Articles for Our Patients ~ Paul Reisch, M.D., Director of Breast Imaging


High Quality Breast Care

Author: Paul Reisch, M.D., Director of Breast Imaging • Language: ENG

Breast cancer has a high survival rate if detected early, diagnosed accurately, and treated effectively. Every step in the continuum of care affects the survival rate of women with breast cancer. The Breast Health Task Force at the Breast Health Center measures and monitors the quality of care from early detection, to diagnosis and treatment.  We strive to provide care that is safe, effective, efficient, timely, and patient centered. A multidisciplinary group of physicians, nurses and technologists meet on a regular basis at our facility to evaluate our performance and discuss ways to improve our performance.
 
One of the most important things a woman can do for her health is to have a screening mammogram every year.  Based on strong current evidence, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends annual screening mammography beginning at the age of 40 and continuing indefinitely. The goal of screening mammography is to detect breast cancer at a small size, before the cancer becomes clinically detectable and before it has spread to the lymph nodes. Finding the cancer at a small size reduces the stage at diagnosis and improves the survival rate. Annual screening mammography has been shown in several studies to reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer by 25-30 percent. Some women are at higher risk for breast cancer because of genetic defects or family history. However, 70-80 percent of breast cancers occur in women with no identifiable risk factors.
 
Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has gained acceptance as an adjunct to mammographic screening in high risk women and for evaluating the extent of disease in women with newly diagnosed breast cancer. The ACS recommends annual screening breast MRI, in addition to mammography, for women whose lifetime risk of breast cancer is greater than 20 percent based on one of the standard risk assessment tools. The ACS recommends that women who get screening MRI do so at a facility like Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center that is capable of performing MRI-guided breast biopsy if needed.
 
The Breast Health Center is staffed with a dedicated team of specialized mammography technologists and four radiologists with specialty expertise in breast imaging. The American College of Radiology (ACR) determined that our facility demonstrates high practice standards in mammographic and breast ultrasound image quality, and technical expertise in stereotactic and ultrasound guided breast biopsy. They found our personnel qualifications, facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs meet high standards. In recognition of this, we are the only local facility to have been designated as an ACR Breast Imaging Center of Excellence.
 
Most women realize they should follow early detection guidelines and follow-up with their care providers; however, sometimes there are barriers that prevent individuals from seeking or even following these care guidelines. Barriers may include, but are not limited to: access to care, a lack of understanding or fear of the care process, fear of a positive diagnosis, financial barriers to treatment, and a myriad of additional psychosocial, emotional, and family concerns in the event of a positive diagnosis. Moving a patient through a breast care/cancer continuum is a complex and highly individualized process. The complexity is significantly reduced with the assistance of an individual who is trained to navigate a patient through the processes of care. Our facility is proud to have two certified breast patient navigators, Martha Osborne, RN, OCN, BSN, CBPN-Cancer and Jan Eggleton, CRT, ARRT(R)(M), CBPN-Imaging who help ensure that every woman in our community has access to our high quality breast care, regardless of insurance status.
 
Please feel free to call one of our patient navigators with any questions or concerns. You can reach Martha at 909/865-9691 or martha.osborne@pvhmc.org and Jan at 909/469-9472 or jan.eggleton@pvhmc.org.
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