Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. As Director of the Center for Breast Health, at the Troy Campus of Beaumont Health, Dr. Brown works intimately with the Beaumont Cancer Institute in developing a streamlined approach to the care of the Breast Cancer Patient. The Beaumont Cancer Institute and its Breast Program treat the most breast cancer patient’s in Michigan. In fact, in 2012, Beaumont treated over 1,200 women and men, facing this diagnosis, and this included only the Troy and Royal Oak campuses.
Our Breast Multidisciplinary Clinic (MDC) is one of the busiest of all the Clinics at Beaumont. Within this coordinated program, patients are guided by an Oncology Nurse Navigator, in conjunction with the nursing staff within each providers office, to offer each patient a coordinated and expedited care plan. Patients are evaluated by a Breast Surgeon (Surgical Oncologist), and meet with Radiation and Medical Oncologists. The plan of care begins, and, necessary testing obtained. The patients and their families are then invited to a Multidisciplinary ‘Clinic’/Meeting, where they have a chance to meet, face to face, with all of their care providers at once.
Immediately preceding the Multidisciplinary Clinic, our weekly Breast Tumor Board meets, and reviews pertinent history and physical findings, and views all pertinent imaging and pathology slides. It is at this meeting that multiple specialists discuss each case, and, determine the best treatment plan. This is a mechanism whereby patients obtain, second and even third opinions, and a consensus as to the best treatment course.
At MDC patients and their families are introduced to the supportive services of the Wilson Cancer Center, meet with a social worker to discuss the psychological impact of their diagnosis, a physical therapist/physical medicine and rehabilitation team, to begin the process of surgical recovery and lymphedema prevention, nutritionists, financial services (when necessary), genetics, our clinical trials staff for an introduction into the multiple, treatment changing, clinical trials offered through the Beaumont Cancer Institute. This ‘plan of attack’ is an ideal mechanism to discuss the most appropriate treatment options, and, most importantly, allows a patients treatment team, to finalize their treatment plan.
The Breast Multidisciplinary Clinic has been extremely well received by participating patients and their families. Our satisfaction surveys have been extremely favorable. Studies have shown improvement in adherence to national guidelines, and, overall outcomes, when multidisciplinary, coordinated care is a standard. In addition, in the new era of medicine, we must be conscious of cost. Studies have validated not only high quality care, but, cost effective care as well. We are very proud of the service we offer breast cancer patients and their families.