People who have been diagnosed with breast cancer want to know they are receiving the best care available. With the multidisciplinary breast cancer approach at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Breast Care Center, our patients can be assured that a qualified team of breast cancer specialists are carefully reviewing their cases. Care plans are tailored for each individual patient, giving patients the greatest chance of beating cancer and the best quality of life during treatment.
Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Care Services
Do you know the phrase, "Two heads are better than one”? Multidisciplinary - or Multi-D - care for breast cancer goes beyond that.
Studies show that patients who receive multidisciplinary care during the course of their breast cancer diagnosis and treatment phase have better survival rates than those who do not have this advantage. Multidisciplinary breast cancer care means that experts from various medical backgrounds, or "disciplines," work together as a team and review each patient's case to offer their unique perspective and knowledge. This benefits patients by making sure no aspect of their breast cancer care is overlooked.
What are some other benefits of multidisciplinary breast cancer care? They include:
- Provision of care in accord with nationally agreed-upon standards and guidelines
- Enhanced knowledge resulting from the collaboration of various clinical specialists
- Patient involvement in the decision-making process
- Reduction in the cost of breast cancer care
- Decreased mortality
- Improvement in quality of life, mental health and overall well-being
After being diagnosed with breast cancer, our patients meet with a team of cancer physicians in a group consultation. This team includes fellowship-trained specialists in breast surgery, medical oncology and radiation oncology. They are all licensed and board certified in their respective fields, and are experienced inworking together to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for each patient.
The team uses national guidelines and standards in creating a treatment plan, while taking into account individual patient needs. Open communication and active information-sharing help decrease the time between diagnosis and the beginning of the treatment process. Patients may have their family members present at this meeting with our team.
If it is determined that a patient could benefit from physical therapy, lymphedema management, counseling, image recovery or other support services, these options are offered to the patient. Once the consultation is over, the team continues to work together as the journey continues, communicating about each patient’s progress each and every step of the way.
Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Conferences
At the Northwest Hospital Multidisciplinary Breast Care Conferences, a patient's cancer case is reviewed by a larger team of cancer specialists affiliated with LifeBridge Health's Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute. The conferences also include doctors from Sinai Hospital who participate offsite through video conference technology. Patients do not attend these conferences; however they reap the benefit of having additional cancer specialists discussing their case.
In addition to the core Multi-D team, breast cancer conference participants include specialists in radiology, pathology, nursing, physical therapy, nuclear medicine and genetic counseling. Patient privacy is strictly maintained, while only the patient details necessary for providing top quality care are presented.
The breast cancer conferences allow the team to discuss current treatment approaches and how they apply to each patient under review. The latest advances in treatment options and opportunities for patients to participate in clinical trials are also discussed.
Facing a breast cancer diagnosis can be a frightening and confusing time. In addition to new emotions, patients often find themselves confronted with various tests and appointments. As treatment choices need to be made, the options may seem overwhelming. Therefore, a certified nurse navigator is available at the Samuelson Breast Care Center to support, educate and provide resources to assist in overcoming these barriers.
As part of our multidisciplinary approach, a navigator works with patients to make certain they understand their options, how to manage the various appointments, and to help them connect with support services. This coordination helps ease patient anxiety and moves the process forward in a clear and timely manner. The navigator communicates directly with patients' physicians to ensure seamless care during treatment and into survivorship.
To learn more about the multidisciplinary breast cancer services offered through the Herman & Walter Samuelson Breast Care Center, call 410-601-WELL (9355).