According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. On the contrary, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors currently in the United States. Silver Cross Hospital is offering a free program where a panel of physicians will discuss new breast cancer treatments and how more women can become survivors of the disease.
Join University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross experts Dr. Anne McCall, radiation oncologist and Dr. Grace K. Suh, medical oncologist, along with Dr. Andre Edwards, radiologist on staff at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, for a discussion on how the occurrence of breast cancer has changed over time and a look at new diagnostics and treatment options used to treat women with breast cancer. Participants will win a gift bag and be entered into a drawing to receive a free mammography screening. The Cancer Support Center will also share information about local services for cancer patients and families. This free program will occur on Tuesday, October 7 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Pavilion A, New Lenox. Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).
“A majority of breast cancer cases can be cured when found and treated at an early stage, so regular mammogram screenings are very important,” said Dr. Andre Edwards, musculoskeletal radiology and board-certified radiology physician who is on staff at Silver Cross Hospital.
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that can grow into (invade) surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. The disease occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too.
Risk Factors & Prevention
Risk factors for breast cancer include older age, specific inherited genetic alterations, hormone therapy, having radiation therapy to the chest, consuming alcohol, and being overweight. It may be possible to decrease the risk of breast cancer by getting exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.
New Coordinated Approach to Treating Breast Cancer
Patients can now get recommendations from a group of breast cancer experts on the next steps to take with a convenient, one-stop experience through a new Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Conference that is available at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.
“We know women are extremely busy taking care of everyone else in their lives, so we wanted to make it easy for them to get all the necessary information and medical opinions to make an informed decision as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Suh. “The sooner we can start treatment, the better chance we have to eradicate the disease.”
The multi-disciplinary team meets in the Cancer Center for a Breast Conference every Tuesday morning. At the Conference, physician specialists representing general surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, plastic surgery and pathology review the patients’ clinical information, radiological images and pathology slides with state-of-the-art equipment to develop a consensus recommendation. The team documents the recommendations and a certified breast nurse navigator provides the recommendation to the patient’s doctor within 24 hours.
“Having all of the specialists in one room, at one time, improves communication and allows for sharing information with each other. The physicians benefit by being able to talk about the treatment plan together, and the patient benefits from timely recommendations by a team of experts,” said Dr. McCall.
Patients now benefit from a wide array of breast cancer tests and treatments on the Silver Cross campus including digital mammography, breast MRI, ultrasound and biopsies, and the latest chemotherapy and radiation therapies including clinical trials. Prone breast radiation is available, where radiation is administered on a specially-designed table to help the woman lie more comfortably in the prone position, on her stomach, which may prevent radiation to the underlying heart and lung. Certain women may also be able to receive their radiation in only three weeks. In addition, new plastic surgery techniques such as flap microsurgical breast reconstruction are now available at Silver Cross Hospital.
Patients who could benefit from the Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Conference should contact their primary care physician.