Valley Health Offers Prevention & Treatment
About one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Breast
cancer occurs when cells in the breast begin to overgrow. These overgrown
cells usually form a tumor that can be felt as a lump. Almost all breast
cancer occurs in women, but about 1% of all breast cancers are found in men.
Mammography, an x-ray test to examine the tissue that makes up the breast,
allows most cancers to be detected at this early stage.
Just because a woman has an abnormal mammogram doesn’t mean she has
breast cancer. However she may need follow-up testing. Valley Health is
proud to offer the very latest technology in breast imaging including
3D mammography, breast ultrasound and MRI, as well as molecular breast imaging (BSGI).
Learn more about breast screening options at Valley Health.
Abnormal breast tissue may be classified in a number of ways and can indicate
either a benign condition or cancer. A diagnosis is confirmed with a sample
of abnormal breast tissue (biopsy) examined under a microscope.
Most breast lumps are benign. Still, it is important to have your breasts
checked regularly and to report any breast lump or change to your healthcare provider.
Valley Health Breast Center
The free-standing Valley Health Cancer Center has a dedicated Breast Center,
which houses a comprehensive program for our patients. Women receiving
cancer care will have access to a breast health navigator who provides
personalized support, information and resources. The Breast Center is
also conveniently located 100 steps away from the Winchester Medical Center
Diagnostic Center. This means you are only 100 steps away from mammograms
Dr. Anita Minghini, MD, FACS – A board certified surgeon, Dr. Minghini received her medical degree
and completed her residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School. She chairs
Valley Health’s Breast Care Committee and coordinates the weekly
Breast Cancer Conference. She is a regular presenter for Valley Health’s
Breast Health Symposium held every fall.
With enhanced early detection methods and advanced cancer care treatment,
Valley Health is committed to beating cancer and helping our community
live healthier, together.
The management of breast cancer often involves several different medical
specialties, with some therapies directed at the cancer site (that is,
in the breast), and others, such as chemotherapy, directed at disease
elsewhere in the body. Following diagnosis, in general, the first physician
you see will be a surgeon.
To ensure the best chance of successful treatment for breast cancer, all
cancerous tissue must be removed, usually through surgery. Advances have
led to more surgical options in the treatment of breast cancer. All surgical
treatments are discussed in consultation with other cancer physicians,
and specific treatments are recommended. You and your doctor will decide
which surgical treatment is best for you.
Radiation therapy is a localized treatment which is sometimes added to
surgical management in breast cancer to improve the chances of controlling
the disease in the breast, chest wall and surrounding lymph nodes. It
is commonly used after lumpectomy to reduce the risk of cancer coming
back in the breast. Radiation therapy is also used at times following
mastectomy for patients at high risk for local recurrence.
If your doctor thinks radiation therapy is indicated for you, consultation
is arranged with a radiation oncologist to discuss the treatment thoroughly.
As part of your treatment for breast cancer, you will likely discuss chemotherapy
with your doctor. This systemic treatment is used under certain circumstances
to help lower the chance that breast cancer will return and may be given
before or after breast surgery. Every patient’s ideal treatment
plan is different. Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend
individualized systemic therapy such as chemotherapy or hormonal therapy.
There are many different kinds of chemotherapy and different treatment
schedules. If chemotherapy is indicated for you, your doctor will recommend
the specific drug(s) and discuss the schedule and duration of treatment
as well as side effects.