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MULTIDISCIPLINARY BREAST CARE PROGRAM SETS THE STANDARD

9/29/2004


Responding to the special needs of women on Long Island, Stony Brook’s Breast Care Center opened in 1995 and was later named in honor of breast cancer awareness activist Carol M. Baldwin. Thousands of women come to the Center for mammograms and breast exams, and most are found to be healthy and cancer free.

But for those few in whom an abnormality is found, the Center offers a unique multidisciplinary approach. The word multidisciplinary is widely used today to describe approaches to providing breast care and other forms of health care, but its actual meaning varies from place to place.

Our multidisciplinary breast care program sets the standard of the best possible care for women with breast cancer—from initial evaluation of an abnormality and prompt diagnosis to complex treatment regimens.


mul•ti•dis•ci•pli•nar•y: of, relating to, or making use of several disciplines at once: a multidisciplinary approach to breast care.
Our breast cancer program brings together the expertise of physicians and other healthcare professionals from the departments/divisions of surgery, radiology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, genetic counseling, nutritional support, and social work.

The Breast Care Center itself is unique in that breast surgeons and radiation oncologists work side by side with specialized breast radiologists in the same building. This permits a free exchange of ideas and open interaction to maximize quality.

Another example of the Center’s unique multidisciplinary approach is that a surgical biopsy can be performed right there in the operating suite with the assistance of a certified anesthesiologist to provide conscious (awake) sedation. Biopsies are often performed as an office procedure.

Dr. Brian O’Hea, medical director of the Breast Care Center, describes the Center’s multidisciplinary team approach to treatment planning:

“Our weekly treatment planning conference is a multidisciplinary forum where we review potential treatment options for patients with newly diagnosed cancer or patients with recurrent disease. At this conference, their individual cases are presented to a team of highly-trained cancer specialists, including radiologists, breast surgeons, pathologists, reconstructive surgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists.”

Indeed, the multidisciplinary team approach to breast cancer treatment distinguishes the quality of care provided patients at the Breast Care Center.

State-of-the-art mammography and ultrasound equipment are used for routine screening and for early detection of breast cancer—the best chance for survival. The most modern techniques of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation oncology are available, as well as rehabilitative and support services, including support groups, designed to assist women who have had treatment for primary cancer of the breast.

The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Care Center is dedicated to providing early detection and diagnosis; comprehensive multidisciplinary management of breast cancer and benign breast disease; access to national research programs; reconstructive plastic surgery; rehabilitative and support services; and patient education.

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