It takes teamwork to provide the kind of comprehensive breast cancer care available at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute – from screening and diagnosis to treatment and survivorship.
The multi-disciplinary Breast Team includes physicians, nurses and other professionals who specialize in diagnosing and fighting breast cancer. The team is made up of physicians, several of whom are fellowship trained, including surgeons; radiologists; medical, radiation and surgical oncologists; plastic surgeons; geneticists; and pathologists. In addition, other health care providers offer patients a full array of services and include genetic counselors; registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses; behavioral medicine specialists; and social workers.
The team approach enables UAMS to offer some of the most advanced breast care treatments and technologies in the country. The Breast Center’s imaging services includes tomosynthesis (3-D mammography) with same-day results and a risk calculation on every patient.
Women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer may be eligible for clinical trial enrollment and advanced surgical procedures, including dual breast reconstruction at the same time as mastectomy, nipple-sparing surgery and procedures to avoid contour defects after lumpectomies. In addition, the surgical team uses ultrasound technology to ensure clean margins.
The UAMS Radiation Oncology Center is equipped two Varian TrueBeam STx linear accelerators capable of delivering precision external beam radiation with ultra-high doses rates. The center, which is the only facility in Arkansas to offer radiation therapy for both pediatric and adult patients, also offers a variety of other treatment techniques unique in Arkansas.
“If it’s being done in the world of breast cancer, it’s being done here at UAMS for our patients,” said Ronda Henry-Tillman, M.D., F.A.C.S, a breast surgical oncologist and chief of Breast Oncology in the College of Medicine Department of Surgery. Being recognized as one of only two National Accreditation Programs for Breast Centers in the state, patients can be assured that the Breast Cancer Clinic is held to the highest standards of care for patients with diseases of the breast.
But even a team that extensive isn’t complete without the patient and their primary care provider. At UAMS, the Breast Team recognizes that they can be key – even most valuable player.
“No matter where you are, if your patient comes here, you become a part of that team,” Henry-Tillman said. “There is always an open-door policy. Communication and trust are important to us. Our patients know that because they are face to face, interacting with us, but we want their primary care physicians to get that message as well.”
Referring physicians receive a phone call and a letter outlining the ways in which they can remain involved in their patient’s care. They can participate by video, phone or in person when their patient is being presented to the Breast Team during its multi-disciplinary conferences on patient progress. Breast Team staff are available for discussions with the patient regarding second opinions or recommendations from their primary care doctor.
“A big part of our approach is recognizing that care is individualized, and there is a lot of discussion that needs to take place both with the patient and their doctor for us to find the path that is tailored to their individual needs,” Henry-Tillman said. “You remain a key part of your patient’s care throughout the process.”
The Breast Team offers:
- A team of specialists who meets regularly to consult on each patient’s unique needs
- Screening, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy provided in one location
- Fellowship-trained physicians
- Clinical trials and therapies unavailable at other facilities
- All forms of breast imaging, including digital 3-D mammography, MRI and ultrasound
- Saturday and after-hours mammogram appointments with 3-D technology and same-day results
- Bilingual physicians
Appointments to the Breast Center’s imaging services can be made by calling 501-526-6100.
Appointments to the Breast Cancer Clinic can be made at 501-296-1200. For more information, visit UAMShealth.com/BreastCancer.