St. Vincent Breast Care Services are recognized by the NQMBC (Certified Quality Breast Centers of Excellence) and the NAPBC®, a national accreditation program for Breast Care Centers. Both organizations recognize St. Vincent Breast Care Services' ability to meet the highest standards of care and services. Our St. Vincent Breast Surgeons are known for their "attention to detail and compassionate spirit."
St. Vincent provides a strong multidisciplinary approach, coordinated care with a "Caring Spirit," and an individualized breast cancer treatment plan for each woman. Our team approach led by the breast surgeon means each woman benefits from the expertise of the different medical specialists and you'll get a recommendation that is explained to you by your attending breast specialist (not a resident). All of this is done in a timely matter. We never rush these appointments. It is important to answer all of your questions.
We are committed to educating women and your loved ones about breast cancer risks factors, screening, early detection and screening benefits, coping and thriving including:
If you get an abnormal result from a breast exam and mammography or are concerned about worrisome signs and symptoms such as warm or swollen breasts, puckering, dimpling, redness or scaling of the breast, nipple discharge (including blood) or a nipple that turns inwards, or lumps that feel hard in the breast or under the arm, talk to a St. Vincent Breast Care Specialist. Our board-certified surgeons specialize in Women's Health and are highly experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of the many types of diseases affecting the breast and lymph nodes.
"Integrating proven yet targeted breast treatments with a holistic approach around the woman's needs makes a huge difference in outcomes and quality of life. At St. Vincent we have a high-risk breast clinic and a protocol for women with dense breasts. We use the latest cancer detecting technologies, including Screening Breast MRI (AB-MRI), 3-D mammogram (tomosynthesis), and genetic testing."
Erica Giblin, MD, Medical Director, St. Vincent Indiana Breast Care Services, and St. Vincent Breast Surgeon, central Indiana
Take a good look at your health.
There are many types of breast cancer. In Indiana our St. Vincent Breast Specialists primary treat IDC – Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (plus 5 subtypes of this disease); DCIS – Ductal Carcinoma in Situ; and ILC – Invasive Lobular Carcinoma; however, they have also treated rare, complex and metastatic cases including inflammatory breast cancer, male breast cancer and Paget's disease of the nipple. During the weekly breast cancer multi-disciplinary conferences, physicians and staff from all the cancer care departments work as a team to discuss challenging cases and identify optimum care plans, including the treatment of aggressive metastatic disease that spreads to other parts of the body.
St. Vincent breast surgeons also work closely with St. Vincent Medical Imaging, St. Vincent Cancer Care, and St. Vincent Gynecology Oncology specialists. In women's health, there is a link between some forms of breast cancer and ovarian cancer and uterine cancer.
It should be noted benign (non-cancerous) breast conditions (like simple cysts, fibrosis, and granular cell tumors) are very common, more so than a breast cancer diagnosis. Don't second guess the signs and symptoms and delay, see a physician.
Erica Giblin, MD
Board-certified General Surgeon fellowship trained Breast Surgeon, and the medical director of the High-risk Breast Clinic.
"An ounce of prevention is worth an ounce of cure…" While we have great technology and research for breast cancer treatment, our goal at the St. Vincent High-risk Breast Clinic is to help women reduce their risk of ever having breast cancer at all or to help find it at its earliest, most easily treatable stage.
Breast screening guidelines are frequently changing and can be confusing for patients. These guidelines are based on average-risk women with no family history, no gene mutations, and no previous abnormal breast biopsies and may not apply to many women. Modern medicine encourages personalizing breast screening based on risk levels.
Our high-risk breast program thoroughly examines both a women’s personal and family history to determine their individual risk level for breast cancer and offers early detection and risk reduction techniques that would most help them. These interventions may include lifestyle changes, increased breast imaging, genetic testing, medications, and even surgical options in some cases."
Jen Hansen, A-NP
Board-certified Adult Nurse Practitioner
The High-risk Breast Clinic located at the St. Vincent Carmel Women’s Center utilizes a multi-disciplinary team specialized in breast care including breast surgeons, nurse practitioners, certified genetic counselors, radiologists, and medical oncologists.
