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Breast Cancer

One in every nine women has a chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer within her lifetime. The statistic is startling. Fortunately, the solution is nearby at St. John Providence Health System. Come to us for education, early detection, screening, risk factor assessment and, perhaps most important, timely treatment. When you are diagnosed with breast cancer, every day counts. Our revolutionary process enables you to review your options quickly with your entire cancer care team. This nationally recognized team of experts can then help you begin treatment within just days of your diagnosis.

An Uncommon Level of Care

Whether you’re focused on surviving breast cancer, preventing breast cancer, or anything in between, we’re ready with an uncommon level of care. We believe every patient deserves the fastest and most comprehensive treatment available, and we are set up to provide it. Here’s how:

  • A nurse navigator gives each woman our individual assistance, assuring that no information, education, service or support is left to chance, including timely additional physician referrals or testing.
  • Breast care services include screening, diagnostic mammography and stereotactic procedures.
  • Our referral mechanism enables each patient with a suspicious mammogram to consult with a specialist within 48 hours.
  • Our multidisciplinary physician team provides the optimal treatment regimen for the woman with breast cancer, providing important advantages for women who:
    • Have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.
    • Have experienced a relapse of their disease.
    • Have had abnormal mammograms, abnormal physical findings or symptoms of breast cancer.
    • Have been referred by their family physician or another surgeon for a second opinion about their breast health and/or breast cancer.
    • Have not received any form of treatment for their breast cancer, either proven or suspected.

How To Reach Us

To schedule a consultation, call toll free, 1-866-246-4673 or visit our Breast Care Program for more information.

Second Opinion

Patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer may come to us for a second opinion consultation. Second opinions are strongly recommended for all cancer diagnoses, so that you and your oncologist can choose the best treatment. Patients should ask their physicians to submit pathology materials for our review; each case receives a written evaluation.

Who's On Your Team?

Our multidisciplinary approach to cancer care ensures that in a single visit, each patient receives a complete team of nationally recognized experts, including:

  • Surgeon
  • Medical Oncologist
  • Radiation Oncologist
  • Plastic Surgeon (if patient requests)
  • Radiology and pathology are also involved in the patient’s case but may not interact with the patient
  • Oncology Nurse

How We Treat You

  • Genetic Counseling and Testing: Ideal for women who have a family history of breast cancer, genetic testing enables us to identify certain genes that place women at higher risk for breast cancer.
  • Screening Mammography: A routine, annual mammography to maintain good health.
  • Diagnostic Mammography: A more specific, specialized, concentrated view to zero in on a suspicious area.
  • Ultrasound: A painless screening which can often help differentiate immediately between a cyst, calcification or dense tissue that was unclear in a mammogram.
  • Core Biopsy: Insertion of a needle into a mass that can be felt in order to extract cells to send to pathology.
  • Stereotactic Core Biopsy: A needle biopsy similar to a core biopsy (above), where a slightly larger sample of cells is extracted for review by pathology. For many patients, needle biopsies help eliminate the need for more invasive, uncomfortable and time-consuming surgical procedures.
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy: A conservative alternative to surgery to remove a cluster of lymph nodes from under the arm, this procedure analyzes only the first one or two (sentinel) nodes to receive lymph from the tumor. If these nodes do not contain cancer, further lymph node surgery may not be necessary.
  • Excisional Biopsy: An outpatient surgical procedure to remove suspicious tissue for further examination.

Reducing Your Risk

Here are a few of the ways we can help you prevent breast cancer:

Screening (see Specialized Services, above):
The earlier your breast cancer is found, the better your chances for successful treatment. According to the American Cancer Society, guidelines for early detection are:

  • Annual mammograms for women 40 and over.
  • A clinical breast exam every 3 years for women ages 20-39; every year after age 40.
  • Breast self-examination (BSE) every month for women 20 and over.

Lifestyle choices
Our nutritionist can consult with you about cancer-preventing lifestyle changes, such as reducing fat intake, reducing alcohol intake, not smoking and exercising three times each week.

Risk assessment
We can work with you to determine your personal risk for breast cancer. Risk factors include lifestyle, genetic factors (we offer genetic testing), family history, age, race and previous breast cancer. Assess your risk now. Use this brief assessment to identify some prominent risk factors and calculate your chance of developing breast cancer within the next five years. According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, over 180,000 women and 1,400 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. If detected early, breast cancer has a five-year survival rate of over 95%.


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National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC)

The St. John Providence Breast Care Program is fully accredited by the American College of Surgeons. Our Breast Care Program was the first in Michigan to successfully earn certification through the National Accreditation Program for Breast Care Centers (NAPBC) in June 2009 and was successfully reaccredited in 2012.

Commission on Cancer

WXYZ TV 7 Breast Cancer Web Chat

Watch our Breast Cancer web chat

You are Unique

At St. John Providence Health System, we know that you’re a unique individual and not just a condition or a list of symptoms. We treat the whole person.

Get in touch with us so we can learn about you and give you the help you need for your individual situation.

Call 1-866-246-4673