Colon Cancer Screening
Colonoscopy is the procedure used to screen for colon cancer. If your primary care physician orders the test for you, an endoscopy scheduler will call you to schedule the procedure.
Before – How to Prepare
- You prepare for a colonoscopy the day before the procedure by following a clear liquid diet all day (no solid foods) and taking laxatives to clean your colon. You will receive complete information about the preparation process when you make the appointment.
- If you take medication for blood pressure, heart, anti-rejection, or seizure disorders, you should take these medications with a small amount of water by 6:00 am the morning of your colonoscopy.
If you are diabetic, check with your doctor about insulin and oral medication adjustments before your colonoscopy.
- If you take blood thinners (Plavix, Effient, Coumadin, Pradaxa, Xarelto), check with your prescribing doctor to see if it is safe to be off the medication prior to the procedure. If you take Coumadin, you will need blood work before your colonscopy. The endoscopy staff will obtain your medical history when booking the procedure and tell you what needs to be done.
During – What to Expect
- You will be admitted to the Endoscopy Unit and the necessary paperwork will be done. An IV will be started to administer sedation for the procedure. When you are sedated, the doctor will insert a colonoscope into your rectum to view the colon. The doctor will remove any lesions and take any necessary tissue for biopsy during the procedure.
After – What’s Next
- After the procedure, you will be moved to the recovery area and held until you recover from the sedation. You must arrange for a ride home after the procedure. The staff will not let you go without an escort because of the lingering effects of the sedation. You cannot drive or do any strenuous activity for the remainder of the day. You may return to normal activity the day after the procedure.
Breast Cancer Screening
Breast cancer remains one of the leading causes of cancer death among women. Early detection remains paramount to diagnosis and treatment. The American Cancer Society, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American College of Radiology recommend that women should have an annual mammogram beginning at age 40.
Located in the award-winning Lieselotte Tansey Breast Center, Ochsner's Breast Imaging Section features radiologists with special interests in and years of experience with the diagnosis of breast disease. A collaborative approach enables Ochsner to provide the highest quality diagnostic images. We offer many state-of-the-art breast imaging services.
Full-Field Digital Screening and Diagnostic Mammography
Digital mammography differs from conventional mammography in how the image of the breast is viewed and manipulated. Instead of using film to capture and record the image, digital mammography uses a special detector to capture and convert x-ray energy into a digital image. The digital technology gives the radiologist a number of viewing options:
- Magnifying the images
- Increasing or decreasing the contrast
- Inverting the black and white values while reading the images
- Focusing on areas of concern
From a patient’s perspective, digital mammography feels identical to conventional screening but allows shorter exam times and clearer images.
- Breast ultrasound is used to follow up an abnormal screening mammogram to evaluate masses or asymmetries. Ultrasonography can differentiate a solid mass from a cyst and is also used to guide biopsies and other interventions.
Outpatient Stereotactic and Ultrasound Core Needle Biopsy, Needle Aspiration, and Cyst Aspiration
Stereotactic core biopsy is an innovative technique for determining whether or not a breast lesion is cancerous. Your doctor uses a mammography machine to guide a biopsy needle into an area of concern.
- For a core needle biopsy, your doctor uses a hollow needle to remove samples of tissue from the breast. Core needle biopsy is accurate, does not involve surgery, and can be used to biopsy lumps that you can feel, as well as suspicious areas visible on a mammogram or other imaging test.
A fine needle aspiration biopsy may be used to asses a lump discovered in your breast. Your doctor will take a sample of the lump with a small, thin needle.
- In breast cyst aspiration, your doctor uses a small needle to drain fluid from a cyst. This test can help your doctor find out if the lump you feel is a cyst or a tumor.
Needle Localization and Specimen Radiography
- Needle localization is used to help identify the exact location of abnormal breast tissue for biopsy. Your doctor will place dye and sometimes a small wire at the point of the abnormality.
- Specimen radiography is a technique for x-raying tissue specimens. The procedure is used to take images of surgically removed and core needle biopsies and is a valuable tool for ensuring that a malignant breast lesion has been completely removed.
- For galactography, the doctor injects a dye and then takes x-rays to obtain images of the inside of the breast’s milk ducts. The procedure’s most common use is to evaluate the breasts of a woman who has a bloody or clear discharge from her breast nipple but a normal mammogram.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that produces detailed pictures of internal body structures. MRI of the breast provides information that cannot be obtained from mammography or ultrasound. MRI of the breast is used to screen women at high risk for breast cancer, to evaluate hard-to-assess abnormalities, and to determine the extent of cancer.