We have a dedicated nurse practitioner experienced in high-risk breast monitoring, coordination of cancer genetic testing, and management of benign breast diseases. She works with women who are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer and provides personalized management to help reduce their risk.
Within the Clinic, we offer immediate bedside ultrasound and connect directly with the breast imaging center so patients receive accurate results promptly. This team approach ensures that the high-risk patient is provided the most up-to-date resources and a strong support team throughout her journey.
If you have a family history of breast, ovarian or uterine cancer, we have options available to decrease your risk of developing breast cancer. Women who have had a prior breast biopsy with any kind of atypia (abnormal cells) also fall into the high-risk category. At your appointment, we will educate you about all of your options: genetic testing, lifestyle changes, medications, surgical procedures, and ongoing surveillance to help decrease your risk of breast cancer.
If you have an "abnormal" mammogram result, our Imaging Navigators and Women's Health Navigators will help you make an appointment with a St. Vincent Breast Specialist. This appointment typically includes a clinical breast exam and a full medical history. Other potential tests may be needed such as 3D mammography (tomosynthesis), whole breast ultrasound screening, Screening Breast MRI (AB-MRI), blood biomarker tests, or genetic profile tests. Most of the time, lumps are usually noncancerous (benign) but the only way to be certain is to perform additional tests and possibly do a biopsy to remove cells from the suspicious area. The Pathologists affiliated with St. Vincent Cancer Care physicians are highly skilled in the analysis of biopsies, and the staging of all types of breast cancer.
3D Mammography (breast tomosynthesis) and Screening Breast MRI (AB-MRI) are beneficial for the high-risk breast patient and those with very dense breast tissue. This advanced technology is available at many locations throughout the state.
Also known as breast tomosynthesis, 3D is a type of digital mammography in which X-ray machines are used to take pictures of thin slices of the breast from different angles and computer software is used to reconstruct an image. This process is similar to how a computed tomography (CT) scanner produces images of structures inside of the body. Conventional digital mammography produces one image of overlapping tissue, making it difficult to detect cancers. Performed with digital mammography using the same scanner, breast tomosynthesis takes multiple images of the entire breast. It allows our specialized breast radiologists to see through layers of tissue and examine areas of concern from all angles.
3D Mammography (Breast Tomosynthesis) Benefits
Screening Breast MRI (AB-MRI) is a game-changing technology that improves breast cancer screening in women with dense breast tissue. AB-MRI is a faster test than traditional breast MRI with the same ability to detect breast cancer and improves the detection of small cancers compared to mammography. Mammography detects 5-6 cancers per 1,000 patients, whereas AB-MRI detects 15 cancers per 1,000. The new AB-MRI technology significantly reduces the time it takes to do a breast MRI from 30-45 minutes to under 10 minutes.
So why is breast density so important? When you get a mammogram, the density is documented on your mammogram (a state law). If you don’t know your breast tissue density, ask your healthcare provider. Having dense breast tissue is very common, but it also complicates the interpretation of the mammogram. On the mammography report, the radiologist describes the breast density. Descriptions range from a breast that is nearly all fat (category 1) to extremely dense tissue with very little fat (category 4). Above is a picture representing this category system. Category I (fatty breast) is on the left and category 4 (extremely dense) is on the right.
To get the screening breast MRI, you need:
To schedule a screening breast MRI (AB-MRI) call 1-833-MRI-4HER (1-833-674-4437)See all locations providing screening breast mri (AB-BRI)
Breast health services are provided from routine mammograms to advanced breast imaging procedures. Mammograms are read by board-certified radiologists and are certified by The American College of Radiology’s mammography accreditation program, as well as the Indiana State Department of Health and federal government under the Mammography Quality of Standards Act.
Licensed and registered technologists perform approximately 2,000 exams per year. A variety of breast imaging services are available:
Mammography payment assistance is available!
Physicians and staff explain how St. Vincent Cancer Care Outreach and Screening is fulfilled through our “Ministry in Motion.” For more than 20 years, St. Vincent has been providing mobile screening services (including mammography) to women in corporate and community settings throughout Central Indiana. Digital mammograms are widely available at many St. Vincent hospital and outpatient locations. To learn more about this Mobile Screening call 317-338-5434.
