- Craig L. Best, MD, MPH, service chief
The gynecology service at Caritas Carney Hospital provides full gynecologic care. Cancer screenings, including cervical cancer and breast cancer screening examinations, are performed. Treatment of menopausal symptoms and related disorders, including urinary stress incontinence, are provided. Infertility services are available through, including all fertility treatments up to in-vitro fertilization. Our service provides counseling and treatment for specific gynecologic disorders, including chronic pelvic pain, irregular menstrual cycles, gynecologic tumors and/or vaginitis. In addition, complete gynecologic services for adolescent females are provided, including treatment of endocrinological disorders. All gynecologic services are provided on site at Caritas Carney Hospital with additional satellite offices in Dorchester, Quincy and other surrounding communities. Pre-natal care is also available, but obstetrical deliveries take place at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Brighton.
The Women's Clinic For Health and Safety provides counseling and medical services for women, their children and teenaged girls experiencing threatening behavior or actual harm, including physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse in either personal relationships or families.
A variety of women's general health and preventive medicine issues can also be addressed. Referral services to a complete range of community and legal services, such as specialty programs available to Caritas Carney, shelters, the police, the court system, social service agencies, etc., will be offered by the clinic.
Treatment is available from expertly trained medical staff. Personal mentors, including volunteer advocates, who have themselves experienced domestic violence, are also available to offer non-judgmental support.
Support groups are held on Mondays from 3:00-5:00pm, and on Thursday mornings from 10:00am-12:00 noon. For more information, please call 617-296-4012, ext. 4911
The Women's Clinic provides referrals to a complete range of community and legal services, including:
- Caritas Carney Hospital Primary Care
- Physicians and Specialty Programs
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers
- Alcohol and Substance Abuse Programs
- Social Service Agencies
Appointments OR walk-in care is available.
1. STOP FIRST at the Caritas Carney Hospital Emergency Department entrance.
2. Receive an Encounter Form from the Admissions Desk.
3. Follow directions to the Women's Clinic for Health and Safety.
Most HMO's and other health insurance are welcome. (Insurance is not necessary in order to receive care.)
SAFE Advocates Program - Medical Care/Psychiatric Assessment Services
Women's Imaging Suite
Welcome to the Caritas Carney Hospital Women's Imaging Suite. Our suite is a private facility devoted exclusively to breast health care for women. It features state-of-the-art technology, a comfortable new décor and a superbly trained professional staff. ext. 5032
The Women's Imaging Suite is accredited by the American College of Radiology, certified by the U.S. Department of Public Health and Human Services and is registered with the Massachusetts Department of Health. All of our Radiologists are Board Certified and specially trained in mammography interpretation. Our staff will provide you with sensitive and individual attention during your visit.
One out of eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. That's why breast exams are such an important aid in early detection, especially for women over 35. A mammography exam can detect a tumor long before you can feel it. Such early detection of breast cancer can save your life. It can also give you an opportunity to choose between treatment options.
Who should have a mammogram?
You shouldhave a mammogram:
If you are between the ages of 20 and 40, you should perform a breast self-examination every month and have a breast examination by a physician every three years.
If you are between the ages of 30 and 35 and have a strong family history of breast cancer, you should have a mammogram.
If you are 35 or over, a baseline mammogram should be done for later comparison.
By age 40, you should do a breast self-examination every month, have a breast exam by a physician every year, and have a mammogram every other year.
After age 50, you should continue your breast self-examination every month, and have a physician breast exam and mammogram every year.
Who's at risk for breast cancer?
Because breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, every woman should consider herself at risk. However, the following factors put you at higher risk for breast cancer:
- Over 50 years old
- Previous breast cancer or benign breast disease
- Family history of breast cancer (especially maternal)
- No full-term pregnancies
- First child after age 30
- Early menstruation (before age 13)
- Late menopause (after age 52)
- Diet high in fat
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
Since most breast cancers are discovered by women themselves, it is important for you to know what to look for:
- A lump or thickening in the breast
- A change in breast shape
- Discharge from the nipple
- Skin changes (color, texture, consistency)
- Puckering or dimpling
- Nipple inversion (pulling inward)
What is a mammogram, and what are its benefits?
