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Heart & Vascular Program, the regional leader in cardiac care

The Breast Center

General Information

Proper Prevention
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women, exceeded only by cancer of the lung. Early detection is the key to winning the battle against breast cancer.

It is recommended that by the age of 20, a woman should begin to perform breast self-exams (BSE) on a monthly basis. This will allow a woman to familiarize herself with the way her breasts look and feel. If there are any changes, she should consult her physician. BSE and mammograms should be performed just after the end of a woman's menstrual cycle. At this time, hormone levels have normalized and breasts are not as tender or sore; therefore, a more accurate exam can be performed.

Baseline mammograms should begin between age 35 to 40, depending on family history. After age 40, a mammogram should be performed annually. If any changes are detected in the interim, the woman should see her physician immediately.

Studies show that a healthy diet can lower your risk of breast cancer. Some authorities suggest a low fat diet including soy protein, as well as limiting caffeine and alcohol intake.

Early Detection is Paramount
The importance of improved breast cancer detection cannot be overstated. Early detection is considered the key factor to successful treatment and means a much higher chance that the cancer will be curable.

Indeed, if breast cancer is diagnosed early on while it is confined to the breast, the five-year survival rate is higher than 95 percent. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in California, regardless of race and ethnicity. Nationally, the American Cancer Society estimates that there were 182,800 new cases of breast cancer in 2006.

However, positive news is that during the past decade, breast cancer mortality rates have declined nearly 2 percent per year—largely as a result of early detection.

State-of-the-Art Mammography
The Breast Center of CMH continued its commitment to being on the leading edge of healthcare with a state-of-the-art Digital Mammography System with CAD (Computer-Aided Detection) technology.

This newest generation machine, the first “true” digital unit in Ventura County, provides the highest-quality image available today. Digital Mammography allows the technologist to view your images instantaneously without leaving the room. This technology also eliminates the need for repeats due to under/over-exposure.

The digital mammogram exam is very quick—10 to 15 minutes—as opposed to the 30 minutes for traditional film-based mammograms. This is not only more comfortable for the patient, but it also reduces radiation dosages by 20 to 80 percent, depending on breast density. And by erasing the need for retakes, the radiation dosage for a patient can be further reduced while the detection potential increases. Furthermore, studies have shown that Computer-Aided Detection technology can improve cancer detection by 20 percent.

Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (ABUS)
CMH Breast Center has the somo-v ABUS technology.  This was FDA approved in 2012 for ultrasound breast screening when used in combination with mammography in women who have dense breast tissue.  Unlike mammography which uses radiation, ABUS screening uses sound waves to produce 3D pictures of the breast.  The experience is painless.  A layer of lotion is applied to your breast, and then a sheer membrane covering the transducer is firmly positioned on your breast.  The scanning process takes less than 15 minutes providing your Radiologist with state-of-the-art 3D ultrasound images regardless of your breast density.  Your Breast Center Physician will review the ABUS screening images along with your mammogram

Minimally Invasive Diagnostic Procedures
The Breast Center performs several minimally-invasive procedures, all done on an outpatient basis.

  • MRI Guided Breast Biopsy
  • Ultrasound-guided biopsy
  • Computer-assisted stereotactic core biopsy
  • Needle localization biopsy

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
The Breast Center offers state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging technology to further evaluate difficult cases when needed.

Ultrasound with Color Doppler
Ultrasound with color Doppler is a valuable complementary examination for breast disease. Questionable mammographic densities or any palpable lump may be studied further with ultrasound. Ultrasound will help the radiologist delineate between a cyst (benign process) and a solid mass, which may be benign or cancerous.

Bone Densitometry
Osteoporosis affects over 25 million Americans. While women are four times more likely than men to develop the disease, men also suffer from osteoporosis. A Bone Mineral Density (BMD) test is the only way to diagnose osteoporosis and determine your risk for future fracture.

The Breast Center houses a state-of-the-art GE Lunar Prodigy Unit. The BMD test is accurate, painless, non-invasive, and in most cases takes only 15 minutes or less. It's never too early or too late to start your prevention program.

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