Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program
Like many people, you may be concerned about your breast health, and how your wellness affects your family, loved ones and friends. We share your concern. Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program (HRBCP) combines a comfortable, supportive environment with first-rate, comprehensive diagnostic and treatment resources… all conveniently close to home.
National Recognition for Breast Care
The HRBCP is accredited by the American College of Radiology as a nationally approved Mammography and Ultrasound Center. We are a member of the National Consortium of Breast Centers. Most recently The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), the only national accreditation program specifically for breast disease, awarded Hunterdon Medical Center’s Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program Three-Year Full Accreditation. The NAPBC is a consortium of national and professional organizations dedicated to quality of care and the improvement of outcomes for patients with diseases of the breast.
A Coordinated Approach to Breast Care
At HRBCP, we take a coordinated approach to breast care, for both well care and cancer care. A highly skilled team of breast specialists from different medical disciplines provides diagnostic testing, treatment, surgery, psychosocial support, education and rehabilitation. This team also collaborates with family practice physicians, gynecologists, radiologists, oncology specialists, plastic surgeons, pathologists and counselors to ensure that the care you receive is the most comprehensive it can be.
Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center is a full-time care partner, providing surgery, reconstruction alternatives, radiation and chemotherapy, support and counseling every step of the way.
The moment you enter the HRBCP – whether for education, screenings, diagnosis or treatment – you are under the care of experienced and qualified breast health professionals. What sets us apart? We combine this level of professional excellence with a true compassion for the patients we serve. HRBCP cares for all of you! A dedicated nurse coordinator experienced in breast health is your direct connection to the many services you may use; she will coordinate your appointments and keep you apprised of your progress.
Our Breast Care Services:
Dedicated Nurse Coordinator
A full-time, dedicated Nurse Coordinator experienced in breast health issues remains in contact with you, keeping you informed about test results. She serves as liaison if further treatment and evaluation are necessary coordinating appointments in an expeditious manner. She is there to hold your hand every step of the way.
Digital Mammography Services
A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray of the breast. It can detect a breast lump nearly two years before it can be felt. Digital mammography is the most advanced technology to date for detecting breast cancer. The digital mammography procedure is essentially the same as standard film mammography, but uses a computer and digital image instead of film. Digital mammograms allow the image to be acquired and displayed immediately, reducing the time that the patient must remain still. This expedited process provides the patient with a more convenient and comfortable mammogram. In addition, a digital image can be enhanced and altered to be seen more clearly and to make a more accurate diagnosis. This image manipulation eliminates the need for a woman to repeat her mammogram if the first image is deemed unusable.
A routine mammogram is the main reason most women visit the Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program. Screening mammograms evaluate breast health in women with no symptoms, and are used for those who seek routine breast evaluation. Diagnostic mammograms are used to diagnose breast disease in women with symptoms of a breast problem: dimpling, or a change in texture of the skin of the breast, a lump, or discharge from the nipple.
Digital mammograms are done at the Hunterdon Women’s Imaging Center located at the address below:
Hunterdon Women’s Imaging Center
121 Rte. 31
Flemington, NJ 08822
The majority of lumps and abnormalities turn out to be benign, not cancerous. A way to determine if a lump is a benign cyst is to perform another imaging procedure called an ultrasound. Ultrasound works by sending high frequency sound waves into the breast. These sound waves produce a pattern of echoes that are changed into an image of the inside of the breast. Ultrasound is painless and can distinguish between tumors that are solid and those that are filled with fluid (cysts). It can also help radiologists evaluate lumps that can be felt but cannot be easily seen on a mammogram.
In this procedure, a computer-guided needle pinpoints a lump precisely, allowing removal of only the tissue needed for examination. A stereotactic biopsy is performed under local anesthesia, and usually takes between 30 minutes and one hour. Results of the relatively simple outpatient procedure are generally available within one working day.
Sentinel Node Biopsy
A procedure performed at the Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program that determines whether any cancer cells are present in axillary (underarm area) lymph nodes is the sentinel node biopsy. The aim of the sentinel node biopsy is to identify the node that receives lymph drainage directly from the cancer area in the breast. This “node on watch” is identified when a tracer substance is injected into the area around the breast cancer, and the lymph flow carries it to the sentinel node. A small biopsy is then done on that node using local anesthesia. Only if the sentinel node is positive is more surgery required to remove that node and other lymph nodes tested.
Services specifically designed for women diagnosed with breast cancer include:
- Surgery including sentinel lymph node dissection
- Reconstructive surgery
- Outpatient chemotherapy suite
- Outpatient radiation treatment services
- Psychosocial counseling and rehabilitative services
- Clinical research
- Breast cancer support groups
- Lymphedema program
- Dietary consultation
Breast Surgery and Reconstruction
Care is coordinated with one of the board-certified surgical specialists at the Medical Center. With early detection, most women are candidates for a lumpectomy, where the surgeon removes only the lump and a margin of tissue around it, sparing the breast.