Get “Hip” on New Ways to Stop Hip Pain

Posted on : 10-28-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Aches & Pains, Events, Health Tips, News

hip painAre you tired of enduring another day of hip pain? Whether the origin of your pain is arthritis or a degenerative illness, help is available for you to suffer no longer. To understand the causes and treatments of hip pain, Silver Cross Hospital is offering a free program Nov. 18.

Join Dr. Tom Antkowiak and Dr. Rajeev Puri, orthopedic surgeons with Oak Orthopedics, to learn the latest treatment plans for hip pain and degenerative hip conditions including hip arthroscopy and minimally invasive anterior total hip replacement. This free program will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

The hip joint is designed to withstand repetitive motion and a reasonable amount of wear and tear. This ball-and-socket joint fits together in a way that allows for seamless movement. Whenever you use the hip, a cushion of cartilage prevents friction as the hip moves in its socket.

“Over time and with age, the cartilage in the hip can wear out,” said Tom Antkowiak, M.D., orthopedic surgeon. “As the cartilage continues to wear we are often left with bone on bone arthritis which slows patients down and leads to increased pain. If caught early, we are often able to use minimally invasive techniques to slow the progression of arthritis and get patients back to the activities they love.”

Symptoms of Hip Pain

Depending on the source that’s causing hip pain, you might feel discomfort in the following areas: buttocks, thigh, outside of the hip joint, deep groin or the back.

Get medical attention right away if:

  • The hip pain came on suddenly.
  • A fall or other injury triggered the hip pain.
  • Your hip looks deformed or is bleeding.
  • You experienced a painful popping in the hip.
  • The pain is intense.
  • You can’t put any weight on your hip.

Relieve the Pain

If your hip pain is caused by a muscle or tendon strain, or osteoarthritis, you can usually relieve it with an over-the-counter pain medication or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

Another way to relieve hip pain is by holding ice to the area for about 15 minutes a few times a day.

If you have arthritis, exercising the hip joint with low-impact exercises, stretching, and resistance training can reduce pain and improve joint mobility. For example, swimming is a good non-impact exercise for arthritis.

When osteoarthritis becomes so severe that the pain is intense or the hip joint looses motion, a total hip replacement (arthroplasty) may be a consideration.

“An accurate diagnosis is vital in deciding the appropriate treatment for hip pain. For this reason, it is imperative to see an orthopedic specialist who is specially trained to evaluate such conditions,” said Rajeev Puri, M.D., orthopedic surgeon.

 

Find Relief for Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Posted on : 10-27-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Aches & Pains, Bone Health, Events, Health Tips, News

Cervical-Stenosis (1)Have you been suffering for years from a nagging pain in either your neck, shoulders or legs? You may be suffering from a condition known as cervical spinal stenosis. To help understand the causes and treatments of this type of pain, Silver Cross Hospital is offering a free program on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.

Join Dr. Thomas Hurley, neurosurgeon, for a discussion on minimally invasive treatments available for cervical spinal stenosis—a common problem in people over age 50. This free lecture – Cervical Spinal Stenosis - will be held in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Pavilion A, New Lenox at 6:30 p.m. Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

“Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal causing pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerves,” said Dr.  Hurley. These changes might create minor aches in some patients, although in more severe cases, the pain can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. So to avoid the pain from getting worse, patients need to seek medical attention.”

Symptoms of Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Many people older than 50 years of age have some narrowing of the spinal canal but do not have symptoms. Cervical spinal stenosis does not cause symptoms unless the spinal cord or nerves becomes squeezed. Symptoms usually develop slowly over a long period of time and may include:

  • Stiffness, pain, numbness, or weakness in the neck, shoulders, legs, arms, or hands.
  • Balance and coordination problems, such as shuffling or tripping while walking.
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control (incontinence).

How is Spinal Stenosis Treated?

Spinal stenosis can be treated several ways. Treatment options include:

Changes in posture. People with spinal stenosis may find that flexing the spine by leaning forward while walking relieves their symptoms.

Medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen may help relieve symptoms.

Surgery. If other treatments do not ease the pain, surgery may be recommended to relieve the pressure on affected nerves.

