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First Appointment Expectations

Women who have breast cancer or concerns about breast disease are seen on the second floor of the Charleston Cancer Center at the new home of The Breast Place.

You can expect your first appointment to last for about an hour. Dr. Beatty or Dr. Fiorini will meet with you to discuss your concerns and any previous diagnoses, review your mammograms and scans, as well as any pathology slides (tissue samples from any biopsies), before she performs a thorough breast examination.

For the exam, you undress from the waist up. the doctor will examine your breasts for changes in size or shape. She may ask you to lift your arms over your head, put your hands on your hips or lean forward, and will examine your breasts for any skin changes including rashes, dimpling, or redness.

As you lay on your back with your arms behind your head, the doctor will examine your breasts with the pads of the fingers to detect lumps or other changes. The area under both arms will also be examined. She may gently press around your nipple to check for any discharge. If there is discharge, a sample may be collected for examination under a microscope.

She generally performs an in-office breast ultrasound on all new patients, as well as Breast MRI for all newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, in order to get more information about the known tumor and to evaluate the other breast.

Finally the doctor will meet with you (and your family or friends) to discuss her findings, answer all of your questions, and suggest a treatment plan. You will leave at the end of the visit with a treatment plan for care either at The Breast Place or with the doctor who referred you.

You can expect that the doctor will explain all results to you, answer all of your questions, and will be ready to discuss the best treatment option for you. Every case of breast disease is different, and our philosophy is to treat the person, not just the disease. Should you need treatment, surgery, reconstruction, massage therapy, chemotherapy, radiation, or any other services related to your breast disease, they can all be coordinated through the nurse navigator.

It may be helpful for you to write down any symptoms you’re experiencing, even if they seem unrelated to the reason you scheduled the appointment. If you have any family history of cancer, please be sure to inform Dr. Fiorini or Dr. Beatty. Bring a list of your medications, including vitamins or supplements, as well as a list of any questions you have. We understand that it is all too easy to forget a crucial concern once you’re in a paper gown, so please feel free to call us at (843) 797-1941 or email us with any additional follow-up questions.