Breast Cancer Detection

Wake Forest Baptist Health Lexington Medical Center offers complete services designed to detect and treat breast cancer. The hospital's accredited mammography center is equipped with advanced digital mammography equipment, including 3D mammography and offers convenient evening and weekend appointments.

Digital mammography produces higher quality images than film, thereby increasing the ability of radiologists to identify suspicious lesions or abnormalities. Board certified radiologists at Lexington Medical Center perform core needle stereotactic breast biopsies, enabling physicians to examine breast abnormalities without having to send patients to the operating room.

The procedure is performed within the mammography center, and since a local anesthetic is all that is required, patients are ready for discharge soon after the procedure is complete. The sample is then sent to a pathologist who examines the tissue for suspicious cells with findings reported back to the patient within a few days.

Learn more about mammograms.

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Breast abnormalities can be found in a number of ways including mammography, physical examinations or other imaging techniques. However, it is not always possible to tell from these methods whether an abnormality is benign or cancerous. Stereotactic breast biopsies performed at Lexington Medical Center provide a safe, minimally invasive way to determine if an abnormality is cancerous or not.

Lexington Medical Center has performed stereotactic breast biopsies for several years. During the procedure, the hospital's state-of-the-art equipment is used in conjunction with digital mammography to accurately guide a probe to the specified area and extract cells. Patients can be sitting or reclining during the procedure based upon the location of the suspicious area within the breast. After a local anesthetic is applied, a tiny knick is made in the skin and a vacuum assisted probe is accurately guided to the targeted site.

Using vacuum pressure, multiple samples of abnormal cells are extracted with the samples immediately forwarded to a pathologist for analysis. A marker is left inside the breast to designate the location of the biopsied area. The biopsy itself only takes about 10 minutes to perform, but patients are usually at the hospital for about an hour from the time of arrival to discharge. There is little or no discomfort during and following the procedure, and the results are available to the patient in approximately 48 hours.

For many patients, stereotactic breast biopsy is a viable alternative to a surgical biopsy performed in an operating room. The procedure is not painful and the results are as accurate as that of a surgical biopsy at about one-third the cost. It is another example as to why women need not leave Lexington and Davidson County to receive exceptional care.