Jamie’s Breast Center of Acadiana’s Testimonial

Jamie: My name is Jamie, I first became a patient of the Breast Center, in December of 2012, I was about 38 weeks pregnant. Whenever I had  first come in for an ultrasound to be done with Dr. Matthews, I had found a lump in my breast a couple of months prior during my pregnancy, and  we weren’t too worried about it. But it kept getting larger and more concerning. So, I spoke with my GYN, who had recommended that I come here for further evaluation.

 The staff was actually very accommodating, compassionate. We all know probably how it feels to be a little uncomfortable at the end of your pregnancy, and then to have the added stress of  worrying about if you know, I could possibly have breast cancer. So, they are actually very, very helpful here. I came in for the ultrasound.

Whenever the ultrasound was finished, Dr. Matthews came in, and did a few  more scans, and at the time told me that he was, you know, concerned that we should probably look further into it. So, a couple days later I came in for  a breast biopsy. At that point I was about a week away from my C-section so, I was very large, and uncomfortable, and  they were really accommodating, and made sure that everything was done to keep me, you know, kind of comfortable, and taken care of.

I had the biopsy done here, and I came back the very next day to receive the results. It was at that time, that I found out that I did, in fact, have breast cancer. Although it was kind of frightening because, not only did I find out about that, but it was hard because we couldn’t really pursue it. Because I had to have the baby first.

So, Dr. Matthews, and the nurses here were actually  very, very helpful, because they calmed me down, and tried to have everything in place for me. Dr. Matthews had already called my other  physicians, had set up appointments for me. So, as soon as I received the results here, I immediately went over to see my breast surgeon, who sat me down, talked to me about the pathology results, let me know what the next step would be. That although I would have to deliver, that we would have to act quickly. They were concerned because of the size of the masses, that it was something that had, you know, progressed and was maybe advanced stages.

So, she went ahead and set me up for an appointment with the Oncologist, so that I could take care of that after I had the baby. So, on December 20th, I delivered a healthy baby boy, 9 lbs., and we’re, we’re very excited but also very, very, scared because, although it is a very happy time in life you just don’t know. You don’t know what is going to happen. I had two girls at home and  there is a lot of what ifs, you know you want to be around. So, the Breast Center had also got me in touch with support groups. The Pink Ribbon Divas, I later became very involved with, and  they helped me through, through a lot of things. Treatment is hard, not only physically, but emotionally. So with the Breast Center and the Pink Ribbon Divas, I was actually able to see out all of my cancer treatments.  I had chemo first, I did four months of chemo, which was hard, but it was, it was doable. We got through it, and then after I did that, I had a mastectomy and following the mastectomy I had  30 rounds of radiation.

The Pink Divas and the Breast Center of Acadiana hosted monthly meetings, where we came here. It was just a nice outlet to come and talk to other women who were having the same experiences, not just about cancer, but about family, about the day to day struggles of what you will go through, and all those things really carried me, carried me through the process.

After my– one of my surgeries, I actually had an area they became concerned with. So I had my second experience with Dr. Matthews, which was  just as great as the first.

Came in, and from scheduling to the end,  it all flowed very nicely. The staff here is not only very knowledgeable but they are compassionate. And they understand how nerve racking it is whenever you find something that you are concerned with, and you know, you don’t want to hear that you have to wait three weeks to be seen. What, three weeks? Who wants to wait three weeks whenever I could possibly have cancer again? So, they get that,  and  I came back in very quickly, and had the ultrasound, and as soon as they were finished, Dr. Matthews came in, and said “Nope, we don’t have to worry about this one, everything’s good”, and that, you know, it’s a good feeling. It’s a good feeling  to be able to trust  in the doctors that you have.

 Without that trust, the doubt seems to creep in and it’s one that I can say , not only as a patient, but as a health care professional that  Dr. Matthews is amazing. You know he’s- I’ve been to other facilities and by far I would  recommend the Breast Center of Acadiana.

Not only did I say- Like I said, they are very knowledgeable and compassionate, but you can tell that their patients come first, and they’re really good at what they do, and I actually had a third, and final experience here, with  Dr. Matthews, which was only a couple of months ago. I had my final phase of reconstruction done. I had went to New Orleans and saw a Physician there and had a DIEP flap, and which, is basically, they do a tummy tuck, and make new breasts out of it.  And a couple of months after that, I felt a lump and it was actually found  by coincidence, and it just struck me odd because it was above my radiation line, and I was thinking hmm… that’s a bit odd. Maybe, you know the radiation missed something, and so I showed it to my oncologist and she said, “You know, it’s definitely something we need to look into. We always want to be very cautious”

