FAQs/Patient Information

Breast FAQs

Do all breast abnormalities need to be treated?

Some cancers, such as prostate cancer and thyroid cancer, occur in healthy persons and do not necessarily require treatment. Women with a new diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS, also known as stage 0 breast cancer or ‘precancer’) identified on screening mammography may be candidates for a new approach of active surveillance (vigilant observation) instead of breast surgery. This approach is carried out as part of a national clinical trial called COMET (Comparison of Operative to Monitoring and Endocrine Therapy). For more information please click here or call the office at 646-962-5213.

When do I need my first mammogram?

The American Cancer Society (ACS) updated screening guidelines in 2015: screening may begin at age 45 (or age 40-44 if the patient desires). Starting at age 55, a woman may choose to undergo mammograms every 2 years instead of annually. You can read more here.

I feel a breast lump. Should I be worried? 

Fortunately, most breast lumps are benign, and are likely to be either a cyst, fibroadenoma or fibrocystic tissue. However, if you do feel a new lump, you should seek medical attention. Breast imaging (ultrasound, mammogram) can be helpful if obtained prior to the visit. If the imaging is negative (no lump is identified), a needle biopsy should be performed.


Thyroid FNA FAQs

Which thyroid nodules require FNA?

In general, thyroid nodules under 1 cm do not require FNA. Suspicious appearing nodules > 1 cm, and most nodules > 2 cm should be biopsied.

What does the thyroid FNA procedure entail?

With ultrasound guidance, the fine needle aspiration (FNA) is performed with a very thin needle, sampling the nodule. Slides are then sent to pathology for interpretation.

What can I expect from a thyroid FNA result?

Most (>70%) of thyroid nodules turn out to be benign. Fewer than 5% are malignant. Roughly 15-25% are “indeterminate” after the FNA. In these cases, new molecular assays are available at WCM and will be sent if clinically indicated.

Answers to more FAQs here


Links to patient information sites

American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES) Patient Information Site

American College of Surgeons (ACS) Patient Education Site

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Patient Education Site

American Cancer Society (ACS) Patient Information Site

National Cancer Institute (NCI) Patient Information Site


Please note that the above information and links are intended for teaching and educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for medical advice.