In honor of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Jefferson Breast Care Center recently hosted a Breast Cancer and Related Diseases Symposium for patients, families and other members of the public. On Saturday, October 20, they gathered in the Dorrance H. Hamilton Building on Jefferson’s Center City campus to learn about some of the latest advances in clinical treatments and research into breast cancer.
The Jefferson Breast Care Center now offers patients a seamless experience from diagnosis to treatment—weaving together breast imaging, pathology, radiation and medical oncology, and surgical oncology, along with the region’s leading plastic surgeons for cosmetic mastectomies and reconstructions.
“We have extensive experience with skin-sparing mastectomies and surgical techniques to save the nipple and areola,” explains Surgical Director Theodore N. Tsangaris, MD, MBA, FACS, “These techniques can help reduce much of the emotional and cosmetic impact of breast cancer surgery. As I explain, ‘This isn’t your grandmother’s mastectomy.’”
In addition to pioneering leading surgical techniques, the Center is a leader in clinical trials – reflecting a commitment to cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment options. The program was the secondhighest- accruing site for the national SHAVE trial, which studied the impact of routine resection of cavity shave margins (that is, additional tissue removed following partial mastectomy).
“Historically, about three in 10 patients would need to come back in for a follow-up surgery,” says Dr. Tsangaris. “By changing the way we present the tumor to pathologists, we have reduced the number of false positives and decreased the rate of re-excisions to under one in 10.”
Another study, led by Adam Berger, MD, FACS, is exploring intraoperative radiation for partial mastectomy patients. The study is testing the efficacy of a single dose of radiation immediately after resection versus the traditional approach of returning for multiple doses after discharge from the hospital.
Center leadership also participates in Jefferson’s Surgical Oncology Working Group, which is exploring ways to further increase access to cancer care at Jefferson. To that end, the program is planning extended hours and additional clinics to serve patients outside Center City, including locations in South Philadelphia, Northeast Philadelphia, New Jersey and the Main Line. Between Dr. Tsangaris and his colleagues – Drs. Adam Berger, Melissa Lazar, and Alliric Willis – patients can schedule a consultation with a Jefferson breast surgeon at a convenient time, close to home.
Complementing these efforts is an initiative aimed at increasing breast cancer awareness and prevention by screening a far greater number of patients. The initiative – known as Project 200K by 2024 – is being spearheaded by the Jefferson Enterprise and Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health (see sidebar). The goal is simple, compelling and ambitious: to perform 200,000 mammograms per year by 2024, to coincide with Jefferson’s bicentennial. That is nearly double the current volume.
“Our multidisciplinary team is taking a good look at current capacity across all Jefferson sites, so we may identify new ways to screen more women,” Dr. Tsangaris says. “We want to increase our treatment of low-income and diverse populations – making our world-class treatment and innovative clinical trials available to more patients throughout the Delaware Valley.”
For more information about the Jefferson Breast Care Center, please visit: JeffersonHealth.edu/Breast
"Jefferson Breast Care Center Offers Innovative and Comprehensive Care,"
Jefferson Surgical Solutions: Vol. 13:
2, Article 2.
Available at: https://jdc.jefferson.edu/jss/vol13/iss2/2