Over the past few decades, breast cancer has received much attention from both the general public and the media. As providers of breast cancer care here at the Memorial Breast Cancer Center, this focus helps us do more for patients and their caregivers. In today’s world, patients are particularly well-educated about their diagnoses. They demand progress and are willing to participate in trials, resulting in substantial improvements in clinical outcomes.

Similar to many large academic institutions, Memorial Breast Cancer Center aims to offer a trial for every subtype and stage of breast cancer, while allowing our patients to remain at home for their treatments. Currently, patients are enrolled in nine different breast cancer trials, and several more are expected to open soon. In addition, our colleagues in Women’s Imaging have clinical trials evaluating the utility of PET-mammography for locally advanced breast cancer and the newest form of imaging, 3D Digital Tomosynthesis Mammography, which is a lower dose, high resolution mammogram pending FDA approval. We hope and expect that Tomosynthesis will be very effective for early detection of breast cancer, and at the same time, reduce the number of “false alarms” in screening mammography. Women’s Imaging research arms also collaborate with Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Cincinnati.
 
In addition, the Memorial Cancer Institute—of which the Memorial Breast Cancer Center is a component–has research collaborations with Mayo Clinic, UCLA and Sarah Cannon Research Center in Tennessee. As providers, we can theorize endlessly as to what treatments are best, but without patient participation in research, progress towards a cure comes to a halt. 
 
Our Memorial Breast Cancer Center – located at both Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood and at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines – offers oncology care, genetic counseling, clinical trials and standard of care chemotherapy and endocrine therapy. Four breast oncologists and four nurse practitioners are here to treat only patients with breast cancer or those at high risk for the disease. The High Risk Program educates at-risk patients about their options for prevention and surveillance, and the evidence behind those recommendations. Our breast oncologists and nurse practitioners are part of a large, multi-disciplinary team of providers, including dedicated breast radiologists, breast surgical oncologists, pathologists, plastic surgeons and many other specialties.
 
For our patients facing issues such as chemotherapy-induced hair loss, South Florida’s only Image Recovery Center is located adjacent to the Breast Cancer Center at Memorial Hospital West. The facility takes care of cancer patients’ non-medical needs such as wigs, prosthetics and care for skin, hair and nails. Also offered on-site, upon request, are massage therapy, complementary medicine (including and acupuncture), nutritional consultation, support groups, and even visits from therapy animals!
 
Fitness Centers at Memorial Regional Hospital and Memorial Hospital West offer “breast cancer-friendly” yoga classes for patients with physical restrictions due to prior surgery, and a Cancer Recovery Program, a fitness/nutrition program designed to transition patients from recovery mode to lifelong fitness.
 
This month, our teams of Breast Cancer Center and Women’s Imaging Center providers will be speaking at more than 40 community events to increase public awareness about breast cancer.
 
As we look ahead to further expanding our support to patients and the community, we will look to many, new innovative ideas. Coming soon will be the Memorial Healthcare System Organic Garden, which will be used to educate employees, patients and the community at large about affordable, healthy eating.
 
Although we have many more goals to implement, we will always focus on addressing the complex physical and psychosocial needs of each patient as a unique individual.