“The best way to develop a treatment plan is to diagnose the severity of Spinal Stenosis. With so many innovative treatments available today, patients can learn the best options with a physician visit,” says Dr. Hurley.

 

Don’t Let Injuries Haunt your Halloween

Posted on : 10-14-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Emergency, Health Tips, News
Photo credit: http://www.wdwthemeparks.com

Photo credit: http://www.wdwthemeparks.com

Whether you’re dressing up this “All Hallows’ Eve,” as a sparkly princess, crime fighting superhero or gory zombie, poor costume options and unsafe behavior can cause injury and haunt your Halloween so be sure to celebrate safely.

“The last thing any child or parent wants is to end up in the emergency room hurt and unable to celebrate Halloween,” says Daniel Checco, D.O., Emergency Medicine physician at the Silver Cross Emergency Care Centerlocated at 143rd St. and Bell Rd in Homer Glen. “By making sensible decisions, terrible injuries can be avoided.”

Enjoy a safe and happy Halloween by following the SAFE HALLOWEEN guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Going trick-or-treating?

S          Swords, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
A          Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
F          Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
E          Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Eat     only factory-wrapped treats.

H          Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you.
A          Always WALK and don’t run from house to house.
L          Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.
L          Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
         Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible.
W          Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision and falls.
E          Evaluate make-up options and test it in a small area first to avoid a severe rash.
E          Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don’t     stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.
         Never walk near lit candles. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

Emergency Care Nearby

Even with the utmost caution, Halloween-related injuries can still occur. It is good to know peace of mind is just minutes away at the Silver Cross Emergency Care Center located at 143rd and Bell Rd. in Homer Glen. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Center is staffed with Silver Cross Hospital’s board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses. For more information, call (708) 364-6004.

Located in the same building is the Silver Cross Health Center offering MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound, EKG and laboratory services. A physician’s order is required. To schedule an appointment for a test, call (815) 300-7076. There are also several primary and specialty physician offices and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross. For a referral to a physician at the Homer Glen medical center, call 1-888-660-HEAL or click here. 

Mom Keeps Weight Off Decade after Surgery

Posted on : 10-13-2014 | By : tsimons | In : News, Success Stories, Weight Loss
After4245DonnaMorriscropped

Donna has kept the weight off more than 10 years after laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery at Silver Cross Hospital.

Donna Morris is still hiking more than 10 years after her bariatric surgery at Silver Cross Hospital. Once obese at 226 pounds, the Marseilles mom has kept most of the weight off and continues to live life to the fullest. After losing 100 pounds, her extremely high blood pressure, asthma and back pain are completely gone.

“Since my weight loss, I have more energy to travel and even participate in activities like hiking and parasailing that I never would have dreamed of doing before,” said the 51-year-old mother of three daughters.

 “I often wonder if I didn’t have the weight loss surgery if I’d still be alive 10 years later,” said Donna. “My improved health made so many personal milestones possible – my husband Brian and I have celebrated 34 years of marriage and we’ve been blessed to watch our beautiful daughters grow up.”

 

 

Donna Morris before

At 226 pounds, Donna had high blood pressure, asthma and back pain before her weight loss surgery in 2003.

First Laparascopic Bypass Patient at Silver Cross Hospital

Over a decade ago, Donna was the first patient of Dr. Christopher Joyce, a board certified bariatric and general surgeon with BMI Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, to undergo the new minimally invasive procedure called laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Dr. Joyce performed laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery on Donna on Nov. 4, 2003, which was the first laparoscopic gastric bypass at Silver Cross Hospital as well as in Will or Grundy Counties.

During laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, Dr. Joyce uses a series of small incisions to gain access to the abdominal cavity in order to reduce the size of the stomach by creating a pouch about the size of an egg from the top of the stomach. He then divides the small intestine and attaches the lower part of the intestine to the stomach pouch. Dr. Joyce calls gastric bypass the “gold standard” of bariatric surgery, because it has the highest success rate in terms of weight loss.

Donna less than a year after her surgery in 2004,

Donna less than a year after her surgery in 2004.

“The change helps patients lose weight because the stomach can’t hold as much food,” Dr. Joyce says.

