UW Health Breast Center Offers Personalized Medicine to Patients
Breast cancer treatment is in the midst of an evolution, one that promises more targeted care based on the unique disease characteristics of each individual patient. So says Lee Wilke, MD, director of the UW Health Breast Center in Madison. She explains that as providers learn more about a patient's needs at different disease stages, they are better able to provide the most innovative approaches to care.
"I believe we are moving toward an era of truly personalized medicine," Dr. Wilke says. "Now, more than ever, we are able to offer patients a tailored approach to their care based on individual risk factors and needs."
The Breast Center provides leading edge treatment as well as hope and personalized care for patients at all stages of breast disease. Its comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to clinical and support services includes digital mammography and state-of-the-art advanced imaging, innovative plastic surgery options, integrative medicine, cutting-edge research and clinical trials.
In addition, the Breast Center offers individualized guidance and support for high-risk patients and breast cancer survivors. The Preventive and Tailored Health Screening (PATHS) Clinic provides genetic counseling based on family history, and the Breast Cancer Survivorship Clinic offers services to meet the unique needs of patients who have completed active treatment.
The Breast Center allows women with the full spectrum of breast conditions, benign or malignant, to be seen and diagnosed quickly, often on the same day. Breast imaging and minimally invasive biopsy procedures enable the team to arrive at a diagnosis without the need for surgery.
Soon, Dr. Wilke says, the clinic will feature breast tomosynthesis, also called 3D mammography, which has the potential to minimize false alarms that can occur with screening mammograms. Dr. Wilke points to that as yet another example of a more personalized approach to breast diagnosis that "will look at each woman’s risk factors to determine the individualized screening schedule that is right for her."
The Breast Center team approach to treating breast cancer patients means each person is cared for by an experienced group of providers who collaboratively generate a care plan that includes medical therapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Multidisciplinary conferences bring together a full spectrum of breast cancer specialists to refine these treatment plans and implement the best plan for each individual.
For example, there are a number of surgical options that provide excellent cosmetic outcomes for women needing breast surgery. Experienced breast surgeons using novel onco-plastic techniques, and surgical oncologists collaborating with plastic surgeons work to provide exceptional outcomes for each patient.
Says Dr. Wilke, "What sets our center apart is our unique ability to offer multiple options for breast reconstructive surgery."
Anesthetic choices for patients undergoing breast interventions also continue to evolve. Modern drugs result in less postoperative nausea and vomiting, and a regional block, or paravertebral block is becoming more widely adopted as it improves short-term pain and narcotic requirements for patients undergoing outpatient or short-stay surgery.