On the ground floor of the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center, you'll find the Diagnostic Breast Center, where board-certified breast surgeon Mary Legenza, MD, and surgeon Jack Traylor, MD, evaluate and treat women with breast cancer, suspected breast cancer or at high risk of developing breast cancer. Both physicians are dedicated breast surgeons with roots and history in the Tri-State, and they are well-known for their dedication to their patients.
Along with their care team, the doctors offer comprehensive care and treatment in a compassionate and timely manner. The staff includes the registration and reception team, a surgical assistant, highly trained 3D mammography, ultrasound and stereotactic biopsy technicians and three full-time certified oncology nurse navigators.
Nurse navigators are oncology nurses with special training and certification who help guide cancer patients from evaluation and diagnosis through recovery, outlining aspects of their treatment, explaining procedures, answering questions and serving as an all-around resource. Their goal is to ease the burden on patients and their loved ones, serving as a single point of contact and helping to coordinate the efforts of the medical team as needed. In general, the nurse navigator's role includes:
All mammogram exams are performed using 3D mammography, the latest technology in the battle against breast cancer, which takes advantage of all of the benefits of digital mammography to create unparalleled, high-quality images.
3-D mammography produces three-dimensional images that reveal the inner architecture of the breast, follow the shape of the breast tissue to create a stack of thin high-resolution images that provide clear, more precise images. The quality of these images enables abnormalities to be seen early, when breast cancer is most treatable.
Stereotactic and digital ultrasound biopsies are also performed in the center. Additional services include a mentoring program for cancer patients, physician-performed evaluations for genetic testing and education for the patient and family using one-to-one instruction and a library of books and videos.
The Diagnostic Breast Center has earned accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, a consortium of national, professional organizations dedicated to the improvement of the quality of care and monitoring of outcomes of patients with diseases of the breast. The center has also been named a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, which means:
The breast center staff understands that every woman's breast cancer experience is different, and they are sensitive to your wishes, offering only the level and kind of support you are comfortable with. When you learn you have cancer, you may feel caught up in a whirlwind of fear, shock, anger and other emotions. This diagnosis also affects your family and friends, and their well-being may also become a concern. It's normal to feel unprepared for what a cancer diagnosis brings to your life, and our support group may help you understand and cope with the feelings and issues you are facing.
Sisters of Hope is a free support group for women with breast cancer. Talking to others in a similar situation offers you the opportunity to share experiences and practical advice and learn more about what you are facing. And who knows? You may make some friends while you're there!
Sisters of HOPE (Helping Other People Endure) meets at 5:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month in the Resource Room on the Ground Floor of the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center. Learn more by calling 304.526.2443.