A breast clinic, also called a breast center, is a specialized medical facility that provides overall breast healthcare to women. Procedures performed at breast clinics include screening, diagnosing and treating cancer and other breast diseases. Breast clinics also educate women about breast health and provide assessments of cancer risk. Some breast clinics focus more on the screening and diagnostic side of breast health, diagnosing problems and performing mammograms or other preventative procedures. Breast cancer clinics often are more involved with patients who already have been diagnosed with cancer and helping them fight the disease.
Breast clinics often provide an interdisciplinary approach to diagnoses and treatment and have a variety of specialists on staff. Specialists can include cancer surgeons and reconstructive surgeons, radiologists, oncologists and others. They also often have personnel to support the emotional needs of patients who are dealing with cancer. Psychologists, social workers and others in similar roles might be part of the interdisciplinary team at a breast clinic.
As specialty centers in the fight against breast diseases and conditions, many clinics use the latest technology, such as magnetic resonance imaging for breast screening. Clinics often have insight into breast cancer clinical trials, which are research programs that use real patients to test drugs or treatment methods. Some breast clinics conduct their own clinical trials and research into breast cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Men also can receive screening and treatment at breast clinics, if necessary. The incidence of breast cancer in men is very low but still can occur. The healthcare professionals at breast clinics can evaluate breast masses in men as well as women.
To find a breast screening clinic or breast cancer clinic, one should contact primary care physicians, oncologists, hospitals or other medical personnel involved in breast care. Internet searches for the terms "breast clinic" or "breast center" also can be helpful to find these breast healthcare options. The telephone book also might list local breast clinics.
A plastic surgery practice that performs cosmetic and health-related breast augmentations is occasionally referred to as a breast clinic. Some of the services of a breast augmentation clinic might include enhancing breast size through implant surgery, performing surgical lifts to raise sagging breasts and performing surgical breast reductions for both women and men. Corrective procedures for tuberous or for constricted breasts, a developmental condition that causes an abnormal shape to the breasts, might also be performed at plastic surgery practices. Correcting asymmetry in breasts also typically is performed.