And  I came in and saw  Dr. Gary, and  they did another ultrasound, and he once again came in the room and said “No, you know I don’t think we have to worry about this one,  it looks like it’s gonna be benign. I will review the ultrasound.”, and so you know, very excitedly I left and got back to work and noticed I had a voice mail. I checked, and it was Dr. Matthews and he said” Hey, Jamie, you know if you don’t mind just give me a call back.”, and so I did, in fact, call him back, and he said “You know, I went through your previous mammograms, and your previous films from whenever we originally diagnosed you, and he said you know, just something doesn’t set right.  I still believe that this is benign, but whenever I look at it on your previous mammogram, this new mass is almost in the same exact spot.” And he said “Because of that I really would like to be on the safe side and go ahead and biopsy it.”  Which meant a lot that, not only did he care enough that he went back and checked those things, but that he would understand you know, how I would want to be sure, and be positive that, you know, this is nothing that I need to worry about.  So I did, in fact, come back in for a second biopsy with Dr. Matthews, which went great.

You know, the nurses here are always good. Afterwards, they give you plenty of instructions. Everything is very clear, runs like a well-oiled machine, and a couple of days later I found out that, in fact it was benign so, I can speak from experience and say that I have had no bad experience here with the Breast Center. And between the doctors, the staff and even  the Pink Ribbon Divas, who’ve been associated in the past with the Breast Center, all of it has made my experience a pretty good one.

Karolyn Plaisance Breast Center of Acadiana Testimonial


KP: Hi, my name is Karolyn Plaisance, I am from here in Lafayette.  I was a patient here at the Breast Center of Acadiana.

BCA: What was your overall experience at the Breast Center of Acadiana?

KP:  I mean yes it was Awesome, I recommend it to everybody, you know? The staff was awesome, you know, Dr. Matthews was just oh my god, you can’t ask for better.

BCA:  How easy was it for you to schedule your appointment at BCA?

KP:  Awesome, I had no wait time, like one appointment after the other, like they, they flowed. I didn’t have to wait a week or two or what have you, my stuff got done.

BCA: How was your experience with the Staff at the BCA?

KP: Awesome, every question I had, I mean I could call them up from home and say “what do I do?”  Even some things that weren’t related to my diagnosis I would call and speak with Ms. Jean, and she’s like “this is what you do.” “OK, let me put you in touch with this person.” and it was awesome for me.

BCA: Why would you suggest the Breast Center of Acadiana?

KP:  Just the professionalism. They’re professional, but they’re also, you know very personal with you, and I don’t feel like there are any boundaries or any awkwardness. It just, it is what it is, you’re comfortable, you know? Even Dr. Matthews, I mean you could tell him anything (laughter), so yes, I mean you’re just comfortable with them.

Kelda Poynot Breast Center of Acadiana Testimonial


KP: My name is Kelda Poynot, I am a homeschool mom and tutor. I’ve been coming to the breast center now since they opened.

BCA:  How did you hear about the Breast Center of Acadiana?

KP: I was referred by my doctor to the Breast Center, for my mammogram, my annual mammogram.

BCA: What was your overall experience at the Breast Center of Acadiana?

KP:  It’s very welcoming,  I don’t feel hurried or rushed when I come in here. I don’t feel like I am being herded like cattle. I just come in, and they make me feel at home, and help me feel relaxed, and then we go and have the mammogram, and every tech that I’ve ever had here has just been amazing, very thorough, extremely professional. And then when they opened up the Youngfield site – that’s just been very convenient. So I had my first mammogram at that site this year, and again, same, same experience just wonderful, but just on a smaller scale there which I really liked even more, because I didn’t- I just didn’t feel like we were crowded. ….

BCA: How was your experience with the Staff at the BCA?

KP: The staff, they’re amazing. Any kind of follow up  that they’ve needed to make. Professional, well trained, again you know, you want to go someplace where you trust the doctor for whatever is needed by your doctor. But anyone from when you walk in the front door all the way through the whole process, because you may never see that doctor, because he is just going to read your mammogram, and so every, every element of that is what I really appreciate about this facility. Because from the time you walk in you’re welcomed, you’re put at ease, this is the process, and I know people  who’ve had to come back for you know biopsies, and they’ve had to come back for  another read or an ultrasound, or different things like that, and they’re just very thorough and I think that is what I appreciate most about it.

BCA: Why would you suggest the Breast Center of Acadiana?

KP:The staff, and the doctors here have always just been amazing to me, to anyone that’s ever come here, and I just feel like I would recommend that. Just to say I know they are going to do the best job they can for whatever … you know, involving the breast, whatever is needed. You know, whether it’s just a routine mammogram or whether there’s other issues going on that they need to have further testing or you know, information found.

