WHEELING - As National Breast Cancer Awareness Month approaches, the staff at Wheeling Hospital's Comprehensive Breast Care Center reminds area residents of its ability to provide total breast care, from diagnosis to treatment options to counseling.
The Comprehensive Breast Care Center recently was named as a Certified Quality Breast Center, just one of 32 in the nation. That means the center meets the high standard for breast care set by the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers.
Wheeling Hospital's center provides a thorough and comprehensive approach to breast health. Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women in the U.S. Early detection is the single most important component to improving survival and optimizing the quality of life.
The Comprehensive Breast Care Center facilitates rapid surgical consultations and, when appropriate, same-day interventions, all in one location in Tower 4. The result is more timely diagnosis and the easing of anxiety for women with a breast abnormality.
Diagnostic studies, surgical interventions and follow-up are provided by surgeons specializing in breast care. Most biopsies can be performed with minimally invasive techniques using ultrasound guidance or stereotactic localization. In addition, needle localization and excisional biopsies can be performed when indicated. For each patient, the Comprehensive Breast Care Center team coordinates a multidisciplinary treatment plan. Depending on the specific case, the team may include specialists in radiology, surgery, pathology, oncology, social services, support networks, as well as other professionals.
The highly-skilled, board-certified surgeons who specialize in breast care include Dr. Rosemarie Hardin, Dr. David Ghaphery and Dr. John Wolen.
Hardin completed her breast surgical oncology fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital and specializes in nipple-saving breast surgery. Ghaphery, director of the Comprehensive Breast Care Center, is director of Trauma, Surgical and Critical Care at Wheeling Hospital and chairman of the Department of Surgery. In addition, he is the American College of Surgeons cancer liaison to the hospital's Cancer Committee. Wolen specializes in general surgery and has a secondary specialty in vascular surgery. Along with his general surgery training, he has also benefited from training in minimally invasive and laparoscopic procedures.
Another specialized test offered at Wheeling Hospital is the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment. It is a measurement that allows a health care professional to project a woman's individualized estimate of risk for invasive breast cancer over a five-year period and over her lifetime. This calculated score can then be used as a guide for breast cancer prevention and surveillance options.
At the Comprehensive Breast Care Center, a highly personalized form of guidance is offered by Manager Debby Radosevich, who is certified as a breast patient navigator by the National Consortium of Breast Centers. The certification validates Radosevich's knowledge and skills in steering a patient through their breast care/cancer care. Moving a patient through her care is a complex and highly individualized process. Having the assistance of a navigator trained to help a patient through the process greatly reduces the complexity and confusion.
In addition, the center has been recognized as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence by the National Consortium of Breast Centers Inc. The Breast Center was initially recognized as a certified participant in the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers Program (NQMBC).
With the latest certification as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence, the center staff has achieved the third, and highest, level of recognition.
The latest honor represents a commitment by the center to provide the highest level of quality breast health care to patients throughout the region.
Staying on the leading edge of breast care, Wheeling Hospital offers three digital mammography units, as well as one at the St. Clairsville Health Center, an affiliate of Belmont Community Hospital (BCH). The outcome for women depends on the stage at which breast cancer is detected. Early detection can make a tremendous difference in survival rates. Digital mammography provides faster, clearer and overall better results compared to regular mammography. Physicians can view and maneuver the digital mammography images on high-resolution computer monitors that enhance visualization of the structures within the breast tissue. With digital mammography, the brightness and contrast of the image can be adjusted, and technicians can zoom in on specific areas to help detect small calcifications, masses and other changes that may be signs of early cancer.
Digital mammograms are available at the St. Clairsville Health Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays; and 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays. At Wheeling Hospital, the mammograms begin at 7:15 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Some evening hours are available those days. They also are offered from 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays; and 7:15-10:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
To schedule a digital mammogram at the St. Clairsville Health Center or at Wheeling Hospital, call 304-243-3176.
For more information on services offered at the Comprehensive Breast Care Center, call 304-243-5115 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.