Dr. Ericka Griffin
Dr. Ericka Griffin is the Medical Director of Eastern Radiologists’ Breast Imaging Center in Greenville, North Carolina. She also serves as an affiliate associate Professor of Radiology for the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. Dr. Griffin is knowledgeable in the latest breast imaging technology such as tomosynthesis, contrast enhanced mammography and MRI. She performs diagnostic breast procedures and biopsies using the most up-to-date technology.
After obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from Tulane University, she earned her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 1997. Dr. Griffin completed a Diagnostic Radiology Residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, where she served as the Chief Resident of Radiology. Under the directorship of Gilda Cardenosa, she completed her Breast Imaging Fellowship at Moses Cone Hospital in 2003.
Dr. Griffin is board certified in diagnostic radiology by the American Board of Radiology (ABR). She is a member of the Old North State Medical Society, the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Society of Breast Imagers (SBI).
In addition to leading Eastern Radiologists’ Breast Imaging section, Dr. Griffin is passionate about women’s health, more specifically, being proactive about early detection, through annual screening mammograms for women, 40 and over. She is an advocate of lung, cervical, colon cancer screening and health maintenance in women. Outside of her time in the office, she gives seminars to those in the surrounding areas who are eager to learn more about breast cancer and stresses the importance of disparities in breast cancer. She also serves as the Committee Chair of the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Eastern North Carolina. The event raises money to help the American Cancer Society fund groundbreaking breast cancer research and provide patient services like free rides to chemo, free places to stay near treatment, and a live 24/7 cancer helpline.
With Dr. Griffin at the helm, Eastern Radiologists Breast Imaging Center is a proud partner in the process of your health. The Breast Imaging Center offers multiple services including mammograms, breast MRs (magnetic resonance), CESM (Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography), breast biopsy, breast ultrasound, and Bone Density (DEXA) scans.
Eastern Radiologists Breast Imaging Center
The Eastern Radiologists Breast Imaging Center offers both traditional digital mammography and tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography. A traditional digital mammography is essentially two pictures taken of each breast, while the 3D mammography is a sequence of images that are taken of each breast from different angles. By receiving both a 2D and 3D mammogram, you are reducing the frequency of return visits. Tomosynthesis has been proven to improve cancer detection, especially in women with dense breast tissue or a greater amount of glandular tissue.
Mammography is the only screening method that has been proven to reduce cancer deaths. By using low doses of X-rays, Eastern Radiologists’ breast imaging specialists are able to evaluate the breast tissue and determine any signs of irregularities. When conducted yearly, this screening can help detect breast cancer long before a lump is felt. Early detection is key to positive outcomes when faced with cancer diagnosis.
Eastern Radiologists Breast Imaging Center is proud to provide the most advanced option available in breast biopsy to their patients. With the guidance from the 3D screening, there is greater accuracy and faster procedure time all while obtaining a lower patient dose of radiation.
If you are a woman at higher than average risk for breast cancer, then there is a chance you will need a breast MRI. A breast MRI is a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), that generates multi-dimensional images of the breasts soft tissue, these images are especially detailed.
Alongside their state-of-the-art technology, the Eastern Radiologists Breast Imaging Center is board certified and accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). They have been recognized by the ACR as the Breast Center of Excellence since 2007. Wherever you chose to have your mammogram or whoever you chose to interpret your images, it’s important that you check the qualifications of the entire team to ensure you are receiving the highest level of care.
Risk Factors for Breast Cancer
As an expert in the field of breast imaging, Dr. Griffin utilizes her extensive knowledge to share information about risk factors of breast cancer.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), some women are at a higher risk for getting breast cancer at an early age compared with other women their age. If you are a woman younger than age 45, you may be at a higher risk if-
• You have close relatives who were diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer (particularly at age 45 or younger).
• You have changes in certain breast cancer genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2).
• You are of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.
• You were treated with radiation therapy to the breast or chest in childhood or early adulthood.
• You have had breast cancer or other breast health problems such as lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), atypical ductal hyperplasia, or atypical lobular hyperplasia.
• It has been recommended by the ACR that African-American women be added to those who are at higher than average risk.
Rates of breast cancer in the U.S. vary by race and ethnicity. African-American women present with breast cancer at an earlier age than Caucasian women. African-American women’s median age of onset is age 54, whereas Caucasian women’s median age is 61.
While overall rates of breast cancer in African-American and Caucasian women are about the same, African-American women are 20% to 40% more likely to die from breast cancer. The reason for this disparity is likely due to several factors, including genetics, the biology of the cancer, and differences in healthcare.
What can you do to reduce your risk?
There are many factors that can influence your breast cancer risk, and most women who develop breast cancer do not have any known risk factors or a history of the disease in their families. However, according to the CDC, you can help lower your risk of breast cancer in the following ways-
• Keep a healthy weight.
• Exercise regularly (at least four hours a week).
• Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day.
• Avoid exposure to chemicals that can cause cancer (carcinogens).
• If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives (birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.
• Breastfeed your babies, if possible.
If you think you are at higher risk, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may recommend that you get screened earlier and more frequently, refer you to a genetic counselor, and/or consider medicines or surgeries that can lower your risk. If you are an African-American woman, talk with your doctor about a risk assessment for breast cancer at age 30 to determine the need for high-risk screening. Screening should start annually at age 40 for average risk.
Eastern Radiologists Breast Imaging Center offers convenient hours to accommodate busy schedules. The Breast Imaging Center is open on Saturdays, and stays open late on Tuesdays.
Dr. Griffin would like to remind you that making time for your health isn’t selfish, it’s smart, so take the first step and schedule your screening, today.
You should also make healthy lifestyle choices, and make informed decisions about treatment. It is always a good idea to take someone with you to doctor appointments. A second ear can help you separate emotions from facts, and widens the net to receive all of the information presented, as well as ask questions you may forget to ask. Your health is ultimately your responsibility.
Eastern Radiologists Breast Imaging Center, has the technology you need and provides the care you deserve.
Black Women Added To Breast Cancer High-Risk Group. Breastcancer.org. https://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/black-women-added-to-high-risk-group. Accessed on February 14, 2020. 2018. | Breast Cancer in Young Women. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/young_women/bringyourbrave/pdf/breastcanceryoungwomenfactsheet.pdf, 2020. | Breast Cancer Screening in Women at Higher-Than-Average Risk: Recommendations From the ACR | Monticciolo, Debra L. et al. Journal of the American College of Radiology, Volume 15, Issue 3, 408 – 414. | Howlander N., Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al. (editors). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016. Table 1.11. Median age of cancer patients at diagnosis, 2012-2016. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD. Accessed on May 7, 2019. http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/, 2019.