29 October 2016

Breast Cancer Consult

At Park Nicollet Jane Brattain Breast Center, doctors and staff are dedicated to breast health. "When we planned this facility, we really wanted to cater to women and have a place where they could feel comfortable and secure," says Mary Lechner, MD, medical director at the center. "Everyone here is dedicated to the fight against breast cancer and providing our patients the absolute best care possible."

More than 10 years ago, the original 3,000-square-foot center opened its doors to provide women with prompt and personalized care. "We realized it was taking too long to complete a diagnosis," Dr. Lechner says. "Women who can feel breast abnormalities, or who have abnormal mammograms, want timely resolution." The facility outgrew its original location and now is housed in a new 17,000-square-foot center.

Welcoming environment

Breast center staff are dedicated to making women feel welcome the moment they step into the facility. "I think it is a pleasant place for people to come," Dr. Lechner says. "We have tried to make it a welcoming and warm environment with feminine touches. Coffee and tea are offered in the lobby, and thick spa robes provide additional comfort for patients."

Advanced diagnostic tools

Patients also appreciate Jane Brattain Breast Center's advanced tools for diagnosis. Mammograms, ultrasound, breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI) and MRI all are used to diagnose breast cancer. These varied diagnostic tests have distinct advantages in different situations. "Ultrasound is used as a secondary study to give us more information when mammography isn't enough," Dr. Lechner says. "Mammograms are less helpful for women who have dense breasts. We can use breast MRI in dense breasts because it is more sensitive. We use it to evaluate the extent of disease in patients with a cancer diagnosis. BSGI also can detect tiny tumors in dense breasts, has fewer false positives than MRI and is less expensive," Dr. Lechner adds.

Caring nurse specialists

Women diagnosed with breast cancer consult with breast cancer nurse specialists, who help patients through diagnosis and treatment. "Patients feel the journey is easier when they have nurse specialists helping them along the way," Dr. Lechner says. "Nurse specialists are able to educate, counsel, offer emotional support, explain the process, coordinate appointments and assess what other support may be needed," she added. "They are a familiar face and voice for patients and their families."

Collaboration between different departments ensures the best care. "Every Wednesday, nurses, radiologists, surgeons, oncologists, radiation therapists and pathologists come together to discuss current and new patient cases," Dr. Lechner says. "It is an effective way to share information and approach care from a team perspective."

Individualized care

Jane Brattain Breast Center patients receive continuous and consistent care, from their initial screening until they leave after successful treatment. "We're not a one-size-fits-all kind of place," Dr. Lechner says. "With our expert staff and advanced technology, we provide the best possible care to meet patients' individual needs."