Dr. Giblin answers your commonly asked questions.
There’s more to maintaining good breast health than mammograms. Maintain a healthy diet (Mediterranean type) and appropriate weight. These are the most important things a person can do to help prevent any cancer, as well as heart disease, which is the No. 1 killer.
At least once a month. If you’re still menstruating, perform a breast self-exam a week or so after your period; it’s the perfect time when the breast tissue is least swollen and least irritated by hormones. Breasts can swell and become more lumpy right before menses; this can make a self-exam difficult. Look for new lumps, indentations in the skin, skin thickening or redness. Make sure to feel under your armpits for lumps as well. Know your breasts and what’s normal for you.
Digital mammography continues to evolve and improve; the sensitivity of current mammography is approximately 70-80%. The American Cancer Society states that women should start having a yearly mammogram at age 45 if the patient is of average risk. If there is a family history of breast cancer, you’ll start earlier — at least by age 40. Also, know your family’s medical history, especially in regards to cancer and talk to your provider about your personal risk factors. There are things we can do to help identify if a woman is at higher risk of getting breast or ovarian cancer. We now have 3D mammography, which has greatly improved sensitivity in discovering very small breast cancers in women with dense breast tissue and who are at high risk.
Cyclic breast pain — pain in the breasts that occurs a week or two before or during your period — is aggravating because it happens every month. Talk to your physician about how to manage acute pain with over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen. Using primrose oil for longer periods of time can also be helpful. Decreasing caffeine intake and salt intake can also improve the discomfort.
Breast lumps are another common issue. The good news is that most breast lumps are not cancer; a significant amount are water-filled cysts. These usually pop up right before a woman has her period due to hormones stimulating the breast tissue; however, if you feels a lump, always have it checked out by your healthcare provider.
A breast lump, bloody nipple discharge, indentation of the skin and skin changes such as thickening of the skin. NEVER ignore a breast lump.
Only about 5-10% of all breast cancer is considered to be hereditary or due to a gene mutation. Most breast cancers are sporadic, meaning they are due to other causes such as aging, the environment, or lifestyle. There are several risk factors based on family history that may indicate hereditary breast cancer in your family. Genetic counseling and testing are available to you to find out if there is an inherited gene mutation that can predispose you to developing breast and other cancers. At this appointment we’ll review your family history and determine if genetic testing is appropriate for you.
There are several risk factors that can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. These include atypical changes on a previous breast biopsy, high doses of radiation to the chest (such as to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma), a strong family history of cancer, or a known genetic mutation in the patient or family members.
We encourage patients to start to understand their risk by gathering as much family history from both their mother’s and father’s sides including all types of cancer. If there are a significant number of individuals with cancer on one side of the family, or you have had any of the other risk factors listed, then we invite you to schedule an appointment for a formal risk assessment to find out what is available to help you prevent breast cancer or detect it very early.
Dense breasts have less fatty tissue and more glandular tissue compared to breasts that aren’t dense. One way to measure breast density is the thickness of tissue on a mammogram. Dense breast tissue can make it harder for mammograms to detect breast cancer; breast cancers are easier to see on a mammogram when they’re surrounded by fatty tissue rather than glandular tissue. If you have dense breasts we can offer other imaging modalities that may be more effective in detecting cancer earlier as well as offer lifestyle modifications to help reduce your risk of developing cancer.
In your morning rush, you get a quick shower before your busy day begins. As you’re showering, you notice a lump in your breast. Your 10 minutes of peace just turned into an alarming event. But don’t panic—roughly 80 percent of breast lumps are benign, or noncancerous. Some even go away on their own. And while they’re not life-threatening, they can be uncomfortable or even painful. If you notice any changes in your breasts, it’s important to talk to your doctor, who can determine the cause behind these changes and recommend the best treatment.
Here’s a brief overview of the most common types.
Treatment of these lumps is typically simple: Some are removed via minor surgery, while others can be easily extracted through fine needle aspiration—the drawing of cystic fluid through a needle. To keep abreast of your mammary health, it’s important to take time regularly to check your breasts and have regular screening mammograms. The sooner a lump is found, the easier it is to treat.