Keeping Your Breasts Healthy for Life
The Carole Pump Women’s Center at Northridge Hospital Medical Center offers a range of screenings, education, programs and treatment options. Northridge Hospital has achieved a 71 percent breast preservation rate as compared to the national average of 57 percent. Although rare, breast cancer can also occur in men.
Patients benefit from the intervention of a highly-experienced, interdisciplinary treatment team, comprised of radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, specialized oncology nurses, and social workers.
Breast cancer survivor Martha McCully reassures other patients that they're in the right place at Northridge Hospital. “I came through my procedures with flying colors, because of my excellent doctors -- I followed their advice to a ‘T’”. Martha had a lumpectomy and radiation, and went to Europe four days after treatment.
Early Detection Leads to Promising Outcomes
“There is nothing but compassion exuding from Northridge Hospital -- from the friendly parking attendants to the staff and doctors until you walk out the door. I convinced my friend to stop driving to a far away hospital and come to Northridge Hospital because the Cancer Center is so fabulous.”
The best way to fight breast cancer is to detect it early. Starting at age 40, women are encouraged to make an appointment with our Women’s Center for a yearly mammogram.
Dedicated to cancer education, the Women’s Center hosts cancer education classes and breast self-exam demonstrations on life-like models teach women how to identify “normal” breast tissue as opposed to a suspicious finding. The following are breast cancer detection procedures available at Northridge Hospital:
Digital Mammography & MRI
Digital mammography surpasses conventional film-based systems because it greatly decreases the need for retakes, thus reducing exam time and exposure to X-rays. What’s more, these digital images can be copied, stored and transmitted quickly across networks. Our procedures are unparalleled, we have received accreditation by the Mammography Quality Standards Act, and are FDA certified for meeting high professional standards of safety and quality.
The most recent studies have found that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the most sensitive test for detecting breast cancer in women at high risk of the disease. We offer the latest High Definition High Field Wide Bore MRI system. This system provides enhanced imaging quality while offering the “openness” patient’s desire.
Sentinel Lymph-node Biopsy
This is a conservative procedure, which spares patients from having extensive surgery, and determines if the lymph nodes are cancerous, by removing and examining the sentinel lymph node. This outpatient procedure has fewer side effects with a more rapid recovery, allowing patients a quicker return to their normal activities.
Under the direction of a female, Board-certified, Fellowship-trained Women’s Imaging Radiologist and supported by highly-trained clinical technologists, women receive personalized care from the attentive staff of the Women’s Center. Renaissance Imaging Medical Associates work in partnership with referring physicians to offer each patient the most thorough diagnostic imaging.
Our patients are given a comfortable, supportive setting while receiving intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM) or oral medication. In addition, we offer personalized care, including nutritional recommendations and help for patients to look and feel their best with specialized beauty tips and meditation techniques.
Most Progressive Treatment Options
It’s our belief that cancer treatment is not simply a matter of giving the right medicine for the right illness. We understand it’s the entire person who is going through this difficult time and we strive to help you physically, psychologically and spiritually.
Every patient is unique, every family's history is diverse and every cancer is different. Our specialized cancer team addresses this by customizing a treatment plan that meets your needs and goals. Your treatment plan may involve surgery, chemotherapy and radiation either alone or in combination with additional treatment methods.
Molecular Diagnostic testing is available for breast tumor sites. Molecular profiling tests for a variety of biomarkers in the DNA of a tissue sample to help us better diagnose, stage and treat cancer on an individualized basis.
After undergoing surgery, many patients receive radiation therapy to stop the growth of undetected cancer cells. Radiation reduces the chance of recurrence. This combination of surgery and radiation therapy has long been considered a safe and effective alternative to complete removal of an organ.
Advanced Radiation Technology at the Harold and Carole Pump Department of Radiation Oncology offers MammoSite©. The MammoSite procedure delivers radiation therapy from inside the breast. This places the radiation source close to the tissue at highest risk for tumor recurrence.
It is intended to provide local radiation therapy following a lumpectomy. Because of it’s less-invasive nature, accuracy and short duration of the treatment, MammoSite could make it easier for more women to consider breast preservation options over mastectomy. Eligible patients can complete their entire course of treatment in a maximum of five days, rather than undergoing up to seven weeks of daily treatments.
Experienced surgeons offer a full range of breast reconstruction options; not simply implants. Our Board-certified surgeons are recognized for their work in breast-sparing surgery, sentinel-node biopsy and newer techniques such as skin-sparing mastectomy for women who choose breast reconstruction.
The options include microvascular and muscle-sparing procedures and techniques using a woman's own abdominal tissue--TRAM (transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous) flap procedures, either pedicled TRAM or free tissue transfer, as well as other types of tissue reconstructions tailored to suit a patient's specific body.
All breast and cancer surgery patients will receive a surgery bag stocked full of useful items during the hospital stay such as lip balm, a water bottle, note pad and pen.