“You’re going to be okay.” Those are the reassuring first words Regina Hooley, MD, a Yale Medicine breast imager, tells patients who have abnormal mammogram, breast ultrasound or breast MRI results. She is an associate professor at Yale School of Medicine and vice chair for clinical affairs in the Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging.
“Every woman is unique, which is what makes breast imaging challenging because every normal breast looks different,” says Dr. Hooley, explaining that the composition of fatty and glandular breast tissue varies from person to person, like a fingerprint.
“If I recommend a biopsy, I know that more than half of the time what we biopsy turns out to be a non-cancerous finding,” says Dr. Hooley, who performs image-guided breast biopsies at the Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital. “And if it does turn out to be a cancer, I also feel that patients are going to be well taken care of here.”
To ensure the best outcomes for her patients, Dr. Hooley is part of a multidisciplinary team of doctors who gather weekly at tumor board meetings to make decisions about treatment plans for patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer.
In addition to her work as a breast imager at Smilow and its Care Centers, Dr. Hooley has conducted extensive research on breast density and supplemental screening ultrasound. She is also part of Women’s Health Research at Yale School of Medicine and is the co-author of Breast Tomosynthesis (Elsevier 2018).