Screening and Diagnosis
SJMHS offers comprehensive breast care from screening and diagnostic testing through all phases of treatment and follow-up. We are accredited by the American College of Radiology, the Federal Drug Administration and the State of Michigan.
The Breast Center in the Ellen Thompson Women’s Health Center provides state-of-the-art technology directed by radiologists with extensive training and experience in caring for women with breast diseases. System-wide we perform over 60,000 screening mammograms annually. Within the Breast Center patients have access to:
Physical examination by radiologists and trained mammography technicians
- Digital mammography
- Diagnostic ultrasound
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Fine-needle aspirations
- Ultrasound-guided biopsies
- MRI-guided biopsies
- Stereotactic core biopsies
Breast Center locations at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System >>
Our highly trained, experienced physicians work as a team to provide outstanding, compassionate care to our breast cancer patients. All cases are reviewed by a
multidisciplinary group that includes:
- Surgeons with expertise in treating breast diseases
- Radiation oncologists
- Medical oncologists
Across this spectrum we provide the latest technology including sentinel node biopsies, comprehensive tissue analysis with access to gene expression profiling, intensity-modulated radiation therapy and mammosite-delivered brachytherapy.
Patients are guided through this process by a Nurse Navigator who assists in scheduling and coordinating care, provides educational material, answers general questions about breast cancer and the treatment process and directs patients to appropriate resources. The Nurse Navigator is also available to assist physicians who wish to refer patients to the system.
Patients are referred to other professionals as needed to participate in their care or to provide resources for dealing with the many issues that arise during diagnosis and
treatment. These include:
- Plastic and reconstructive surgeons highly skilled in reconstructive surgery including saline and silicone implants, muscle flaps and microvascular perforatory flaps
- Social workers with special training in oncology who run breast cancer support groups and help patients deal with the emotional, family, financial and other issues
impacted by cancer treatments
- Physical therapists with training in prevention and management of lymphedema
- Nutritionists to assist women with dietary issues during and after treatment
Clinical Trials and Quality Programs
Our program offers a large number of clinical trials looking at treatment and supportive therapies for patients with breast cancer. These include:
- Radiation treatments
- Hormonal therapies
- Biological therapies including targeted agents
- Managing side effects and sequelae of treatment
As part of our effort to ensure that we provide the highest quality care and the best possible outcomes, we are working with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an organization of major cancer centers around the country, that develops guidelines encompassing all aspects of cancer care. In collaboration with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we are among a select group of hospitals participating in a program to monitor compliance with NCCN guidelines.
Within SJMHS we perform hundreds of breast cancer procedures annually. Our earlystage breast cancer survival rates meet or exceed the best outcomes in the United States.