The diagnosis of breast cancer, or even the thought of it, can be a stressful time in the life of a woman (or man) and their family. That is why we have designed a seamless program to provide support from the point an abnormal reading is performed through diagnosis, treatment and recovery if cancer is discovered.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, you may be eligible to participate in the Cancer Risk Evaluation Program (CREP). Participants in this program (provided in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania) receive individualized counseling and evaluation of their personal and family risk from a Genetic Counselor. The role of genetics in breast and ovarian cancer will be discussed and the options for genetic testing considered. This program is specifically designed for women who want information about their personal risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
Detection and Diagnosis
Mammography plays a central role in the early detection of breast cancer. Digital mammography is available at all hospital radiology locations, providing the latest in high-tech imaging to detect breast cancer at its earliest stages - even before women experience symptoms.
Screening mammograms include two X-rays of each breast and are reviewed by a Penn radiologist. If there is area of concern or if a lump is detected by a patient or their practitioner, a diagnostic mammogram is used to provide further detail. More X-rays are taken from magnified viewpoints and from various angles to provide as much information as possible for the radiologist to make an accurate diagnosis.
Further testing such as a breast ultrasound, breast MRI or image-guided breast biopsy may also be required.
Free Breast Cancer Screenings are offered by the hospital in collaboration with Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation according to their rules and regulations.
If you discover a lump, you can request an Accelerated Diagnostic Breast Evaluation within 24 hours of receiving a written prescription from your primary care physician or gynecologist. The prescription is necessary for an urgent diagnostic mammogram.
Care and Coordination
Whether a routine mammogram shows an area of concern or a lump is detected by you or your practitioner, one of our Breast Care Coordinators is available to guide you step-by-step through each subsequent phase of diagnostic testing, mammogram or ultrasound. They are available to help answer your questions, facilitate appointments and studies and provide support and education to both our patients and their loved ones.
Treatment and Consultation
Once a diagnosis of cancer is determined, our Breast Care Coordinators assist patients in scheduling an appointment with our Penn Women's Specialty Center. Here, they will meet with one of our breast surgeons to determine the best course of treatment. Options can include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy. Our medical oncologists and radiation oncologists on staff work closely with our breast surgeons, Breast Care Coordinator and your primary care physician to collaboratively facilitate your treatment. The full continuum of care supports the patient not only through diagnosis and treatment, but continues through recovery, management and ongoing support and education.
Cancer Conference and Breast Conference
Multidisciplinary teams meet at both Cancer Conference and Breast Conference to discuss patient cases specific to breast cancer. This enables the physicians coordinating the patient's treatment to gain input from a number of health care professionals representing a variety of specialties. All recommendations relevant to the patient's care are thoroughly evaluated before a treatment plan is created.
- Our breast health program is fully accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), acknowledging our firm commitment to offer our patients every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease.
- Our cancer program is also accredited by the Commission on Cancer.
- Chester County Hospital's Radiology Service is designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR).