Fighting Breast Cancer
The threat of breast cancer is a very real concern for all women. One out of eight women will be diagnosed with this deadly disease at some point in their life. The Women's Center is proud of our clinical excellence under the direction of a female, Board-certified, Fellowship-trained Women's Imaging Radiologist supported by highly-trained clinical technologists.
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. “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.”
We have comprehensive diagnosis and treatment options beginning with breast self-exam demonstrations. Our skilled staff shows women exactly how to detect suspicious masses in the breast, using true-to-life mannequins.
For a more thorough breast assessment, the Women's Center offers low-cost mammography screenings using state-of-the-art technology. After an appointment is set, a nurse coordinator calls or sends out information packets to each patient to inform them of pre-testing procedures. Patients are encouraged to call their nurse coordinator with any questions.
The Women's Center prides itself on our exceptional imaging services, which includes digital mammography - the latest diagnostic technology available to detect breast cancer. This technology converts X-rays into digital images, which allows radiologists to zoom-in on specific areas of interest.
Digital mammography surpasses conventional film-based systems because it greatly decreases the need for retakes, thus reducing exam time and patients' exposure to X-rays. We also offer pelvic sonograms and obstetric/pelvic ultrasounds, and recently introduced 4D ultrasounds for breast imaging and interventional urology.
The Women's Center has also incorporated a Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) that enables physicians to access digital images from anywhere. Now you can receive a second opinion without visiting additional physicians.
If a suspicious breast mass is detected the next step is one of three biopsy procedures:
- Ultrasound-guided biopsy
- MR-guided breast biopsy that takes one hour and uses only a topical anesthetic
- Vacuum-assisted breast biopsy (a.k.a. stereotactic core biopsy) is capable of sampling with one small incision
Walking Patients Step-by-Step Through Treatment
The Women's Center offers compassionate care and support to breast cancer patients through our Diagnosis to Recovery and Navigator programs. While Diagnosis to Recovery is specific to breast cancer patients, the Navigator program serves patients diagnosed with any form of cancer.
The Breast Cancer Patient Navigator Program has received a special grant from the Avon Foundation for Women that supports this special program and with Avon’s support, a team of clinical and lay caregivers ensure patients diagnosed with breast cancer find their way through the healthcare maze. Women have a comprehensive support system after diagnosis with scheduling appointments, meeting transportation needs, providing interpretation, answering financial questions and overall support.
Both programs are valued for personally connecting patients with their own specialized coordinator, who meets with them one-on-one to discuss the management and recovery phases of their disease. The coordinator also provides patients with education and take-home videos to ensure they are knowledgeable about their treatment plan, and even connects them with additional community support systems, if desired.