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Better outcomes for breast cancer patients

DEDICATED STAFF: Some of the Wesley Hospital's Breast Clinic team.
DEDICATED STAFF: Some of the Wesley Hospital's Breast Clinic team.

EARLY detection and better treatments mean more women are living longer and surviving Breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer to affect Australian women with one in eight women likely to be diagnosed in their lifetime. It is the second highest cause of cancer-related death amongst Australian women.

Director of the Wesley Hospital's Breast Clinic, Dr Lisa Erzetich, said early detection combined with improved treatments, such as better surgical techniques, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy regimes were providing better outcomes for women with the disease.

"Early detection is paramount to achieving the best possible outcome,” Dr Erzetich said.

"Regular mammographic screening remains the most effective tool for detecting early breast cancer. Mammography is also supplemented by 3D tomography, high quality comprehensive breast ultrasound and MRI examinations, especially for those women who are at high risk due to family history or high breast density or have a breast symptom which requires investigation.”

As breast cancer treatment outcomes had improved immensely over the last 20 years, women were now able to continue living full lives after diagnosis.

"We now have tailored management regimes and improved treatment options as it is important that women know a diagnosis of breast cancer does not always lead to a bad outcome.”

The Wesley Breast Clinic, which is now in its 35th year of operation, is a multidisciplinary facility established to promote the early diagnosis of breast cancer and promote screening and diagnostic services for a wide spectrum of breast disorders. As many as 60 per cent of women will experience benign breast changes that may cause them concern.

A team of dedicated professionals, including 14 breast clinic medical officers, seven consulting radiologists and ten consulting surgeons as well as mammographers, sonographers, nurses and volunteers - have a wealth of experience between them.

Dr Erzetich said some of the doctors and radiographers/ sonographers had worked at the Breast Clinic for more than 25 years.

"This means they have the experience to correctly interpret images to ensure the best possible outcomes for the patients,” she said.

"Women who come to the Wesley Breast Clinic can have the confidence that they have been seen by medical professionals who have great ability because of this depth of experience.”

The Breast Clinic sees more than 23,000 patients each year and provides state of the art digital mammography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and ultrasound imaging. There is a Screening Clinic for asymptomatic patients, diagnostic services for symptomatic patients and a family history clinic for people who carry breast cancer genes or have a strong family history of breast cancer.

Results of screening and diagnostic assessments are usually available on the day of the patient's visit and pathology results are usually available the next working day. Some more complex procedures require a second dedicated appointment.

The Wesley Breast Clinic is unique because of its one-of-a-kind model of care, Dr Erzetich said.

"We are a multidisciplinary team and we offer same day results. Breast imaging, whether it is diagnostic or asymptomatic screening, can be stressful so giving our patients fast results means they can have peace of mind.”

The Wesley Hospital's Breast Clinic is based at 451 Coronation Drive, Auchenflower in Brisbane. For more information on the range of breast care services available or to book an appointment: call (07) 3232 7202, email wesleybreastclinic@uchealth.com.au or go to wesley.com.au/breastclinic

Topics:  breast cancer breast-cancer general-seniors-news health wesley hospital


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