Mount Sinai Queens Breast Cancer Program
Our breast cancer program, whose physicians and surgeons are on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, provides compassionate, advanced care right here in Queens. We provide innovative treatment, comprehensive support services, access to clinical trials, and conveniently located imaging and diagnostic services.
At Mount Sinai Queens, our care team offers specialized expertise in diagnosing and treating all types of breast cancer, from early to advanced stages. The team includes:
- Breast surgeons
- Medical oncologists
- Plastic surgeons
- Oncology nurse practitioners
- Patient navigators
Your breast health is our primary concern. To help ensure that we make an accurate diagnosis, we perform various tests and procedures, ranging from a physical breast examination to advanced digital tomosynthesis imaging and various types of biopsy.
If you receive a breast cancer diagnosis, we have a team of specialists who can design a treatment plan that works for you. Our team approach ensures that you will receive the most innovative and effective treatments possible. Your treatment options range from outpatient surgery, such as lumpectomy, to chemotherapy, breast reconstruction, and opportunities to participate in groundbreaking clinical trials.
We encourage you to contact us if you have received a breast cancer diagnosis or concerning results from a screening, or if you need a second opinion. Our staff will schedule your appointment as quickly as possible.
Breast Cancer Diagnostic Services
If breast imaging, screening, or a physical exam, along with symptoms such as a lump, indicate the possible presence of cancer, we perform tests to confirm the presence of cancerous cells.
Image-guided biopsies enable us to determine whether a suspicious breast mass is malignant and develop the most appropriate course of treatment. A biopsy involves removing cells or a small piece of tissue that we believe may be cancerous and examining it under a microscope.
To test for breast cancer, we may use one of the following procedures:
Clinical breast examination is a physical exam
Imaging uses technologies such as mammography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-rays, ultrasound, positron emissions tomography (PET), and breast molecular imaging.
Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is used both to screen for breast cancer for patients at high risk and to assess the extent of breast cancer. It is often performed after a biopsy that is positive for cancer to get more information about the spread of the disease.
Digital tomosynthesis is advanced imaging that creates three-dimensional images of the breast.
Fine needle aspiration (FNA) involves inserting a very small needle to extract a small amount of fluid or a few cells for testing. This test is a quick way to distinguish between a liquid-filled cyst and a solid tumor. We typically perform an FNA here at Mount Sinai Queens. The discomfort lasts only a few minutes.
Core needle biopsies are similar to FNAs, but use a larger, hollow needle to remove several tissue samples, each about the size of a grain of rice. We do a core biopsy when we are assessing a lump that we can see on a mammogram, MRI, or ultrasound. This is a relatively safe and quick procedure and requires the use of a local anesthetic.
Stereotactic biopsies use two sets of low-dose X-rays for guidance. With this procedure, our radiologist makes a small incision to remove several tissue samples. Less invasive than a surgical (excisional) biopsy, this procedure takes place in a specially equipped room, but not in an operating room.
Excisional (or surgical) biopsy is an outpatient procedure that takes place in an operating room and requires light sedation. We can remove either the entire mass of suspicious tissue or a large sample. We test the margins, or edges, of the sample to see whether we removed the entire tumor. If we determine that you do have cancer, we may also test the tissue to help us determine the best course of treatment.
Breast Cancer Treatment Options
Lumpectomy is a surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in the breast. During this procedure, we may also perform tissue transfer to correct any unevenness between your breasts that might result from removing tissue from only one breast.
Nipple-sparing mastectomy keeps the nipple, areola, and breast skin intact while removing cancerous tissue. Candidates include patients whose tumor does not involve the nipple or tissue under the areola; whose tumors are surrounded by a clear margin of cancer-free tissue; and who have not been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer or advanced breast cancer with skin involvement.
Sentinel node biopsies are done after a diagnosis of cancer. This procedure allows us to determine whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. We make a small incision to remove the sentinel node for pathology testing. If we do find cancer, we may also remove additional lymph nodes, either during this procedure or during a follow-up.
Infusion therapy includes chemotherapy and takes place in the comfort of the Mount Sinai Queens Infusion Center where you receive personalized care.
Patient Navigators and Support Services
A breast cancer diagnosis can be both scary and stressful. Patient navigators at Mount Sinai Queens help you work through the complex system by identifying providers, scheduling appointments, helping clarify insurance coverage, getting questions answered, and connecting with support services.