The Integrated Breast Center at Pennsylvania Hospital
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Services We Offer

At the Intergrated Breast Center, our multidisciplinary team offers a wide variety of services to meet the needs of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients as well as those who have already undergone breast surgery.

Choose a service below to learn more:

Cancer Risk Evaluation Program

The Cancer Risk Evaluation Program of Pennsylvania Hospital, developed by the University of Pennsylvania, is available at Pennsylvania Hospital and at Penn Medicine at Radnor for women who are concerned about their risk for breast or ovarian cancer.

The program's physicians and genetic counselor will help you understand the risk factors, review your family history, medical history and lifestyle risk factors. They will discuss genetic testing, assist in your decision about this option and outline a plan for continued monitoring and cancer prevention therapy to help protect your health.

The program also provides information for individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer and want to know about the role of genetics in their diagnosis.

>> Learn more about the Cancer Risk Evaluation Program at the Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital

Medical Oncology

Medical oncologists at the Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital are actively involved in the treatment of breast cancer. Systemic treatment for breast cancer involves both chemotherapy, hormonal therapies and increasingly, targeted therapies such as monoclonal antibodies.

Therapies may be offered to patients with all stages of breast cancer from early to advanced cases. Considerable advances have occurred in recent years in several areas. TheAbramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital participates in several clinical trials which are demonstrating promising results.

Hormonal therapy remains a key therapy for many breast cancer patients. Other exciting new therapies in recent years have included the use of new chemotherapy agents for metastatic disease and the promising initial results of the addition of monoclonal antibodies to standard chemotherapy regimens.

Increasingly, oncologists are also using sophisticated molecular genetic analyses of tumors that can help to predict a woman's risk of recurrence with early disease and the need for and benefit from chemotherapy. Hopefully, assays such as this will continue to evolve and help determine which women with early breast cancer might benefit from aggressive chemotherapy and which ones can be spared such treatment.

Radiation Oncology

Working in conjunction with an interdisciplinary team specializing in cancer, radiation oncologists at Pennsylvania Hospital provide treatment with high energy x-rays, electrons or radioactive isotopes. Our radiation oncologists are full-time members of University of Pennsylvania's Department of Radiation Oncology, one of the largest and most respected clinical services in the region.

Treatment planning begins with imaging done on a computerized tomographic (CT) virtual simulator, which facilitates the accurate delineation of the tumor and normal tissue structures. Actual treatments are delivered on the linear accelerator best suited to treat a particular tumor site.

We now offer partial breast irradiation (MammoSite) for women with low risk cancers whose major risk of recurrence is in the surgical site. The radiation is given twice daily for five days with a high intensity radiation source inserted through a catheter which ends in an inflated balloon in the surgical cavity. Only selected patients are candidates for this treatment.

>> Learn more about radiation therapy at the Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital

Supportive Care

Breast cancer patients and their families have access to social workers, nutritionists, psychologists, oncology nurses and a chaplain at the Joan Karnell Supportive Care Services to help support them through the cancer experience.

The Abramson Cancer Center offers an array of supportive care services for patients who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer as well as those who have already undergone breast surgery.

Choose a category below to learn about specific supportive care services offered at the Joan Karnell Supportive Care Services:

Surgery

The Department of Surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital has the resources and capability to treat the entire spectrum of benign breast disease and breast cancer. An experienced dedicated breast surgeon is part of the team.

Our surgeons provide the latest surgical treatment options that are less disfiguring with lower risks. These include lumpectomy, sentinel node biopsy, skin-sparing mastectomy, minimally invasive core biopsies and placement of a MammoSite catheter after partial mastectomy for radiotherapy in selected patients.

Surgeons and radiologists work together to perform less invasive procedures to aid in the early diagnosis of breast cancer. In appropriate clinical settings, core biopsies are offered as a diagnostic procedure and have spared patients open biopsies for benign lesions.

Breast preservation is most commonly recommended in properly selected cases. When mastectomy is required, we offer the latest breast reconstructive techniques performed by renowned plastic surgeons with an interest in breast disease.

Women's Imaging Center

The Women's Imaging Center is dedicated to excellence in women's health care and breast imaging by providing services that include screening and diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and interventional biopsy options. Results from all studies performed at the Women's Imaging Center are immediately provided to each patient and the referring physician at the time of examination.

Although mammography remains the single best method to detect early breast cancer, not all breast cancers are seen with mammography and other radiological modalities are available. Breast ultrasound, with high frequency transducers, is often used for further evaluation of mammographic abnormalities such as characterization between solid and cystic structures and localization of subtle changes on mammography. It is also used for evaluation of clinical abnormalities and guidance of biopsies and other interventional procedures.

Minimally invasive interventional biopsy techniques include ultrasound-guided core biopsy, vacuum-assisted core biopsy, and stereotactic core biopsy to diagnose abnormalities within the breast.

Breast MRI has become a valuable tool in screening for and diagnosis of breast cancer in select patients and can be used for guidance for breast interventions. In addition, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) serves a role in the evaluation of the breast cancer patient.

 


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