SPECIAL FEATURE: Innovation in Action
BY FARAH F. JADRAN
With loads of information at our fingertips, we should know, as women, that it’s best to perform monthly self-exams. And by age 40 (or depending on family history), we should know that getting an annual mammogram, also is the best thing we can do for our health. While the term, “should,” is emphasized, we know this is not always the case.
Now, more than ever, Dr. Deepa Masrani, of Upstate University Hospital, says that women “must take responsibility for their own health.” Any skin changes on the breast, lumps, dimples or changes in nipples (or nipple discharge) should be immediately reported to your primary care physician, according to Dr. Masrani. “Just getting an annual mammogram is a very important way for women to take control of their [breast] health,” Dr. Masrani said.
During this past summer, Upstate University Hospital took over the Wellspring Breast Center on the Community Campus. Now, the center has three radiologists that maintain breast imaging as their primary focus. “Having three specialized women’s imagers available at any given time for screening mammogram reports will make the review process run more smoothly and efficiently,” she said. Wellspring also offers a full comprehensive curriculum of breast care with digital mammography and breast ultrasound. Dr. Masrani says patients can take full advantage of onsite breast biopsies and breast surgery referrals as well. Wellspring has consult rooms, a patient conference room, two breast ultrasound exam rooms, biopsy facilities, and two diagnostic mammography rooms. The waiting areas are spacious and comfortable. Comfortable cloth robes, herbal teas and aromatherapy all add to the overall atmosphere.
At Wellspring, a breast specialist team is available to provide examinations, diagnostic testing and treatment as needed. If a biopsy is necessary, the team will provide options, immediate scheduling and support throughout the entire process. The staff of health professionals aims to provide peace
of mind by bringing knowledgeable specialists and the latest technology together in one location.
Apart from the available digital mammography, Dr. Masrani says Wellspring patients have access to a 3 Tesla Breast MRI Unit, which is used for high resolution imaging diagnostic purposes to screen women with high risk of breast cancer.
Over Dr. Masrani’s years of experience, she says that having digital breast mammography, breast ultrasound, and breast MRI have made a noticeable difference on how she and the Wellspring staff focuses on breast health. In addition, Positron Emission Mammography (nuclear imaging of the breast) has been immensely effective, especially for patients who cannot get a breast MRIs because they may be claustrophobic.
More so, Dr. Masrani says that the two newest waves of breast technology are what will make the execution of breast health stronger at Wellspring. The first technology is Breast Tomosynthesis, which is a multi-slice mammogram that provides more details when evaluating dense breast tissue. This process helps resolve breast abnormalities in a more efficient manner. “This will cut back on diagnostic callbacks for patients and reduce patent apprehension,” Dr. Masrani said. “Also, it will decrease the number of unnecessary breast biopsies.” The second technology advancement is the 3D Automated Breast Ultrasound. Now that the state of New York has legally mandated that dense breast tissue be reported on every screening mammogram, the 3D Automated Breast Ultrasound comes in use. “These patients will need a supplemental screening with 3D Breast Ultrasound,” Dr. Masrani said. “This is the new tool which takes away the operator dependency involved in routine breast ultrasound.”
To learn more about the Wellspring Breast Center, visit www.upstate.edu/community/services/wellspring.php or call (315) 492-5007.