Northside Hospital Cherokee has recently adopted new technologies designed to improve breast care and reduce patient stress, officials said.

Northside recently expanded its breast care services with a new imaging center in Canton, where all services relating to the diagnosis of breast disease, from routine screenings to breast MRI, are performed in an outpatient setting.

“As Northside continues to grow, new facilities and technological advancements provide women with more options than ever before,” said Dr. Karen Buhariwalla, breast surgeon with Northside Hospital Cherokee and Cherokee Breast Care. “Breast care is an important part of a woman’s annual health care; here we’re offering everything a woman needs – high quality services and state-of-the-art technology.”

The Northside/Canton Breast Care Center opened in the new 470 medical office building on the Northside Hospital Cherokee campus in July. The center is the first dedicated women’s imaging on the hospital campus, Northside spokeswoman Katherine Watson said in a written statement. It offers comprehensive breast screening and diagnostic services including digital 2D and 3D mammography with computer-aided detection, breast ultrasound, breast MRI, stereotactic and MRI breast biopsy, and seed and wire localizations, she said.

Digital breast tomosyhthesis (3D mammography) and seed localization are both new services on the Northside Hospital Cherokee campus, Watson said.

Three dimensional mammography allows radiologists to see the inner structure of the breast in a way that they never have before, even allowing them to look at individual layers of the breast, Watson said. The technology can help detect cancers that may have been missed by traditional mammography, especially in patients with dense breast tissue, and can help reduce the recall of patients for follow-up mammograms and biopsies.

Northside Hospital was the first in Atlanta to offer 3D mammography, when it acquired the technology at its Atlanta Breast Care Center in 2011, Watson said. Northside offers 3D mammography at its imaging centers in Canton, Holly Springs, Alpharetta, Cumming, Dawsonville, Johns Creek, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Midtown Atlanta, Peachtree Corners, Sandy Springs, Stockbridge and Warner Robins, and the technology will be available at all 26 mammography locations by January 2020.

When suspicious breast tissue is found, the new Canton Breast Care Center also is the first within the Northside system to offer seed technology that allows the surgeon to more precisely pinpoint and remove breast tumors with less disturbance to surrounding healthy tissue, Watson said. This is especially important for lumps that cannot be felt.

During seed localization, a tiny seed, smaller than a grain of rice, is placed within abnormal breast tissue to mark its location; the surgeon can locate it later in the operating room using a handheld detector, Watson said.

“Seed localization is an alternative to wire or needle localization,” said Dr. Buhariwalla, who specializes in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of breast cancer and all breast-related disorders, including lumpectomies for cancer that require seeds.

“Seed localization is often more comfortable for patients and can be done before the day of surgery, so patients spend less time waiting at the hospital between procedures,” Buhariwalla said.

One in eight women will get breast cancer sometime during her lifetime. Early detection is the best protection, Watson said. The Northside Hospital Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Program is one of the nation’s leading providers of breast cancer diagnostic and treatment services. More cases of breast cancer are diagnosed and treated each year at Northside than anywhere else in the Southeast, she said.

In addition to the new Breast Care Center, a full spectrum of services – from diagnosis to treatment and recovery – are available on the Northside Hospital Cherokee campus including genetic counseling, imaging, radiation oncology, surgery, support, rehabilitation and more. For more information, call 404-531-4444 or visit builttobeatcancer.com.

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