breast health

At Bon Secours Virginia, we know that breast health is important for all women.  Most women know that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer, and almost every woman has either had breast cancer or knows someone who has had it.  Our increased awareness of breast cancer has led to better -- and earlier -- detection and treatment, but it has also increased the anxiety level among many women.  One of the best ways to ease anxiety is to help educate our patients about breast health, self examination, and cancer prevention.

Like many conditions, there are some risk factors for breast cancer that you cannot control, such as family history and genetic makeup.  We can help you determine your risk for breast cancer, using genetic testing and other methods.  Research has shown that a woman can decrease her risk for breast cancer by making certain lifestyle choices, such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and limiting alcohol consumption.  There are medications that can decrease your risk as well, if you fall into a high-risk category, such as having two or more close relatives with breast cancer, or having a genetic predisposition to the condition.

One of the most important forms of early detection is the monthly breast self-examination, which should begin at around age 20 years.  The clinical examination, which is a breast examination performed by your doctor or other health professional, is an important part of early detection, as is a yearly screening mammogram, typically beginning at age 40 years.

Your well being, comfort, and peace of mind are our top priority. Many of our imaging locations provide you with results during your visit, and if we find anything of concern, we can often perform further testing at that time, including ultrasound, MRI, and biopsy.

There are many effective treatments for breast cancer including chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or a combination.  We will fully discuss your condition as well as your treatment options, and will work with you to develop a treatment plan that offers you the highest chance of success.  We strive to create a supportive, comfortable environment for our patients and their families, which puts you and your health at the center.

We also treat many non-cancerous breast conditions that may require treatment, including:

•    Atypical duct hyperplasia
•    Breast cysts
•    Duct ectasia
•    Fat necrosis
•    Fibroadenomas
•    Fibrocystic breast condition
•    Galactoceles
•    Granular cell tumors
•    Intraductal papillomas
•    Locular carcinoma in situ
•    Mastitis
•    Phylloides tumors

In addition to clinical services, the Bon Secours Virginia Breast Center provides online educational materials as well as the opportunity for membership in a support community, helping you connect to information and others who can share your burden in a safe, secure environment.  We will help you help yourself and others.

To learn more about your risk for breast cancer, we offer our Take Control program through the Bon Secours Virginia Breast Center.  We can help you learn about your personal risk factors, how you can manage your risk and, hopefully, prevent breast cancer from occurring. To learn more about Take Control, click here.

For a list of Bon Secours breast surgeons click here.

good sharing


Breast health is important for all women.

Polly Stephens, M.D.

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System