BCA: What would you tell a friend that is fearful of getting their mammogram?

KP: That I’ll go with them [laughter]. I’ve done that before, it’s that important. Having friends that are breast cancer survivors it’s, it’s just so important, and I don’t want them to be fearful of  what they’re going to face. I tell them exactly the process that happens, you know this is, these are the steps you go through to get into the examining room, this is what’s going to happen once you are in the examining room. And I’ve gone with, with friends before, to make sure that: one, that they got there [laughter] and that they followed through with what they needed to do, because it is important.

Lisa Roy Breast Center of Acadiana Testimonial

LR: Hi, my name is Lisa Roy, and I am a patient of the Breast Center.

BCA: How did you hear about the Breast Center of Acadiana?

LR: I was sent here by my Gynecologist, who found a lump in my breast.  And I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

BCA: What was your overall experience at the Breast Center of Acadiana?

LR: I find the staff is very, very pleasant.  It’s pretty easy to get an appointment here, so the timeline, a timeline is pretty good, and everyone’s really nice.

BCA: Peace of Mind

LR: Between the time, the timeline between the testing and the results was literally 24 hours, which is very unheard of here in Lafayette from what I understand.

BCA: Support Groups

LR: When I was diagnosed I was given a packet when I left here, and in that packet was some information about a support group that they offer here. I checked into it, called a couple of girls in the group and  a couple of months later once I was ya know, a little more comfortable in what was going on, I came to visit for a meeting and  the girls, they’ve all gone through the same thing, it was very comforting to hang out and talk and discuss certain things with girls who have gone through the same exact experience. It was really, really wonderful and four years later we’re very, very close knit group , and we help each other with everything.

BCA: Why would you suggest the Breast Center of Acadiana?

LR: There’s nothing bad I can say about this place, they’re absolute, with the, between appointment timing, the staff, the doctors here,  everything is just A-plus and I would absolutely recommend the Breast Center. Lisa Roy

Ann Nunez – Breast Center of Acadiana Testimonial


AN: Hi, my name is Ann Nunez, I am a Pre-K teacher at Delcambre Elementary School, and I have been a patient here for about 13 years.

BCA: How did you hear about the Breast Center of Acadiana?

AN: I was scheduled to do a hysterectomy, and when I went for my pre-op, my doctor found a lump in my breast or what he thought was a lump in my breast. So before I had my surgery, he wanted me to come here, and get it checked out just in case a biopsy would have needed to be done before the surgery, we would have done it while I was having my surgery.

BCA: What was your overall experience at the Breast Center of Acadiana?

AN: I really like the staff here everybody is so very friendly, and you come here, and it’s so quick. You’re in, I mean you think, OK, I’m going to do a mammogram, but you get here, you’re in, you’re out, you’re in your car, and you don’t even realize you had it done.

Another thing that I really like is that with teaching school it’s very hard for me to get off of a work, so the Saturday morning mammograms are perfect for me.

BCA: Would you suggest the Breast Center of Acadiana?

AN: I definitely recommend it to anyone that needs to get a mammogram done.

BCA: Peace of Mind

I remember coming here, and having a mammogram, and they saw something, so they wanted me to come back to do an ultrasound. That was like three or four days, and, then when I did come back to do the ultrasound they sat with me , and Dr. Matthews, explained to me exactly what was gonna be- what we were gonna be doing, and I wanna say I got my results before I went home.

To all healthcare professionals concerned with breast cancer screening

An open letter to healthcare professionals regarding new ACS recommendations:

I am providing the text from the recent revised guidelines and recommendations from The American Cancer Society (ACS) pertaining to breast cancer screening. Although the ACS recommends starting yearly screening at age 45 and that after age 55 women should have mammograms every two years, they also recommend that women should be given the choice to stay with the previous recommendations that yearly screening begin at age 40 and continue until an age when she is expected to live 10 more years. Essentially there is no real change to the previous guidelines.  Also note that insurance companies and Medicare are mandated by law through the Affordable Care Act to pay for screening mammograms for women every year beginning at age 40.

I have also provided talking points and research-backed response to the ACS recommendation, provided by the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) and American College of Radiology (ACR).  I hope this helps to clarify these recent developments and helps you maintain the highest quality of care and service to your patients.

Please feel free to call for any questions or discussion.

Gary Mathews, M.D.


American Cancer Society recommendations for early breast cancer detection in women without breast symptoms – click to download the full press release.


