Breast Cancer Care at St. Joseph Health Medical Group
St. Joseph and St. Jude Heritage Medical Group is focused on the latest
treatment for breast cancer. Our patients have access to a dedicated team
of experts and services exclusively devoted to the screening and diagnosis
of cancer and other breast conditions. From diagnostic radiologists to
breast surgeons, we apply the newest approaches to safeguard women’s
health. Our mission is to diagnose cancer early and offer the latest options
so we can treat it more effectively than ever before.
State-of-the-art technology, including breast–specific MRI, is used
by highly trained radiologists who specialize exclusively in breast imaging.
In an area where expertise often depends upon experience, our specialized
experts offer a critical edge. And because we’re diagnosing cancer
earlier—with fewer delayed or missed diagnoses—we’re
able to treat it more effectively than ever before, putting us at the
forefront of ensuring women’s well-being. In fact, we offer board-certified,
fellowship-trained breast and reconstructive surgeons, ensuring we can
offer women the latest options in successful treatment.
Our physician experts understand the importance of developing customized
treatment plans that focus on the unique medical needs of each patient.
We work with a team of cancer specialists at our affiliate hospitals’
Breast Centers in order to create the best treatment and healing plan
possible. Our collaborative approach includes:
- Breast Surgeons. These specialists are trained to evaluate and manage patients
with breast pain, benign lumps and cysts and abnormal mammograms, in addition
to breast cancer.
- Medical Oncologists. These specialists are part of your treatment team
in managing your cancer symptoms and treatment, including chemotherapy.
- Radiation Oncologists. These specialists are experts in the use of radiation
therapy to cure or reduce the symptoms of cancer.
- Pathologists. These physicians specialize in diagnosis and treatment options
through laboratory tests.
- Radiologists. These physicians specialize in diagnosis and treatment through
the use of medical imaging techniques such as X-rays and other advanced
- Cancer Genetics Counselor. This expert evaluates a patient’s risk
for an inherited medical condition and provides counseling based on those risks.
- Patient Navigator. This expert is a vital component of your support team
and helps in navigating through the health system.
- Clinical Research Professionals. These professionals are well versed in
medical research and clinical trials.
- Rehabilitation Specialists. These specialists help patients with physical
functioning with the goal to regain as much independence as possible due
to cancer and treatment.
We offer the newest advances in diagnosis and treatment, including:
- Digital mammography
- Sophisticated computer-aided detection software (works as a second pair
of eyes, marking “areas of interest” on the film)
- Breast ultrasound
- Breast MRI (the most precise imaging tool available)
- Advanced biopsy techniques, including stereotactic, ultrasound and MRI-guided biopsies
- Minimally-invasive, breast-saving surgery
Breast Screening and Diagnostic Services
One in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their
lives: if you’re 40 or older, or at an increased risk for breast
cancer, schedule your mammogram at your earliest convenience. Regular
screening is the best way to protect your health so call us today at (714) 446-5650.
Our physicians are affiliated with Providence St. Joseph Health and use
the state-of-the-art services at the St. Joseph Hospital in Orange and
St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton.
Are You at Risk for Breast Cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, “There is no sure way to
prevent breast cancer.” However, the first line of defense is to
be aware of the family history and genetics that may impact your risks
since women with a close relative--including men--who has had breast cancer
have a higher risk of the disease. Age and heritage can also play a role
as well as breast density. Understanding lifestyle risk factors is highly
The best action a woman can take is to be proactive by doing monthly self-exams,
scheduling regular medical screenings and mammograms and consulting a
physician with any concerns about breast health. It’s very important
to understand the lifestyle changes within your control that may increase
the risk of breast cancer. Keep in mind that every woman’s risks
are different. Risks to know about include:
- Drinking alcohol has been linked to increased risk of developing breast
cancer and the risk increases with the amount of alcohol one drinks.
- It’s been found that being overweight or obese after menopause increases
breast cancer risk.
- There is growing evidence that physical activity/exercise reduces the risk
of breast cancer.
- Women who have not had children or had their first child after age 30 have
been shown to have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.
- Studies indicate that women who use oral contraceptives may have a slightly
higher risk of breast cancer than women who have never used them. The
risk may go down to normal over time once oral contraceptives are discontinued.
- Women who use combined hormone therapy also have an increased risk for
Preparing for Your First Mammogram
A screening mammogram for women who have no signs or symptoms of breast
disease is appropriate because early detection of breast cancer is when
it’s most treatable. The American Cancer Society
guidelines state women 40-44 should have a choice to have a screening mammogram and
that women 45-54 should get one annually. And The U.S. Preventive Services
Task Force 2016
states, “The decision to start screening mammography in women prior to
age 50 years should be an individual one.“ Only a physician can
determine when to get a screening mammogram.
Here’s what to expect when you have a mammogram:
- Rest assured that mammograms use low-dose x-rays and can detect lumps that
are too small to be felt.
- Schedule your mammogram the week after your period when your breasts are
- Don’t wear deodorant, powder, lotions or ointments since it may indicate
a breast problem where there is none.
- It’s best to wear a two-piece outfit so you only have to remove your
top, making it easier and more comfortable for you.
- The entire process takes 30 minutes or less. Each of your breasts will
be compressed for approximately 20-30 seconds. The compression may be
uncomfortable but flattening the breast is necessary to get the clearest image.
- Our technicians understand how to make you feel as comfortable as they
can before, during and after the exam.
- Keep in mind that most unusual findings are not cancer; they could be cysts
or dense tissue. Also, since this is your first time, there are no old
mammograms to compare to. With your first mammogram you’re establishing
a baseline that will help you and your doctor monitor your breast health
- Your first mammogram is generally a screening test and not a diagnostic
test, which evaluates specific problems or findings.
- After the screening, a specially trained breast radiologist will review
the images and report back to your physician in a timely manner.
Mammograms Save Lives
The physicians, specialists and staff of our breast health team are dedicated
to help you safeguard your health with this important screening. We’re
with you each step of the way. If you have questions or to schedule an
appointment, call (714) 446-5650.