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.

Services include:

  • 3D Digital Mammography:3D magnetic resonance imaging of the breast provides excellent information about lesions, normal and malignant tissues. An MRI uses magnetic fields, not x-rays, to produce detailed images of the body. A contrast medium (a special dye) is injected into a patient’s vein or given orally (by mouth) to create a clearer picture of the breast. A breast MRI may be used once a woman has been diagnosed with cancer to check the other breast for cancer or to find out how much the disease has grown throughout the breast.
  • Sonography: Sonography is an imaging method that uses sound waves to look inside a part of the body. In the most common version of this test, a small, microphone-like instrument called a transducer is placed on the skin, emits sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off body tissues. The echoes are converted into an image on a computer screen. A sonogram helps distinguish normal findings like cysts or fat lobules from suspicious breast changes that need biopsy.
  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy
  • Accelerated Partial Breast Radiotherapy: Accelerated partial breast irradiation is a breast radiation therapy in which focused radiation is delivered specifically to the part of the breast where the tumor was removed.
  • Image-guided, Stereotactic Breast Biopsy: This procedure removes several large cores of sample tissue. Local anesthesia is used to reduce discomfort. This biopsy is done when a distinct lump can’t be felt, but an abnormality is seen with an imaging test, such as on a mammogram. During this procedure, a needle is guided to the best 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 more surgery is needed.
  • Intact Breast Biopsy: Lake Charles Memorial Radiology was the first in the State of Louisiana to deploy the new Intact Breast Lesion Excision System, a complete minimally invasive excision performed at the time of biopsy on high-risk breast lesions using ultrasound and stereotactic guidance without the need for conventional surgery. High-risk breast lesions are labeled as such because they have elevated chance to become cancerous in the future, prompting many patients to opt for their swift removal. However, 80 percent of such lesions are benign, meaning patients are being subjected to unnecessary surgery and all the associated risks. IntactTM to excise breast tissues via a small incision and completely remove all suspect tissue for the breast. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and the incision is closed with only a small bandage and heals quickly. Using IntactTM, patients no longer have to under general anesthesia, have a quicker recovery time and far less physical discomfort.
  • Sentinel Node Biopsy: This surgery evaluates nearby lymph nodes for cancer cells by injecting a dye and/or a radioactive tracer into the area of the cancer which travels to the lymph nodes, arriving at the sentinel nodes first.
    The surgeon removes the sentinel lymph nodes (usually about one to three nodes) The pathologist examines them for cancer cells. If the sentinel lymph nodes are cancer-free, there is a good possibility that the remaining lymph nodes will also be free of cancer and no further surgery will be needed. If the sentinel lymph nodes show evidence of cancer, then the surgeon may perform an axillary lymph node dissection.
  • Breast-conserving Lumpectomy: This breast conservation surgery removes the tumor as well as a small, clear (cancer-free) margin of healthy tissue around it. Most of the breast remains. For invasive cancer, follow-up radiation
    therapy to the remaining breast tissue is generally recommended. A lumpectomy may also be called a partial mastectomy.
  • Chemotherapy & Immunotherapy: Our medical oncology team customizes chemotherapies based on the patient and the specifics of the cancer. Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells, usually 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, also called biologic therapy, boosts the body's natural defenses to fight cancer. It uses substances made by the body or in a laboratory to improve or restore immune system function.
  • Genetic & molecular testing: Genetic and molecular tests have the potential to not only provide patients with personalized diagnostic information, but also allow for specifically tailored treatment plans, thus limiting resistance and toxicity. They also supply prognostic information about cancer in its early stages, thereby determining whether aggressive, early management is necessary.
  • 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