There are several benefits of using the laparoscopic technique including:

  • a shorter length of stay in the hospital (usually two nights)
  • quicker recovery, less time off work
  • and cosmetically more appealing scars.

In the past, these operations were done through larger incisions using traditional techniques. Now virtually everybody is a candidate for the laparoscopic approach.

 

 

Favorable Odds for Losing Weight & Keep it Off

Peak weight loss occurs 12-18 months after the gastric bypass. Patients at Silver Cross on average lose 81% of their excess weight at that time. At 5 years after the surgery, the average excess weight loss remains high at 78% indicating the durability of the surgery.

Donna contributes her successful 10-year weight loss to the fact that she still routinely meets with Dr. Joyce and his team at BMI Surgery, exercises regularly and makes healthy food choices. “Even through all these years, Dr. Joyce and his staff have been a great resource of support for me,” said Donna. “I do admit that I enjoy desserts only much smaller portions. But for the majority of my meals, I eat healthy foods,” said Donna.

Are you a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?

The American Society of Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery defines the morbidly obese as those with a body mass of 40 or above, or, for a normal height woman, being more than 100 pounds overweight. Patients with a BMI of 35 and higher, are at a higher risk of mortality and such extreme obesity puts people at risk for life threatening disease, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

 To find out more about the bariatric surgery program at Silver Cross Hospital, attend a free informational session.

3D Mammograms are Here!

Posted on : 10-02-2014 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Mammography, News

3DMammographyAlthough no special glasses are needed, the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health is now detecting breast cancer even earlier using breakthrough 3D mammography. 

Breast tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, uses advanced imaging technology to produce a three-dimensional image of the breast. It provides a clearer, more accurate view compared to digital mammography alone. 

“Conventional digital mammography produces one image of overlapping tissue, making it sometimes difficult to detect cancers,” says Dr. Aaron Guajardo, radiologist at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health.   “When combined with digital mammography using the same scanner, breast tomosynthesis takes multiple images and reconstructs them to create a 3D view of the entire breast. We can now see areas of concern from all angles.”

Benefits of 3D mammography can include:

  • Earlier detection of small breast cancers that may be hidden during digital mammography
  • Greater accuracy in pinpointing size, shape and location of abnormalities
  • Fewer unnecessary biopsies or additional tests
  • Greater likelihood of detecting multiple breast tumors, which occur in 15% of breast cancer patients
  • Clearer images of dense breast tissue

To schedule an appointment for a mammogram, call (815) 300-7076 or request an appointment online A physician’s order is required.  Patients will be screened to determine if they could benefit from breast tomosynthesis.

Women who choose Silver Cross for their annual mammography screening can also take advantage of Silver Cross’ free I Matter® program which rewards patients for taking care of themselves.  At the time of appointment, patients receive their I Matter membership card. This card can be used at over 100 local businesses for unlimited discounts.  Sign-up today.

$100 Could Save Your Life!

Posted on : 09-19-2014 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Discounts, Mammography, News, screening

 4572783986croppedSilver Cross offers discounted breast and lung cancer screenings for a limited time

Don’t let your health insurance coverage stop you from taking care of yourself.  Silver Cross is offering discounted screenings to diagnose breast and lung cancer through Dec. 31, 2014. The cost of each screening is just $100 (including the radiologist fee).  Cash, check and credit cards will be accepted at time of appointment.  Insurance will not be billed.  To schedule an appointment, call (815) 300-7076 or request an appointment.  A physician’s order is required for both tests. 

CT Lung Cancer Screening

Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox and the Silver Cross Health Center in Homer Glen offers low dose screening CT scans to identify lung cancer in high risk patients.  The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends annual screening in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.  A 30-pack year is the equivalent to one pack a day for 30 years, or two packs a day for 15 years.

Mammography Screening

Annual mammograms help detect breast cancer early and improve the chances that it can be treated successfully. The American Cancer Society recommends women age 40 and older should have a mammography screening every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health. Both screening and diagnostic mammograms are offered at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health located in Pavilion B, 1870 Silver Cross Bld., New Lenox.  Patients who sign-up for the free I Matter program online or by calling 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) will receive discounts at over 100 local businesses at the time of their mammography appointment. 

