As you age, it is important to take care of your breasts so that you can prevent diseases and even cancer. Intermountain Healthcare provides comprehensive breast care services and screenings for women. Those services include mammography and treatments for breast cancer and other breast-related conditions such as fibroids, cysts, noncancerous tumors, and infections (mastitis).
Intermountain Healthcare’s breast care services include a team of specialists, who may be assigned to each patient’s care. Each care team may include the following:
- Oncologists (cancer treatment)
- Genetics Counselor
- Social Worker
- Registered Nurse
You don’t need a referral to have access to the breast care services at Intermountain Healthcare.
It’s important to examine your breasts regularly so that you can notice if changes are happening. Breast changes are common and most of them are not caused by cancer. You should tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you notice:
- A lump or lumps in one or both breasts
- Pain or tenderness
- Fluid leaking from a nipple (when you’re not making milk for breastfeeding)
- A nipple starts pulling in instead of poking out (becomes inverted)
- The skin of a breast changes (such as turning red or puckered)
Most breast changes are not serious. Some might be caused by hormonal changes. You can also get infections and other diseases in your breasts that are not cancer. It’s important to have your healthcare provider examine you if you notice any breast changes to see if treatment is needed. Sometimes your provider can find out what’s causing breast changes during a normal exam. Other times your provider may need to order more tests or send you to a specialist. Here are some common tests providers use to find out what’s causing breast changes:
- Breast ultrasound – A breast ultrasound is an image of the inside of your breast created by sound waves.
- Breast biopsy – A biopsy is a tiny sample of breast tissue that is sent to the lab to be analyzed.
- Mammogram – A mammogram is a special x-ray of the breast.