General surgeons are “Breast Specialists” by training. We are experts in determining if a significant breast problem exists. We advise patients whether or not any procedure or surgery is needed for a given problem. Most women that are referred to us DO NOT have breast cancer. It is our job to determine this. We also evaluate and treat many other non-cancerous problems such as breast infections, nipple discharge, and breast pain.
A typical, comprehensive office breast evaluation often includes
When a concerning mass or lump is identified in the breast, a biopsy is needed to determine the cause of the mass. A biopsy is a procedure to sample or remove the concerning mass. A board certified pathologist evaluates the biopsy sample under a microscope to determine if any cancer or pre-cancerous cells are present. Most biopsies are performed with a needle under local anesthesia. Some are performed in the operating room.
Many women are advised by their physician to see a surgeon because their mammogram was felt to be abnormal. Mammograms can often identify a breast cancer before it is detectable by the patient or a physician. A concerning mammogram mass may require a breast biopsy. We offer to each patient the most appropriate and minimally invasive procedure, if needed.
Many women are advised by their physician to see a surgeon because they have a lump in their breast. Any breast lump is concerning and requires a complete evaluation by a surgeon. Breast imaging studies are often needed. A breast lump is either a solid mass or a cyst. A solid breast mass will require a biopsy.
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer occurring in women. About one in nine women will develop breast cancer. Northern Virginia Surgical Specialists comprehensively and compassionately evaluate and treat patients with this disease. We offer state-of-the-art breast conserving breast cancer treatment. Many years ago, our surgeons introduced breast conservation surgery and sentinel lymph node biopsy to Prince William Hospital and Fauquier Hospital.
Our surgeons work closely with medical oncologists and radiation oncologists to optimize the outcome for our breast cancer patients. Each breast cancer patient is closely followed by their surgeon for many years.
Most breast cancer occurs by chance (also called sporadic). In some families we see more breast and ovarian cancer than we would expect by chance alone. Determining which of these families have breast cancer related to an inherited gene mutation is important, as the cancer risks in hereditary breast cancer families are much higher than the normal population.
Women and men who have multiple close family members with breast cancer may be considered appropriate for genetic testing. The vast majority of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer is due to a mutation in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Our surgeons can help coordinate obtaining this genetic test in appropriate patients.