Significant progress has been made in recent years in the early diagnosis and treatment of breast disease. At Danbury, care has evolved from open surgical approaches to less invasive techniques whenever medically feasible. For example, when a patient is referred to us for evaluation of an abnormal mass or imaging finding, we investigate via image-guided fine needle aspiration or core needle biopsy. In either case, only enough tissue is retrieved for the breast pathologist to determine whether the lesion is benign or malignant by examining the specific nature of the cells. Roughly 80 percent of detected abnormalities are ultimately proven to be benign, often needing no further treatment. But when cancer is found, we are usually able to determine tumor type as well as the most appropriate medical and surgical options based on these needle biopsies. At Danbury Hospital, we currently diagnose and treat more than 200 patients with breast cancer each year.
We make every effort to avoid mastectomy. When we encounter a relatively large tumor, we may begin with chemotherapy to reduce the size. If the tumor shrinks significantly, we can then make a tiny incision and perform a relatively small lumpectomy that preserves a good cosmetic appearance of the breast. We may also utilize chemotherapy to provide a patient who has a complex genetic or personal cancer history with added flexibility and time to decide among surgical options for treatment. In every case, we work collaboratively with each patient, giving her the informational tools she needs to participate confidently in shaping her individual care.
At the Breast Center, we manage a number of other breast conditions, including benign fibroadenomas, intraductal papillomas, nipple discharge and breast pain. Our surgical services are backed by clinical services and support programs, expert diagnostic and therapeutic services, and state-of-the-art imaging technology, including breast MRI.