 

 

New Treatments for Breast Cancer

Posted on : 09-15-2014 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Cancer, Events, Health Tips, News

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.

Free Program

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.

Using your own Stem Cells to treat Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Posted on : 09-08-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Bone Health, Events, News

Depositphotos_1429163_S3According to the Arthritis Foundation, about 27 million people in America have osteoarthritis. As we age, our joints often develop osteoarthritis—a destruction of the cartilage or protective tissue of the joint. Dr. Robert Daley, orthopedic surgeon who is on staff at Silver Cross Hospital, is among a select group of physicians around the country to offer stem cell treatment to relieve knee osteoarthritis pain and chronic tendonitis. Silver Cross Hospital in conjunction with Hinsdale Orthopaedics Group is offering a lecture that will educate area residents on how they can find relief with this new innovative treatment.  This free program—Using Your Own Stem Cells to Treat Osteoarthritis of the Knee, will be heldTuesday, September 30, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Learn about this unique, nonsurgical procedure, which uses your own stem cells to promote healing. Register to attend this program online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Do you suffer from Osteoarthritis Pain?

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects the knee. Osteoarthritis is a process where the cartilage in the joint gradually wears away. Ostearthritis may be caused by excess stress on the joint such as repeated injury or being overweight.

Osteoarthritis symptoms usually develop gradually. Common symptoms include:

  • Sore joints – in the hips, knees, and lower back — after inactivity or overuse
  • Stiffness after resting that disappears after movement
  • Pain that is worse after activity or at the end of the day.

Traditionally, treating osteoarthritis consisted of a series of steps – weight loss, pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications, injections and if necessary surgery. However a new innovative treatment exists using a patient’s own stem cells to regenerate the lost cartilage and strengthen the supporting structure of the joint.

“Through this minimally invasive technology, pain can be reduced in a patient who suffers from mild to moderate arthritis of the knee when trying to avoid a total knee replacement,” said Dr. Robert Daley, orthopedic surgeon on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “During the outpatient procedure, stem cells are removed from the patient’s hip area and implanted into the knee. Then the cells regenerate tissue that resembles natural cartilage that replaces worn out areas in joints.”

“There are many benefits of Stem Cell Therapy. Through this new technology, many patients are able to find relief from stiffness and pain caused by osteoarthritis without undergoing surgery or a long recovery,” said Dr. Daley.  “In addition, they can have reduced knee pain and their quality of life may be improved.”

Helping More Patients Return Home & Regain Independence

Posted on : 09-05-2014 | By : tsimons | In : News, Rehabilitation

Most of us know someone who has suffered a traumatic injury or significant loss of function due to stroke, brain or spinal cord injury, joint replacement or amputation.  And usually the only thing on his or her mind is getting back home and regaining independence.  At Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, specialists with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) are helping more patients than ever before advance their ability and return home sooner.  RIC has been ranked the #1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991. The same specialized care that has earned RIC its pre-eminent reputation is available at Silver Cross. 

Dr Andrew Hendrix, Medical Director of The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital, talks with patient Lawrence Johnson of Orland Park about his treatment plan and progress after spending 6 days in the inpatient rehabilitation unit .

Dr Andrew Hendrix, Medical Director of The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital, talks with patient Lawrence Johnson of Orland Park about his treatment plan and progress after spending 6 days in the inpatient rehabilitation unit .

According to the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association’s outcomes database, 79% of patients who recover on Silver Cross Hospital’s CARF-accredited inpatient rehabilitation unit are discharged home—not to a skilled nursing, assisted living or extended care facility.  That is much higher than the regional average of 71% or even the U.S. average of 74%.  Last year, RIC at Silver Cross’ 24-bed inpatient unit cared for over 521 patients—a 19% increase from 2012.

“Our patients typically spend 11 or 12 days on the rehab unit, says Dr. Andrew Hendrix, medical director of RIC at Silver Cross Hospital’s inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services.  “We develop a plan for each patient and then our team goes to work to make sure that the patient is ready for discharge.”