A mammogram is an X-ray that visualizes the internal structure of the breast. It can "see" tumors too small to be felt by either you or your physician, when chances for effective treatment are best. Of all the techniques used to screen for breast condition, a mammogram is the only diagnostic method that has been proven reliable in the early detection of cancer. However, even mammograms are not 100% accurate, and should be combined with an exam by your physician.
How safe is a mammogram?
The Caritas Carney Hospital Women's Imaging Suite uses state-of-the-art mammography equipment that administers an extremely low dose of radiation. This makes mammography a very safe, reliable procedure.
How do I prepare for my mammogram?
A mammogram requires little preparation. We ask that, on the day of your mammogram, you do not use any deodorant, perfume, powder or body lotion on your body above your waist. The residues from these products may cause your mammogram to display inaccurate images.
What will it be like?
After registering at the Admitting Office on the first floor, you will proceed to the Women's Imaging Suite. After completing a thorough medical history form, you will be invited to change into a specially designed, modest gown. You will then be escorted into the private X-ray room where your mammogram will be performed. You will be asked to stand still and hold your breath for a few seconds while the technologist obtains the X-ray images. Each breast is examined separately, and several images are taken. The procedure will take approximately half an hour.
What happens after my examination?
Following your mammogram, the complete results of your examination are sent to your personal physician, and you will receive a letter with your results. If you do not have a personal physician, we will offer you a choice of Caritas Carney Hospital physicians. Based upon your personal history and the information obtained from your test findings, your physician will advise you further.
Osteoporosis can rob you of your independence. Osteoporosis is a disease that gradually weakens bones, causing them to become brittle and prone to fractures. Osteoporosis and its associated fractures can rob you of your mobility and your independence.
Prevalence of Osteoporosis:
- 25 million Americans are affected by Osteoporosis, making it a major public health issue.
- 50% of women over age 50 have an Osteoporosis-related fracture.
- 1,500,000 fractures occur annually as a result of people having Osteoporosis.
A bone density measurement can help your doctor diagnose Osteoporosis.
Early detection of Osteoporosis, using bone density measurements, is the best way to provide your physician with the information to protect you from the potentially debilitating effects of Osteoporosis.
What is a bone density measurement?
A bone density measurement will determine your bone mineral density (BMD) for the area measured. Your results are compared with the average BMD of young adults of your sex and race at their peak BMD. This information will help your doctor determine if you need to take certain steps to protect your bone health. Bone density measurement is simple, safe, non-invasive and painless, and you don't need to undress.
How long does a measurement take?
A measurement takes from 5 to 20 minutes. You will be asked to be very still during that time. Routinely, the spine and hip are evaluated because these are the most frequent areas to have osteoporotic fractures.
How much radiation will I be exposed to?
You will be exposed to minimal radiation - in fact, much less than a standard chest X-ray. As with any medical procedure, be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
What should I wear?
Wear comfortable clothing, preferably something without metal buttons, buckles or zippers.
Many women who are post-menopausal are at risk of Osteoporosis. The presence of any one of these risk factors can add to your risk.
- Caucasian race or Asian ethnicity
- Thin or small build
- Family history of Osteoporosis or osteoporotic fractures
- Early menopause (before age 45)
- Inactive lifestyle
- Chronic use of certain medications such as steroids, excessive thyroid hormone and/or certain anticonvulsants
- Excessive alcohol use
NOTE: You may have none of these risk factors and still be at risk of developing Osteoporosis. Some authorities believe that the presence of any of these factors increases the risk for Osteoporosis. However, even if you have none of these factors, you may still have Osteoporosis. A bone density measurement can provide the information your doctor needs to clearly tell for sure.