“With advanced procedures and the latest technology, a patient can literally have breast cancer one week and be cancer-free the next,” said Alice Police, MD, FACS, Northwell’s regional director of breast surgery in Westchester County. Police has developed a comprehensive breast program at Phelps and Northern Westchester Hospitals that cuts through the typically long process so treatment can get started quickly. “It decreases anxiety and gets things done so that a woman can get back to her life,” she said.
Precise surgical treatment is key to the care that Police provides. She uses a surgical guidance system called SAVI SCOUT, which is the first-ever application of radar technology in the human body. It allows for exactness during breast cancer surgery so that less healthy tissue is removed. This state-of-the-art procedure is also used to perform surgical breast biopsies or lumpectomies.
For more information on this procedure and other tools, click here.
Worrying can be all-consuming
Police recognizes that anxiety about a breast cancer diagnosis or a breast concern can be overwhelming for a woman as she waits to receive care. A primary focus of Northwell Health Breast Care Centers in Westchester is to see patients as quickly as possible so that their concerns can be alleviated.
“If I were to convey one message, I would tell women to just call if they have a concern about their breasts,” said Police. “If you have ANY breast concern -- breast lump, itchy nipples, breast pain, discharge or being shunned by a pet -- just call. No worry is silly, and no question is stupid."
Police also wants women to know that there are a number of myths that they should stop worrying about. For example, deodorants and underwire bras do not cause breast cancer, exercise does not spread cancer cells and eating sugar won’t exacerbate it. Family history isn’t an indication that breast cancer is looming either, since 80 percent of patients with a new diagnosis have no identifiable risk factors.
A streamlined process lessens anxiety
At the Breast Center, a woman can come in with a breast lump and promptly get her imaging, biopsy, surgical consultation, medical and radiation oncology consultation and genetic information completed by a team of health care professionals. Appointments are scheduled within 24-72 hours. The breast surgeons at the center want to put a worried woman’s mind at ease. “Once a patient is able to talk about her breast cancer concerns with me, I can see the anxiety drain away,” said Police.
For more information, please visit: Northwell.edu/PhelpsCancer .