Local Breast Care Center Offers Advanced Care in Personal Setting

Being diagnosed with breast cancer is life changing. It is critical patients have compassionate clinical partners and a support system to battle the cancer and adopt a survivorship lifestyle once they beat cancer. Knowing that a hospital in the community offers state-of-the-art treatments and has adopted national standards of care for breast cancer therapies can reassure breast cancer patients.

Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Greater Lansing combined with surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists utilize resources from all across the country to provide patients the best possible cancer care that exists today.

“We have access to all of the things happening at the Cleveland Clinic, Sloan Kettering, MD Anderson, and more,” Dr. Suzanne Hanses, general surgeon. “What we provide is equal to any of those hospitals for 95 percent of our patients. There are always rare cases where a patient might not respond well to treatment, and in that situation we would refer them to a tertiary institution.”

Up to 95 percent of breast cancers are survivable long term. However, the earlier the cancer is found, the better the chance of survival is. Receiving annual mammography screenings and being aware of changes with the breasts and body are critical to early detection of breast cancer. Patients should immediately see a primary care physician if they notice a lump or bump, discharge, pain, scaly skin, or any significant change in their breasts.

When a mammogram comes back with an abnormal reading, a biopsy of the area may be the next step. If the biopsy comes back indicating cancer, an entire team of specialists —including surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists — comes together to develop the best possible treatment plan for each individual patient.

“Kathy, our breast cancer patient navigator, leads a team of physicians that meet to discuss each patient,” Dr. Hanses said. “Weekly we meet to review the mammogram, pathology, family history, and other details including discuss the patient’s plan of treatment. Breast cancers are unique and we treat each case uniquely.”

Staging for breast cancer is important, but tumor biology is more important. The committee discusses what is unique about their breast cancer, which treatment is best, and how aggressive to be with various therapies.

“Some patients may only require surgery,” Dr. Hanses said. “Some patients may also need radiation or chemotherapy, depending on their specific case.” If you would like to learn more about the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Greater Lansing’s Breast Care Center call (517) 975-2695 or visit http://www.mclaren.org/lansing/breast-care.aspx.