Bra day acadiana http://www.breastcenterofacadiana.com

Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day comes to Acadiana

Breast Cancer Specialists of Louisiana is bringing the annual
Breast Reconstruction Awareness (B.R.A.) Day to Acadiana! The event unites breast cancer survivors and medical professionals to create a better understanding of post-mastectomy choices and resources.


The Breast Cancer Specialists of Louisiana aim to offer a seamless approach to breast cancer detection, removal, treatment, and reconstruction. Many women who have defeated breast cancer and undergone a mastectomy wear their scars as a badge of courage. These women may not, however, be aware of the options available to them.

B.R.A. Day, along with the Breast Cancer Specialists of Louisiana, seek to ensure that all women be fully informed about their options for breast reconstruction surgery before undergoing treatment and receive access to that surgery in a safe and timely manner.



B.R.A. Day Festivities

Date: October 21, 2015

Time: 6pm – 10pm

Where: The Grouse Room, located at 1919 Kaliste Saloom Road Suite 303

Representatives from Breast Cancer Specialists of Louisiana will be there to answer questions and promote public education about breast reconstruction.

What can you expect on National B.R.A. day (Acadiana style)

  • Lafayette’s very own zydeco and soul sensation, Connie G., will light up the stage as you dance the night away. She has been performing, both as a solo act and with a band, for over 25 years.  Her music combines soulful, powerhouse vocals with traditional Zydeco instrumentation to create an energetic dance atmosphere.
  • Silent Auction
  • Guest Speakers from Breast Cancer Specialists of Louisiana
  • Lantern Release at 9pm to honor Breast Cancer Survivors and Patients
  • Food, Drinks, & More!

The event is sponsored by Park Place Surgical Hospital. Twenty percent of proceeds will go to Breast Reconstruction Awareness Fund, with the remaining eighty percent divided between the Breast Center of Acadiana Foundation and Institute for Breast Health.

Tickets are limited and can be purchased at www.bradaylafayette.com.

For further information about National BRA Day, please visit BreastReconUSA.org.


Karolyn Plaisance – A Breast Center of Acadiana Testimonial

Hi, my name is Karolyn Plaisance, and I’m from here in Lafayette and I was a patient here at the Breast Center of Acadiana.

What was your overall experience at the Breast Center of Acadiana?
Well, it was awesome. I recommend it to everybody. You know, the staff was awesome. Dr. Mathews is just, oh my God, you can’t ask for better.

How easy was it to schedule your appointment at the BCA?
Awesome, I had no wait time, one appointment after the other. They flowed. I didn’t have to wait a week or two or what have you. My stuff got done!

How was your experience with the staff at the BCA?
Awesome. Every question I had, I mean I could call them up from home and say, “What do I do?” even some things that weren’t related to my diagnosis. I would call and speak with Ms. Jean and she would say, “Ok, let me put you in touch with this one” and it was awesome.

Why would you suggest the Breast Center of Acadiana?
Just the professionalism. And they’re professional but they’re also very personal with you. You know, I don’t feel like there are any boundaries or any awkwardness. It’s just, it is what it is. You’re comfortable. You know, even Dr. Mathews, I mean you could tell him anything. So yeah, you’re just comfortable with him.

Dense Breast Tissue

Most women appreciate the importance of regular mammograms in detecting breast cancer at the earliest possible stage. In the last few years, new information has shed light on the value of knowing one’s breast density level, because density affects the ability of mammography to detect breast cancer, and may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

When you hear the term “dense breast tissue” it is important to understand what is being discussed . The breast is normally composed of fat, fibrous, and glandular tissue.  The more fibrous and glandular the tissue, the denser the breast.  “Lumpy” breast tissue is not the same as dense breast tissue – density is determined by the appearance on a mammogram, not by feel.

“Adults today are expected to know their blood pressure numbers and their blood cholesterol levels so they can make sensible lifestyle and medical decisions,” said Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., ASBD’s secretary‐treasurer and past director of the Mayo Clinic’s Breast Diagnostic Clinic. “It’s just as important for adult women to know their lifetime risk for breast cancer and their breast density. And just like blood pressure or cholesterol levels, these numbers change over time.”

How do I know if I have dense breast tissue?

The radiologist examines the mammogram and determines the breast density of the breast tissue.  By looking at your mammogram or the measure of breast density, the radiologist may conclude that you have dense breasts and may suggest other types of breast imaging. Research suggests that women with dense breast tissue are more likely to get breast cancer than women with low breast density. More certainly, for these women, breast cancers will not be detected by mammography alone.

