At Tower Breast Diagnostic Center patients benefit from a Comprehensive Breast Program which streamlines the process of diagnosing breast cancer.

When a patient has an abnormal mammogram, anxiety and uncertainty prevail. Minutes seem like hours, and hours like days, as the patient awaits an explanation, the next step, and a diagnosis. Patients will often wait 2 to 3 months from the time of their abnormal mammogram to a diagnosis. “With the creation of our Comprehensive Breast Program at Tower Breast Diagnostic Center in Tampa, Fla, we have decreased this wait time to 2 to 3 weeks,” said Dr. Katie Jo Lester. “That is what makes our radiology centers unique to the greater Tampa area.”

Dr. Lester completed her breast imaging fellowship at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, and is one of seven board-certified, subspecialized women’s imaging radiologists with Tower Imaging, comprised of Shelly P. Baumann, MD, Stephen A. Stenzler, MD, Miguel H. Del Toro, MD, Enrique J. Urrutia, MD, Katie Jo Lester, MD, Todd R. Kumm, MD, and JoAnn M. Gierbolini, MD.

Tower Breast Diagnostic Center serves Hillsborough County in Tampa, and has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology—the first Breast Imaging Center of Excellence in Tampa Bay. The ACR recognizes breast imaging centers that have earned accreditation in all voluntary breast imaging accreditation programs and modules, in addition to the mandatory Mammography Accreditation Program. Women’s imaging modalities offered at Tower include digital mammograms, breast ultrasound, breast MRI, and breast biopsies. The biopsies are done using ultrasound, MRI, and stereotactic guidance. But unique to Tower is their Comprehensive Breast Program.

Dr. Katie Jo Lester

As Dr. Lester explains, the Comprehensive Breast Program streamlines the process of diagnosing breast cancer. In the traditional method of workup, the patient presents a prescription for a screening mammogram. If this is abnormal, the patient returns to their doctor to discuss the results and get a second prescription for additional imaging, which may include a diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound, or breast MRI. If this test is abnormal and a biopsy is required, the patient would then obtain a third prescription from their doctor. This back and forth process takes time. With the Comprehensive Breast Program, the patient needs only a single prescription. If the mammogram is abnormal, the patient can immediately be scheduled for additional imaging. If a biopsy is needed, the procedure can be scheduled immediately. All the while, a dedicated Nurse Navigator, who is specially trained to guide patients through this process, is communicating with the patients, explaining their results, and answering their questions. If a biopsy is performed, the tissue diagnosis is received from the pathologist within 48 hours and results are given to the patient by the Nurse Navigator.

Tower Breast Diagnostic Center ?

2716 University Square Drive
Tampa, FL 33612
(813) 971-2050

A process that can take several months, now, with the Comprehensive Breast Program at Tower, can take as few as 2 to 3 weeks. This focused program decreases patient anxiety and improves the patient experience. Dr. Lester and the Breast Team from Tower are passionate about this program and are always looking for ways to gain a leading edge in the Tampa area to further serve their patients.

Dr. Lester and her colleague JoAnn M. Gierbolini, MD, will soon travel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, to explore bringing a new cutting edge advanced breast imaging modality, Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI), to Tampa. “Breast cancer can be missed on mammograms in patients with dense breast tissue. MBI is an emerging breast specific tool using nuclear medicine to help diagnose breast cancer, particularly useful in the subgroup of women with dense breast tissue. A radiotracer is injected into the veins and travels to breast cancer cells. The breast is imaged with a gamma camera. If cancer is present, it lights up like a light bulb, negating the dense breast tissue,” said Dr. Lester. She hopes Tower Breast Diagnostic Center will be the first in Tampa to utilize this new technology.

J.L. Silverman is a contributing writer for Axis Imaging News.