South Florida Hospital News
Sunday May 26, 2019
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October 2010 - Volume 7 - Issue 4

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Jupiter Medical Centerís High Risk Assessment Program Streamlines Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis

Women at high risk of developing breast cancer may know that early detection is crucial, but getting screened and coordinating testing can be a challenge. That’s why Jupiter Medical Center’s Women’s Diagnostics Center has streamlined the experience with its one-stop High Risk Assessment Program for Breast Cancer.

“We want to remove the anxiety and time women are often burdened with in the breast exam and diagnostic process, with comprehensive evaluation to detect and treat breast cancer as early as possible,” said Sandra Mondro, M.D., Board Certified, Diagnostic Radiologist and Women’s Diagnostics’ Medical Director.
 
The Women’s Diagnostics Center offers a uniquely integrated, personalized approach in a supportive environment. It starts with a complete breast cancer risk assessment for every woman based on her family and medical history. “By understanding a woman’s risk profile, our team can begin to identify and provide the screening methods, medical care and emotional support she needs, all in one location,” Dr. Mondro said.
 
That approach involves close collaboration among the Center’s team of medical professionals, including radiologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, surgeons, nurses, high risk counselors, social workers, even physical therapists. Jupiter Medical Center has been assembling the breast care team and advanced diagnostic technology to become a premier diagnostic center for women. The Center is designated by the American College of Radiology as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence.
 
About 207,090 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States in 2010, according to the American Cancer Society, and sometimes routine breast exams and annual mammograms aren’t enough to catch the disease early. The Women’s Diagnostics Center’s risk assessment is often the most important part of the patient’s comprehensive evaluation, says Cathy Marinak, ARNP, Oncology Care Specialist and a certified clinical breast examiner. Marinak is the first point of contact after a patient completes this complimentary assessment.   
 
Patients with average and higher risk are offered the opportunity to have a clinical breast exam prior to a mammogram. Marinak, who completed national certification in this area, says this step is often valuable in identifying issues that could be missed in a mammogram. She works closely with the mammographer and radiologists to carefully examine anything questionable. “When we work as a team, we are better able to put together the pieces of a puzzle,” she explained. “Sometimes I detect something through touch that is harder to detect in a mammogram or ultrasound.”
 
The results of the risk assessment, together with the breast exam, enable the Center’s staff to determine the best screening plan for each patient, based on their risk factors. Genetic testing, for example, is offered when a hereditary pattern is present. Women who are in the high-risk category have access to a state-of-the-art breast MRI that features a special table designed for comfort and the ability to examine both breasts at the same time. If abnormalities are discovered, the entire team of medical professionals is available to the patient. Each week, the team meets for a pre-treatment conference to discuss individual patient cases. “It takes a lot of work to create a collaborative approach like this,” said Dr. Mondro, “but it’s this special collaboration that allows us to create specifically-tailored treatment plans for our high-risk patients.”
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