No two of our patients are alike and as such we would never use a one size fits all diagnostic solution.
Our renowned Triple Test approach allows each patient to undertake the personal level of testing required to get a confirmed result.
This may be include clinical and imaging alone or may include needle biopsy.
Patients attend the clinic on the morning of their appointment to undertake all required testing and will leave later in the day with a multidisciplinary correlated result.
Testing can take between two and six hours.
The test selection is dependent on the patient’s age, the breast problem and the level of risk.
Our nurses provide dedicated support to all patients as they undergo testing.
The Triple Test is the recommended approach to evaluate clinical or imaging findings and provides a very high level of accuracy.
All reports will be provided to the referring doctor for further follow up and referral to a breast surgeon, if required.
Clinical breast examination and historyOur patients will meet with one of our specialist breast consultants including breast physicians to discuss breast related concerns as well as documenting a general medical history.
All relevant questions are asked and documented to allow our consultants to identify factors that increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.
The consultant will then conduct a comprehensive clinical breast examination.
Mammogram and 3D TomographyOur specialist radiographers perform a mammogram which involves compressing the breast tissue between two plates and exposing it to a low dose of radiation.
This procedure takes a matter of minutes.
Our state of the art tomography equipment means that several angled low dose exposures are taken to create a computerised 3D series of 1mm slices through the breast tissue, as well as creating a synthesised 2D mammogram image – all with an exposure dose similar to that of a traditional mammogram.
A specialist radiologist will interpret the results of each patient's mammogram and, in consultation with the clinical consultant, will make a recommendation in relation to the need for ultrasound imaging or further investigation.
Breast ultrasoundWhole breast ultrasound examination is undertaken by our skilled sonographers.
It adds valuable information about clinical or mammographic findings and is a very sensitive screening test, particularly if the breast tissue is mammographically dense or the patient is at increased risk of breast cancer.
Ultrasound is generally used to complement the mammogram findings. However, ultrasound may be the first test for younger patients, or those that are pregnant or breast feeding.
CytologyCytology is a biopsy test where a breast physician or radiologist uses a fine needle to further investigate the findings of the previous tests.
Using ultrasound guidance the specialist will insert a fine needle into the area of breast change in order to collect a small sample of cells (cytology) for pathology testing.
The sample will be analysed immediately by one our pathologists. Together with our breast physicians and radiologists, the pathologist will determine a diagnosis or identify the need for core biopsy.
The patient will be provided with the results immediately by the treating breast physician or radiologist.
Typically fine needle biopsy causes only minimal discomfort and may cause minor bruising.
Core biopsySimilar to a fine needle biopsy, a core biopsy can be obtained using ultrasound guidance.
It collects tiny samples of breast tissue, and the localised area is numbed with anesthetic prior to the biopsy.
Core biopsy results are not available immediately, but are provided in two work days. The results will be discussed with the patient by either your breast physician or referring doctor.
Mammographic stereotactic core biopsyIf an abnormality can be seen on a mammogram but not on an ultrasound examination then a mammographically guided needle biopsy may be necessary.
This test is called a stereotactic biopsy, as two mammographic views are used to pinpoint the abnormality for biopsy.
The sample is obtained using a needle with vacuum suction and the tissue specimens are sent to the pathology laboratory for examination.
As with ultrasound guided core biopsy, the results are not available immediately, but are provided in two working days.
The results will be discussed with the patient by either the breast physician or referring doctor.
Post menopausal women are at an increased risk of osteoporosis which occurs when the bones lose minerals faster than they can replace them.
This can lead to fragile, brittle bones and an increased risk of fractures. While many people have osteoporosis, many more have low bone density (osteopenia), a possible precursor to osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is generally a ‘silent’ disease without obvious symptoms. People are unaware they are affected before they have a fracture.
Osteoporosis Australia recommends that anyone who experiences a fracture following a minor bump or fall and is 50 years or over should be investigated for osteoporosis.
It also recommends investigation if a person is likely to be at increased risk, for example, if they have a family history of osteoporosis.
Sydney Breast Clinic provides bone mineral testing using state of the art DXA densitometry technology to obtain an x-ray of the lower spine and hips and to calculate how much x-ray energy is absorbed by the bones.
A radiologist will analyse the results and provide a written report.
Medicare rebates are available for DXA scans if the referring doctor considers you to be at risk of osteoporosis due to another medical condition or if you are aged 70 years and over.
Breast conditions, both benign and cancerous, can be complicated to diagnose and manage.
A second opinion may be sought for a variety of reasons.
For some women, the purpose of seeking a second opinion is to confirm the diagnosis and management plan that has already been proposed.
The reassurance of a second specialist may help women feel more confident about the planned management, and allows them to proceed with the care already planned.
For other women, the purpose of obtaining a second opinion is to hear another point of view, or to find out about other treatment options.
In cases of cancer, this may be one that has fewer side effects or is more targeted to their particular circumstances.
Women are often concerned that their managing doctor will be offended by a second opinion.
This is generally not the case, and most breast specialists expect and encourage second opinions. It can be helpful to seek a second opinion from a doctor or specialist in a different institution or network, so that you can be offered a different point of view.
Sydney Breast Clinic is a specialist breast service and can provide a high quality second opinion based on years of training, specialisation and experience in breast imaging and diagnosis.
Women often come to SBC for reassurance about a diagnosis or a management plan that has already been proposed.
Although women presenting for a second opinion will often come to SBC with their breast imaging already completed, in some circumstances we will recommend further imaging, with extra mammographic views or more specialised ultrasound imaging, to ensure that we can give a fully informed opinion.
Our same-day service ensures that for the majority of patients, a diagnosis and second opinion can be given the day of consultation.
For women with breast cancer who are seeking a second opinion on treatment planning, a consultation can be organised with a consultant breast surgeon.
Often this second opinion leaves women feeling confident about their proposed treatment options.