At the St. Jude Kathryn T. McCarty Breast Center we are at the forefront
of stacking the odds in each woman’s favor.
“Every day we use advances that weren’t available even five
years ago to ensure the vast majority of women not only survive but recover
more fully and quickly,” explains Brad Silveira, MD, medical director,
St. Jude Breast Center.
And while new breakthroughs continue to increase survival rates, early
diagnosis remains the most effective way of beating breast cancer.
A nationally-recognized Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, we offer the
entire range of diagnostic options, including 3D mammography (coming this
fall), digital mammography with computer aided detection, breast MRI,
and advanced biopsy techniques. If a potential problem is found, the next
step in testing and diagnosis is immediately available — all within
one convenient location.
“The value of a mammogram or breast MRI can depend on the skill with
which it’s read,” explains Brenna Chalmers, MD, a fellowshiptrained
radiologist who specializes exclusively in breast imaging. “Today’s
most advanced technology combined with radiologists who are dedicated
solely to this area of women’s health, allows us to offer a higher
degree of accuracy and peace of mind to patients.”
INNOVATIONS IN TREATMENT
For those with a breast cancer diagnosis there’s good news.
Immunotherapies that activate a patient’s immune system to destroy
tumors, new medications that prevent cancer cells from repairing themselves,
chemotherapies capable of targeting a patient’s tumor-specific molecular
markers, as well as radiation therapy delivered with laser precision and
surgical techniques making cancer removal less invasive and more successful
— all breakthroughs used at St. Jude to revolutionize cancer treatment.
“We are increasing the survivability of even the most advanced and
aggressive cancers,” explains David Park, MD, medical director,
St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute. For instance, HER2-positive cancers,
were considered the most deadly breast cancers for many years, yet today
mortality rates are down almost 50 percent through the development of
a new class of drugs called HER2- inhibitors — research in which
St. Jude’s cancer experts were actively involved.
“Through partnerships with UCLA and some of the nation’s leading
research consortiums, we are moving very promising treatments from the
laboratory to the bedside,” Dr. Park, a board-certified medical
Advances in surgical techniques are not only contributing to rising survival
rates, but are allowing women to recover faster and more completely, with
fewer side effects or complications.
“In the last two decades, no other cancer has witnessed such a tremendous
change and improvement in treatment as breast cancer,” explains
Robert McCoy, MD, breast surgeon. “The result is not only very high
survival rates, but a much higher quality of life.”
Less-invasive lumpectomies that offer the same outcomes as mastectomies,
improvements in surgical imaging that allow more precision, and the use
of radioactive tracers to determine whether cancer has spread without
removing healthy lymph nodes — a few examples of how St. Jude surgeons
are creating more successful treatments and recoveries.
For women having mastectomies, tumor removal and reconstruction typically
take place in a single step, with new nipple-sparing and skin-sparing
techniques offering a near-normal postsurgical appearance of the breast.
“Allowing a patient to wake up with the cancer gone and a restored
appearance offers enormous psychological and emotional benefits,”
explains Michael McConnell, MD, a fellowship-trained reconstructive and
MANY EXPERTS, ONE CAUSE
Every week, medical oncologists, radiologists, surgeons, pathologists,
radiation oncologists, nurse navigators and cancer researchers gather
to review patients’ cases, allowing a plan of care that reflects
the expertise of not just one breast cancer expert but an entire team.
“Breast cancer treatment can be particularly difficult for patients
who find themselves moving from specialist to specialist, gathering details
about their diagnosis and then trying to fit the pieces together on their
own,” explains Clarence Petrie, MD, breast surgeon and medical director
of Oncology Services. “Here, a very different scenario takes place:
multiple specialties look at all aspects of diagnosis and treatment, offering
patients a comprehensive, highly coordinated approach to care.”