At Silver Cross, inpatient rehabilitation services are provided by licensed specialists under the coordination of Dr. Hendrix or one of his physician colleagues. Each patient’s care is tailored to fit their needs and care plans are developed with the input of the patient, family, physician, and rehabilitation team.  The team includes registered nurses; physical, occupational, speech, and recreational therapist; social workers and transitional care managers.  Patients may also see a dietician, respiratory therapist and behavioural health specialist to prepare for discharge.

“Although we are in a hospital, we do our best to simulate a home environment,” Dr. Hendrix says.  “Each patient has their own spacious private room.  And in our ability achievement center and kitchen, patients re-learn daily tasks and also to use appliances such as a washer, dryer, stove and microwave.  We even have a car simulator so that patients can practice getting in and out of a vehicle.”

RIC at Silver Cross has also created an apartment environment for overnight training.  This gives patients, family members and caregivers an opportunity to identify areas that require further assistance, education or practice before the patient leaves the inpatient rehabilitation environment. 

Once the patient returns home, additional rehabilitation is often required. Patients have the option to come back to the hospital for outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy.  RIC at Silver Cross also offers physical therapy in Silver Cross’ conveniently located buildings in Homer Glen, on Route 30 in New Lenox, and the west side of Joliet. 

 “Our goal is always to help our patients return to normal of activities of daily living, but we also want to make sure that throughout their recovery process we effectively and appropriately manage and reduce their pain,” says Dr. Hendrix. 

In addition to being board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, Dr. Hendrix specializes in pain management providing epidural injections and sympathetic blockades in Silver Cross’ state-of-the-art procedural care unit.  He also sees patients in RIC at Silver Cross’ outpatient facility in Pavilion A on the hospital’s campus along with his partner, Dr. Michelle Muellner. To schedule an appointment, call (815) 300-2911.

They Found a Breast Lump. Now what?

Posted on : 08-26-2014 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Cancer, Mammography, News

It’s every woman’s worst fear—finding a lump in her breast. Before panicking, get advice from experts on the next steps to take. And now Silver Cross is making it easier than ever before with a convenient, one-stop experience.  

“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 Grace Suh, a University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital medical oncologist. “The sooner we can start treatment, the better chance we have to eradicate the disease.”

Front:  Laura Ragauskaite, MD; general surgeon; Alan Chen, MD, plastic & reconstructive surgeon; Patricia Clark, MD, general surgeon; Anne McCall, MD, radiation oncologist; Grace Suh; medical oncologist. Back:  Cagatay Ersahin, MD, pathologist; Matthew Endara, MD, plastic & reconstructive surgeon; Brooke Phillips, MD; medical oncologist; Mark Danielson, MD; general surgeon; Neda Zelahovitis, certified breast health nurse navigator; Aaron Guajardo, MD, radiologist.

Front: Laura Ragauskaite, MD; general surgeon; Alan Chen, MD, plastic & reconstructive surgeon; Patricia Clark, MD, general surgeon; Anne McCall, MD, radiation oncologist; Grace Suh; medical oncologist. Back: Cagatay Ersahin, MD, pathologist; Matthew Endara, MD, plastic & reconstructive surgeon; Brooke Phillips, MD; medical oncologist; Mark Danielson, MD; general surgeon; Neda Zelahovitis, certified breast health nurse navigator; Aaron Guajardo, MD, radiologist.

The multi-disciplinary team meets in the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital for a Breast Conference every Tuesday morning. At the Conference, physician specialists representing general surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, plastic surgery and pathology reviews radiological images and pathology slides on state-of-the-art equipment and develops 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.

“By having all the specialists in one room at one time improves communications among caregivers and makes it easier to provide recommendations for the best course of treatment,” said Dr. Anne McCall, a University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital radiation oncologist.

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. With the recent addition of Dr. Matthew Endara to the team, new plastic surgery techniques such as flap microsurgical breast reconstruction are now available at Silver Cross Hospital.

“Early detection as well as prompt and precise treatment is the key to fighting cancer, which is why all the specialists involved in the Breast Conference are donating their time and expertise to provide Silver Cross patients with this unique opportunity close to home,” said Dr. Mark Danielson, general surgeon at Silver Cross.

If you or someone you know could benefit from the Multidisciplinary Breast Conference, please contact your primary care physician for a referral. If you don’t have a regular physician, find one here.