Doctor Holley does a complete breast exam on every woman every year. We know the threat and the fear that surrounds a breast problem and we make every effort to arrive at a quick and accurate diagnosis when you have a problem with your breasts.

Annual mammograms for women over 40 are recommended by the American Cancer Society and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. For women who lack insurance coverage for this essential service, Marshall County Medical Centers sponsors a free mammogram for women who qualify.

BRCA testing – testing for the breast cancer gene – is also offered to women who have a family history of breast and / or ovarian cancer. A complete pedigree will be obtained for you, and if your family history is sufficiently strong to meet your insurer’s requirements, the test is paid for. But even if you do not meet insurance requirements, you are allowed to get this life saving test.

Breast discharge from the nipple is unusual, but seldom malignant. Greenish fluid that is produced with gentle squeezing of the nipple is usually caused by fibrocystic disease. No intervention is required. If the discharge is milky white, we need to check hormone levels. If it is bloody, further evaluation is necessary, but biopsy often shows a papilloma of the duct.

Breast pain is common and usually benign. A clogged duct, a pinched nerve, a sore rib, or a poorly fitting bra may be all that is the matter. If a mass is found we can ultrasound it right away and tell if it is cyst or something solid. A simple cyst can be aspirated on the spot and the fluid evaluated.

A breast mass, whether it hurts or not, needs to be evaluated. We generally start with an examination and a breast ultrasound. If you have not had a recent mammogram, one will be ordered for you. A cyst of the breast can be drained and the fluid sent for analysis, or it can be observed with serial ultrasounds. Younger women and teens often get cysts that come and go with their menstrual cycle and no intervention is required.

If your mass is solid we can biopsy it right away, but if there is any question as to lymph nodes or secondary masses, we will send you for a mammogram and breast ultrasound at an area hospital or specialty clinic. If you have had a mammogram before, we can schedule you at the same facility you used before, or we have your old films transferred to the facility of your choice.

We are fortunate in this area to have several surgeons who are skilled at complex breast cases, including surgery for cancer and reconstruction. Whether you want to stay local, or go to a larger center, we can help you find the right place and the right doctor to evaluate your problem.