The Breast Oncology Division includes experts in surgery, medical oncology, pathology, radiation oncology, radiology, reconstructive surgery, and nursing as well as psychosocial and nutritional support. Being highly focused in breast cancer provides physicians and caregivers the ability to tackle complex cases and optimize the outcome for every patient.
During weekly breast oncology tumor boards, our experts collectively discuss cases in a multidisciplinary approach. This multi-facetted strategy to treat breast cancer in a holistic environment provides each of our patients with customized solutions that will benefit their recovery.
Breast Imaging – Betty Torricelli Institute for Breast Care
In our breast imaging center led by Dr. Gail Starr, we offer routine use of 3D mammography which has been shown to improve the sensitivity of breast cancer detection, even for women with dense breast tissue. 3D mammography has also been shown to reduce the false positive rate. A false positive is having an abnormal mammogram, which requires additional testing, ultrasound or biopsies which are ultimately negative for breast cancer.
The Wellness Center at HUMC offers screening routine 3D mammogram regardless of patient’s age, history or insurance. For a screening appointment, please call 551-996-2222.
Patients with abnormal mammograms can have on-site access to surgeons, pathologists and cytopathologists who can perform an immediate diagnostic procedure (fine-needle aspiration and/or biopsy). When needed, this biopsy will obviously be performed under guidance with either breast ultrasound, stereotactic core biopsy or MRI-guided biopsy.
Breast Surgery is a dedicated subspecialty within the Department of Surgery with highly trained surgeons focusing on the management of benign and malignant breast conditions at HUMC. Together with the imaging center, pathologists and cytopathologists, they will be able to recommend the next step in every situation.
If surgery is needed, our team will offer the most appropriate procedure, including nipple sparing surgery, sentinel lymph nodes biopsy which might help reduce lymphedema and other complications.
Most patients undergo only lumpectomy, but mastectomy is required in some situations. Besides any other additional treatments (chemotherapy, radiation or hormone therapy or combinations) that would be recommended by the multidisciplinary team, patients also have access to on-site surgeons for breast reconstruction.
Our breast surgery team is happy to assist you at the following number: 551-996-8777.
The goal of the genetic counseling program is to provide individual risk assessment for patients at increased risk for developing breast cancer. This includes genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRC1, among other genes, that are associated with breast and ovarian cancers. Based on the individual assessment, the patient will receive a recommendation for additional testing or monitoring, as well as support throughout the process.
For additional information or advice, please contact our genetic counseling team at 551-996-4788.
Every patient diagnosed with breast cancer will be referred to the breast medical oncology team for further recommendations. Cases are also collectively discussed every week by all caregivers involved to optimize the treatment plan.
The therapy for breast cancer typically includes chemotherapy, hormone therapy and an increasing number of novel agents, including biological or targeted therapies. Our center routinely evaluates breast cancer patients for molecular features that can help customize therapy, and in some situations allow to forego chemotherapy based on the results of molecular signatures.
Radiation therapy is a treatment that uses high-energy rays or particles that destroy cancer cells. Radiation is often recommended as additional local therapy after surgery to help lower the chance of recurrence. Our center uses a prone breast approach where radiation is delivered on a specially designed table in a position that prevents exposure to heart, lungs and normal tissue.
Radiation can also be used to treat cancer that has spread to other areas, for example, bones or brain. Our center has on-site Gamma Knife technology that is also called radio-surgery and is used to treat with very focused and intense radiation, particularly for lesions in the brain with very minimum risk to nearby tissue and structures.
To contact one of our radiation oncology experts, please call 551-996-2210.