PERTH AMBOY — This October marks 26 years of observing National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That’s more than a quarter century of creating breast cancer awareness, education and empowerment nationwide. “At Raritan Bay Medical Center’s Center for Women, designated a pink ribbon facility, our physicians and highly-trained staff bring that same commitment to our community every day,” says Stephen Warren, MD, a board-certified radiologist and chairman, department of diagnostic imaging at the medical center.
According to the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, this year more than 230,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer and over 40,000 women will die because of breast cancer. While those statistics may seem intimidating, early detection of breast cancer, through self-breast exams or breast screenings, can greatly improve treatment success. “Women should discuss their family and health history with their doctor and whether they should have additional tests or mammograms at an earlier age; but generally, women should begin having annual mammograms at age 40,” says Dr. Warren.
Women’s healthcare technology company Hologic recognized the Center for Women in 2011, with locations at the medical center’s Old Bridge and Perth Amboy locations, as a Pink Ribbon Facility TM certifying that the medical center provides its patients the best possible imaging technology available for the earliest possible detection of breast cancer. “Our technology is state-of-the-art,” explains Dr. Warren, “but ultimately each patient’s care rests in the hands of our expert radiologists and compassionate healthcare professionals. Our radiologists use a ‘double read’ method, unlike most facilities where a single radiologist scans the images. Double read means that two doctors evaluate every digital screening mammogram and provide two opinions. If the doctors do not concur, a third radiologist is called upon for an additional read. The mammogram is then checked by a CAD computer algorithm, providing yet another assurance.”
Patients appreciate the extra touches that make the Center a special place. “I’ve always maintained my health and have been diligent with recommended screenings all my life,” says Marlboro resident Andrea Sohnen. “I’ve made sure to get my annual mammography each year since I turned 40. When my longtime physician retired, I went to a couple of different free-standing imaging centers which promised a ‘personal touch’ for this testing. But after hearing about the Center for Women’s double read method I decided to give them a try. It surpassed all my expectations. I made a convenient appointment and did not have to wait the day of my testing. The technologist who performed the test was wonderful. She was talented, friendly and made me feel at ease. All and all it was a very comfortable experience. I was so impressed that I’ve recommended the Center for Women to all my friends.”
In addition to digital mammography, the Center for Women at Raritan Bay’s Perth Amboy location provides both breast MRI imaging and MRI-guided biopsy. To schedule an appointment, call 1-732-324-5270. For more information, call 1-732-324-5135 or visit www.rbmc.org. The medical center also provides breast cancer support group meetings at its Medical Pavilion at Woodbridge. For support group schedule and registration call 1-732-324-5135.