SWCC-BCE Facility Based Patient Care Programs
The goal of this clinic is to provide ready access to all women in the catchment area for evaluation of their breast symptoms. SWCC-BCE provides a dedicated triage person for appointments over the phone that is available to women and their physicians. These calls are answered by a trained staff member, and appointments are scheduled within two week to be seen by a specialist. If the staff determines that the patient has breast cancer, the appointment is scheduled within 1 week. The clinic evaluation involves a detailed assessment of the problem and office-based breast sonogram if need be. Immediate biopsy services are available. The comprehensive services include percutaneous removal of lumps in the office and cryoablation. This technique provides state-of-the-art service in the catchment area and saves patients a trip to the operating room. The patients also receive counseling regarding breast health maintenance and lifestyle modification for risk reduction.
This is a clinic held by a trained physician or nurse practitioner with a specific focus on risk assessment and formulation of risk reduction strategy. Patients with predisposition towards breast cancer are evaluated every six months for close monitoring. The patients are channeled to these clinics through multiple sources, as follows:
- Primary physician referrals, when they determine that the patient is high-risk (e.g. family history of cancer, high score on risk models, etc.)
- Scheduled by trained staff attending patient calls, when they determine the high-risk status
- Referral of family members of cancer patients seen in the cancer clinic
- Referral from other specialists, when they determine the high-risk status
This clinic provides:
- Detailed risk assessment utilizing Tyrer-Cuzick model
- detailed screening breast exams every 6 months
- Counseling regarding lifestyle modification to lower the risk pertaining to modifiable factors
- Evaluation of yearly screening mammograms
- Determination and referral for screening MRI’s
- Counseling regarding chemopreventive strategies
- Monitoring of women who choose to use hormonal chemoprevention
- Identification of risk for genetic mutation
- Genetic testing and counseling for women, when indicated
- Physicians with specific training in genetics for counseling regarding mutation carrier status
This clinic is dedicated to all patients referred to SWCC-BCE with a new diagnosis of breast cancer through any source within or outside the TTUHSC system. Specialists provide a detailed evaluation of the patient, imaging studies and pathology. A detailed multidisciplinary treatment is planned for an individualized tailored approach. These cases are discussed in the tumor board with review of NCCN guidelines. Comprehensive cutting edge care incorporating surgery, systemic treatment, radiation therapy, reconstructive surgery and psycho-oncology is provided.
A multidisciplinary breast cancer tumor board is held every week at the SWCC. The Center’s goal is to present 90% of newly diagnosed breast cancers prospectively. The patients are evaluated at the multidisciplinary clinic immediately after the conference. Many cases are discussed at the tumor board multiple times as new information emerges. This allows for personalized care in the current era of genomic evaluation and for assessment of new clinical trials available to these patients. The multidisciplinary team also offers banking of cancer tissue to all patients for our locally managed comprehensive tumor bank overseen by the South Plains Oncology Consortium.
All cancer patients undergoing surgery are offered enrollment into this program. The CPRP focuses on preemptive assessment and management of (i) Psycho-oncological issues (The Change Cycle program is utilized for coping skills classes), (ii) Shoulder Dysfunction (physical and occupational therapy professionals focus on range of motion exercises), (iii) Lymphedema (prevention and therapy), and (iv) Occupational Therapy.
This outpatient clinic at the SWCC-BCE is dedicated to breast cancer survivors. We believe that completing the cancer treatment is NOT the end of our commitment to our patients. This clinic, in conjunction with the CPRP, focuses on overall quality of life issues faced by cancer patients, including cancer surveillance, long-term treatment related complications and psycho-social adjustment related problems. The goal is to provide support, treatment and cutting edge management strategies to ensure excellent quality of life after the cancer experience. Specific services include:
- Follow-up mammograms / surveillance for recurrence
- Arm measurements for lymphedema surveillance
- Shoulder range of motion exercises
- Quality of life assessment
- Health maintenance (bone health, screening for other cancers)
- Lifestyle modifications
- Assistance with family member’s risk assessment if needed
- Assistance with counseling of family members if needed
The SWCC-BCE Boutique is a convenient resource for breast cancer survivors. It is located in the clinic lobby and offers general items such as wigs, turbans, scarves, and hats. The Boutique has a fitting area for prosthetics and bras. Fitters are available to meet with our patients at no charge. The Susan G Komen Foundation funds are available to support under insured patients with these needs.
Also, our breast center participates in The Look Good Feel Better Program. This free program is offered through the American Cancer Society and is designed for women dealing with hair loss and skin changes from chemotherapy and radiation. The Look Good Feel Better volunteers help patients learn specific techniques to help make the most of their appearance while undergoing treatment.
Furthermore, our center is proud to offer a weekly breast cancer support group. All patients diagnosed with breast cancer and breast cancer survivors are welcome to join this group to offer support, and to share resources and information.
SWCC-BCE also offers access to our resource library, which houses literature on topics related to breast cancer, side effects management, caregiver support, and survivorship.