Breast Care Program
Our facility is fully accredited by the National Accreditation Program
for Breast Centers through the American College of Surgeons. NAPBC-accredited
centers provide access to comprehensive care by a multidisciplinary team,
information about ongoing clinical trials, and new treatment options.
The Breast Care Program at the MWHC Regional Cancer Center (RCC) ensures
that patients receive a lifetime continuum of care, providing everything
from routine exams for ongoing breast health to specialized services if
diagnosed or considered at high risk for breast cancer.
- Counseling & guidance for high-risk patients
- Breast exams and screenings
- Surgical procedures
- Cancer management
- Follow-up care
High Risk Breast Screening Program
Women with certain health factors can be at a higher risk for breast diseases.
Simply being high risk does not mean a woman will develop the disease,
but it does mean she should be screened regularly.
The RCC has developed a screening program especially for women at high
risk for developing breast cancer. Led by the Imaging Center for Women,
fellowship-trained breast imaging specialists and nurses provide an in-depth
medical and family history review, hereditary risk assessment and discuss
no-cost genetic testing. Women who are considered high risk receive individualized
screening recommendations, which may include MRI and genetic counseling.
Any patient who receives a mammogram at a Mary Washington imaging facility
has her overall lifetime risk of breast cancer determined using the National
Cancer Institute (NCI) Gail Model and individual risk factors.
Leaders in Breast-Conserving Cancer Treatment
Mary Washington Healthcare, where breast-conserving treatment methods for
breast cancer have been common since 1990, exceeds national averages for
success. Approximately 80% of our breast cancer patients choose breast-conserving
treatment, considerably more than the 62% average recorded in the American
College of Surgeons National Cancer Data Base of 1,500 cancer programs
in the U.S. accredited by the Commission on Cancer.
Because our patients can make informed decisions after being furnished
comprehensive information on the range on breast cancer treatments, fewer
than 2% who choose a breast-conserving method experience a local recurrence
of cancer. Women whose breasts remain intact tend to feel greater satisfaction
with their treatment overall, and national studies have shown survival
rates to be essentially the same after lumpectomy or total mastectomy.
In addition, women in the MWHC Breast Care Program receive continuous
follow-up to maintain their good health.
Expedient, Comprehensive Cancer Care
Our relationships with local imaging centers and the breast cancer navigator
model allow us to quickly begin treatment planning for women diagnosed
with breast cancer. Typically, within days, patients have consulted with
the Breast Care Program Medical Director and Surgeon, Darlene K. Blanchard,
and have treatment scheduled shortly thereafter. Dr. Blanchard is known
for her breast conserving therapies and oncoplastic surgery — restoring
breasts to their most natural appearance with only one surgery and recovery period.
If a woman does receive a diagnosis of breast cancer, we take a multidisciplinary,
highly personalized team approach to eradicating cancerous and noncancerous tumors.
Through weekly cancer conferences, the region’s leaders in cancer
care come together to consult on breast and other cancer cases to determine
an agreed upon course of treatment that’s most suitable for the patient.
Breast Cancer Navigator
Our Breast Cancer Navigator always stands ready to provide information,
guidance and support throughout a cancer journey, coordinating care to
expedite physician visits, testing and treatment plans and helping to
maintain peace of mind. Patients are encouraged to call on the Navigator
at any point during their care at no cost for help or access to:
- Physical therapy
- Cancer rehabilitation
- Genetic counseling
- Support groups
- Nutrition consults
Integrative Medicine & Complementary Therapies
- Transportation and financial assistance
- Spiritual and emotional support
- Education and access to clinical trials
- Resources for family members
- Survivorship support
From the moment you are diagnosed you are a survivor. Every patient who
is diagnosed with cancer has lifetime access to our survivorship program
and benefits including:
- Mastectomy & Bra Fitting services
- Free Radiation Bras
- Wig Room services
- Support groups with frequent guest speakers
In addition to these services all RCC offerings will continue to be available to you.