-4755

Memorial for Women Breast Health

1900 Gauthier Rd., Lake Charles

(337) 480-7444