HALO Breast Pap-Test
The HALO® Breast Test is a breast cancer risk assessment exam that identifies abnormal cells within the fluid harvested from the nipples. This test allows us to better determine a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. If we obtain abnormal cells we can perform additional testing and develop a strategy for more intense surveillance of your breasts. This will give us the best chance of finding a breast cancer early on and the greatest chance of successful treatment. The Halo test can be performed on women as young as 25, and is recommended once a year in addition to regular mammogram testing. During the HALO procedure, the device provides warm gentle breast massage that creates a suction sensation on both breasts, similar to using a breast pump. This allows us to produce nipple aspirate fluid (NAF), a substance found in the milk ducts. The produced fluid will then be sent to a lab to be analyzed for any abnormalities.
L-Dex® Measurements for Lymphedema
An L-Dex® measurement, or Lymphedema Index measurement, is a non-invasive test for assessing the severity of lymphedema, an unnatural buildup of fluid in the arm that rarely occurs after surgery for Breast Cancer. An L-Dex measurement takes only a few minutes and is completely painless and non-invasive. The test is performed in Dr. Kaufman's office prior to and after surgery. It is an excellent means by which we can help to prevent Lymphedema from developing.
During the L-Dex process, the patient stands on the L-Dex device which looks similar to a scale. A harmless, low-strength electrical signal is then sent through the hands and arms, measuring the amount of fluid in each. The amount of fluid in the unaffected arm is then compared to that in the affected arm. Depending on the patient’s deviation from the amount of fluid usually found, therapy designed to decrease the fluid is prescribed by the Dr. Kaufman.
The L-Dex measurement is a simple but effective tool to help Dr. Kaufman identify if fluid pressure in the arms is increasing. This may indicate the beginning of lymphedema. Appropriate treatment can then be undertaken to help prevent Lymphedema from becoming a serious problem.
BRCA 1-2 Gene Testing/Breast Cancer Specific Genetic Testing
While the specific cause of breast cancer is often unknown, a certain number of women may be genetically predisposed to developing this disease. Women with the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene mutation carry an inherited risk of developing breast cancer. In addition, there are now at least 8 other genes that we can test for to identify a woman's risk for developing breast cancer.
The BRCA or breast cancer genetic testing involves obtaining a simple blood or saliva sample that is performed in the doctor Kaufman's office. The sample is then sent to the lab for DNA analysis. It may take up to two weeks for results to be available. Patients with a positive test will work with Dr. Kaufman to develop an appropriate prevention strategy and plan of action. It is wonderful news when a woman receives negative BRCA and genetic testing results, however, they need to realize that they still have a chance of developing breast cancer, similar to other women in the general population. Regular screening should continue and a plan will be discussed with you at your office visit.
Genetic counseling can be beneficial both before and after testing for the BRCA or other breast cancer related genes. Your level of risk for the gene may be assessed by reviewing your personal and family medical history. Counseling can also help you determine how to handle the results of your test. Prior to obtaining the necessary sample, we will counsel you appropriately in our office. Should further specialized services be needed we will help you arrange for that.