Breast Pathology

The Breast Pathology section at Houston Methodist Hospital provides comprehensive pathology services for patients with breast lesions seen throughout the Houston Methodist system’s seven hospitals and related free-standing breast radiology centers. Breast biopsies performed on outpatients outside of the Houston Methodist hospital may be sent directly to Houston Methodist Hospital for processing and interpretation. The Breast Pathology section also provides a consultation service on biopsies and resections performed elsewhere.  

All breast radiology services, including radiographically-guided core biopsies, provided in the Houston Methodist system are performed by a group of subspecialty-trained breast radiologists. A group of expert breast pathologists based at Houston Methodist Hospital interprets most of these core biopsies, ensuring high quality, consistency, and excellent communication with our radiology colleagues. We have full service state-of-the-art immunohistochemistry and FISH sections in our large histology laboratory at Houston Methodist Hospital, which provides services for our entire system. A dedicated group of pathologists at Houston Methodist Hospital provides breast cancer biomarker assessment for all breast cancer patients throughout the Houston Methodist System. Many of our breast pathology experts previously spent many years as faculty at Baylor College of Medicine or MD Anderson Cancer Center. Several have been consistently named to Best Doctors of America for many years, and most have received numerous awards at the international, national, and local levels. 

Tumor Board Participation
Our group actively participates in two weekly breast tumor boards at Houston Methodist Hospital, one a general Breast Tumor Board, and a second focused on patients with triple negative breast cancer. These tumor boards provide lively multidisciplinary discussion of patients, directly benefiting patients, helping to guide optimal patient management, and enhancing the high quality care of these patients. 

Women’s Health/Breast and Gyn Pathology Fellowship
The department offers a highly competitive one-year Women’s Health Pathology fellowship, focusing on breast and gynecologic pathology. For more information about this fellowship, please see here for more details.

Other Activities
In addition to providing clinical services, some of our breast section pathologists have active clinical and translational research programs. The group has published numerous papers, contributed numerous book chapters, presented at national meetings, and lectured at the national, regional and local level.  

Services Provided
  • Interpretation of breast core biopsies performed in most of our system hospitals, with verified reports usually available 1-2 working days after the procedure (generally one day, two days if immunohistochemical studies performed) 
  • Processing and interpretation of breast core biopsies performed in the outpatient setting  outside of the Houston Methodist system with same rapid turnaround time as provided for our Houston Methodist patients (if received in the laboratory by 1800 hrs.)
  • Assessment of breast cancer biomarkers by immunohistochemistry (estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, HER2, and Ki-67/MIB-1 proliferative fraction) and FISH (HER2). This service is provided for all breast cancers diagnosed in the Houston Methodist system. It is also available as a consultation service.  The immunohistochemical studies are run twice a day (daytime and overnight runs) M-F and once on the weekends. FISH for HER2 gene amplification is run twice a week.  We participate in the rigorous College of American Pathologists Proficiency testing program for performance and interpretation of breast cancer biomarkers, with continued high level of performance. 
  • Full service immunohistochemistry section providing hundreds of antibodies, including those often used in breast pathology. 
  • Participation, along with other surgical pathologists, in intraoperative consultations and evaluation of surgical resections of breast tissue.  We have two frozen section rooms at Houston Methodist Hospital in immediate proximity to ORs in separate buildings, with digital Faxitron radiology equipment within the frozen section rooms. This is of direct benefit to patients, reducing the wait time of intraoperative consultations and enabling rapid collaborative intraoperative radiographic assessment of clips, localizing wires, calcifications, etc by pathologists and off-site breast radiologists. The intraoperative face-to-face interaction with surgeons also maximizes assessment of surgical margins, greatly reducing the need for later re-excision of positive or very close margins. 
  • Informal consultations at no additional charge to patients for breast surgical resections performed at other hospitals in the Houston Methodist system
  • Formal consultations of breast core biopsies and resections performed elsewhere, including from international patients. Slides and/or blocks may be sent, with accompanying reports. Assessment of breast cancer biomarkers is also offered as a consultation service. 
  • Our Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory provides a 76 gene next generation sequencing panel for breast cancer. This panel was developed in consultation with our breast oncologists, and focuses on actionable mutations. Please see here for more details.

Our Breast Pathology Section faculty:
Rose C. Anton, MD
Office: 713.441.6948
ranton@houstonmethodist.org

Alberto G. Ayala, MD
Office: 713.441.6415
aayala@houstonmethodist.org

Dina R. Mody, MD
Office: 713.441.6483
dmody@houstonmethodist.org

Jae Y. Ro MD, PhD
Office: 713.441.2263
jaero@houstonmethodist.org

Mary R. Schwartz, MD
Office: 713.441.6482
mschwartz@houstonmethodist.org

Nour Sneige, MD
Office: 713.441.9535
nsneige@houstonmethodist.org

Additional faculty with expertise in assessing breast cancer biomarkers:
Mojgan Amrikachi, MD (IHC and FISH)
Office: 713.441.6477
mamrikachi@houstonmethodist.org

Yimin Ge, MD (IHC)
Office: 713.441.2283
yge@houstonmethodist.org

Susan Haley, MD (IHC)
Office: 713.441.8257
slhaley@houstonmethodist.org

Andreana Rivera, MD (FISH)
Office: 713.441.2662
alrivera@houstonmethodist.org

Additional contact information:
Physicians and physician offices: 
For breast biopsy or resection surgical pathology reports, please call:
Ms. Rosie Benitez
HMH Anatomic Pathology Physician and Patient Services
713-441-1447
Ms. Benitez can transfer you to the pathologist of record. 

For questions about sending consultations from outside the Houston Methodist system:
Ms. Rachel Mata
AP Administrative Support
713.441.6482