Breast density is classified into 4 categories. The BI-RADS classification system identifies these four levels of breast density in keeping with relative increases in the amount of levels of fibro-glandular tissue. These are:

  • Breast Density category a (or 1) –  Almost entirely fatty indicates that the breasts are almost entirely composed of fat. About 1 in 10 women have this result.
  • Breast Density category b (or 2) – Scattered areas of fibroglandular density indicates there are some scattered areas of density, but the majority of the breast tissue is nondense. About 4 in 10 women have this result.
  • Breast Density category c (or 3) – Heterogeneously dense indicates that there are some areas of nondense tissue, but that the majority of the breast tissue is dense. About 4 in 10 women have this result.
  • Breast Density category d (or 4) – Extremely dense indicates that nearly all of the breast tissue is dense. About 1 in 10 women have this result.  At this level the sensitivity of the mammogram might even be reduced


Breast Density 4 Category Scale

Breast Density 4 Category Scale



What should I do if I have dense breast tissue?

Breast cancer screening can involve additional tests beyond basic mammograms, especially for women who have an increased lifetime risk for breast cancer, dense breast tissue, or both. For example, a physician might advise a woman with an elevated lifetime breast cancer risk and dense breasts to receive a whole‐breast ultrasound in addition to a screening mammogram. A woman with a greater lifetime risk might be advised to receive a breast MRI in addition to a screening mammogram.

Research shows that using another imaging test, in addition to mammography, will make it more likely that breast cancer is detected in dense breast tissue.  You and your doctor may consider additional or supplemental testing based on your other risk factors and your personal preferences.

Secondary tests for breast cancer screening may include:

  • 3-D mammogram (breast tomosynthesis). Tomosynthesis uses X-rays to collect many more images of the breast, from several angles, than conventional mammography. The images are synthesized by a computer to form a 3-D image of the breast.
  • Breast MRI. MRI uses magnets, radio waves, and intravenous contrast injection to create images of the breast. Like ultrasound, MRI doesn’t expose patients to radiation. Breast MRI is primarily recommended for women with a very high risk of breast cancer, such as those who carry inherited genetic traits that increase the risk of cancer.
  • Screening Whole-Breast ultrasound. Ultrasound uses sound waves to create images and to analyze tissue. Ultrasound provides a different way to see cancer in dense tissue than mammography, which uses x-ray radiation. Some states have passed laws requiring that women with dense tissue be notified, and that they are offered ultrasound in addition to their yearly mammogram. A bill has recently been introduced in the Louisiana Legislature to provide this notification to women in our state.

Susan G Komen Race for the Cure – Part 3

race for the cure lafayette laAfter the Race

The 2015 Acadiana Komen Race for the Cure was a smashing success! The event surpassed its $150,000 goal, and is now at close to $158, 000 in donations. Beyond the fundraising, which is an integral part of what Komen needs to continue research and education, people enjoy other aspects of the race.  One of the most enjoyable parts of the day is the Survivor parade. It is always uplifting and filled with emotion. We asked participants what their favorite part of the Race was and had so many responses, that we wanted to highlight a few of them to give everyone an idea of the impact this event has on our community. We asked:

What do you like most about the Komen Race for the Cure?

“Being with other survivors” Dr. Rebecca Martin, Training and Communications Manager Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel

“Family!”  Anna St. Blanc, Sales and Catering Specialist Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel

“The fun of fundraising! We have fun with fundraising, and we know it’s going to a good cause. We are paying it forward. Last year we raised $20,500.” Kat Caillier, 2015 Race for the Cure Honoree and National Survivor of the Year

“The strength that everyone gathers from this event: Survivor Strength!” Dr. Tyshaun James-Hart, MD, specialist in Breast Surgery and Official Doctor of the 2015 Race for the Cure

“Hope and healing” Beth Hamilton, Service Coordinator at Miles Perret Cancer Services

“Energy and excitement” Lauren Mahfouz, Events Coordinator at Miles Perret Cancer Services

“My favorite thing about the race is the energy and how everybody comes together clearly focused on a common cause.” Anthony Patrone, General Manager and CEO Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel

“I think the bringing together of community to support something that affects so many people in our area. The support: The Komen community uses the money to make things happen, but having the support gives the people the spirit and heart to keep moving forward.”  Terry Huval, Director LUS Fiber

“The Spirit of our community.” Dr. Perri Prellop, MD, Radiation Oncologist, Oncologics

“It promotes early detection of breast cancer through screening mammograms. My mom found it early so that’s why it hits home for me.” William Ness, Chief Business Analyst LUS Fiber

“The cohesiveness of this group of people, the sense of purpose, the optimism, and the positive energy.” Elaine Ness, recently diagnosed with breast cancer

The Breast Center of Acadiana is already looking forward to next year’s event. We hope you will join us on that day to celebrate life.