Breast Health

The thought of having breast cancer is frightening to everyone, and especially devastating to women.

Group of Breast Cancer Survivors Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Statistics indicate one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her lifetime.

The stage at which breast cancer is detected influences a woman’s chance of survival. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.

Ignoring the possibility that you may develop breast cancer or avoiding the processes to detect cancer can be dangerous.

Although there are some women who are at higher risk, the fact is that all women are at risk for breast cancer. Although breast cancer can't be prevented at the present time, early detection of problems provides the greatest possibility of successful treatment.

Routine care is the best way to keep you and your breasts healthy. Although detecting breast cancer at its earliest stages is the main goal of routine breast care, other benign conditions, such as fibrocystic breasts, are often discovered through routine care.

Why OSF Breast Care is Different

At OSF HealthCare, our breast health experts will walk you through the whole process from the screening mammogram through any potential follow-up testing.

Not everyone needs additional testing. But if you do, be assured that it's all available at OSF HealthCare where the latest diagnostic equipment is available.

Whether you fear the discomfort in having a mammogram or fear the news of abnormal results, we are here to help ease your fears. We won't let you stand alone.

We walk you through each step, ease each fear and answer each question along the way in the screening and diagnostic process. If treatment is necessary, we'll help you find the one that's right for you. After all, we've come to know you as a friend.

A Leader in Breast Health

NAPBC-Award.jpg OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center has been recognized by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).

Breast Cancer Risk Assessments

With breast cancer screening guidelines changing all the time, it can be tough to know what screenings to have or what level of risk you may be at.

Both our online health risk assessment and our in-person high risk assessment are great ways to come up with a plan of action that is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a 3D mammography breast exam?

  • 3D mammography is a new screening and diagnostic tool designed for early breast cancer detection that can be done in conjunction with a traditional 2D digital mammogram. This oftentimes is referred to as breast tomosynthesis.

    During the 3D part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over your breast, taking multiple breast images instead of one straight-down picture. Then, a computer produces a 3D image of your breast tissue in one millimeter slices, providing greater visibility for the radiologist to see breast detail in a way never before possible. They can scroll through images of your entire breast like pages of a book.

  • Why is there a need for tomosynthesis breast exams?

  • With conventional digital mammography, the radiologist is viewing all the complexities of your breast tissue in one flat image. Sometimes breast tissue can overlap, giving the illusion of normal breast tissue looking like an abnormal area.

    By looking at the breast tissue in one millimeter slices, the radiologist can provide a more confident assessment. 1 In this way, 3D mammography can find cancers missed with conventional 2D mammography.3

  • What are the benefits of 3D mammography?

  • The additional 3D images make it possible for a radiologist to gain a better understanding of your breast tissue during a screening1 or diagnostic mammogram and the confidence to reduce the need for follow-up imaging.

  • What should I expect during the 3D mammography exam?

  • 3D mammography complements standard 2D mammography and is performed at the same time with the same system. There is no additional compression required, and it only takes a few seconds longer for each view.

  • Is there more radiation than a normal mammogram?

  • This very new exam is a voluntary addition to a regular mammogram. It cannot be done by itself, but must be performed along with your regular 2D mammogram. Adding tomosynthesis increases the amount of radiation but is still well within the FDA regulated limit for mammography. If you have concerns about radiation exposure, please talk with your mammography technologist, radiologist or provider who can give you additional information.

  • Who can have a 3D mammography exam?

  • It is approved for all women who would be undergoing a standard mammogram, in both the screening and diagnostic settings.

  • What is a Breast Self-Exam (BSE)?

  • Women over the age of 20 should Being aware of what the tissue feels like will help a woman find changes.

    Not all changes mean cancer, but they should be reported to your health care provider for follow up.

  • What is a Clinical Breast Exam (CBE)?

  • When a trained health care provider examines your breasts, it is called a Clinical Breast Exam.

    Their experience and knowledge assists them in detecting potential problems. Women over 20 should have a CBE every three years until age 40.

    At age 40, CBE's should become a yearly routine.

  • What is a Sentinel Node Biopsy?

  • A is a surgery that takes out lymph node tissue to look for cancer.