Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence™
Video: CTCA at Midwestern - Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence™CTCA at Midwestern - Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence™
Midwestern patient Karin Nowatzke discusses her journey with breast cancer and lymphedema. Read her story.
Midwestern named Certified Quality Breast Center of ExcellenceTM
In 2015, for the second consecutive term, Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern) achieved the certification level as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence™.
The CTCA® at Midwestern breast center is the only center in Illinois, and one of only 50 centers nationally, to be recognized as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence™ by the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers Program® (NQMBC™), reinforcing the hospital's position as a national leader in breast cancer care.
Preceding the NQMBC certification, the hospital’s breast program earned a three-year full accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) in 2010.
How is the certification determined?
The National Consortium of Breast Centers uses 36 National Quality Indicators™ to evaluate breast programs in the areas of imaging, surgery, cancer registry, pathology, radiation and patient satisfaction.
The Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence™ is the highest certification level. The centers chosen for this designation have met the highest quality standards in breast cancer care.
What does it mean for our patients?
In order to achieve this certification, Midwestern had to prove, with three-year’s worth of data, that our patients were provided with:
- The opportunity to report on their satisfaction regarding the care they received
- Follow-up and care in a timely manner
- Care that is individualized to their unique situation
- Accurate care and diagnosis
- Comprehensive treatment options
“Being a certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence means that we can offer our patients multiple defenses against cancer,” says Dr. Stephen P. Ray, Medical Director of the Breast Center and Oncoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
“This certification demonstrates that we not only offer compassionate care and innovative treatments, but also that our patients can rest easy knowing that our medical staff is held to high standards of quality,” Dr. Ray adds.
Clinical innovations in breast cancer treatment at CTCA
The Breast Cancer Program at CTCA offers leading-edge clinical therapies that include comprehensive diagnostics and staging to identify relevant breast cancer biology, including genomics that reveal targeted treatment options and a comprehensive approach to treatment.
Clinical therapies combined with integrative oncology services for breast cancer patients include:
- Breast-sparing surgery: Whenever possible, our surgical team performs breast-sparing surgery, such as lumpectomies and partial breast mastectomies. During breast surgery, our pathologists can evaluate tissue samples as they are removed and provide pathology results immediately, so we can remove as much cancerous tissue as possible and avoid multiple surgeries.
- Innovative breast reconstruction: Our reconstructive surgeons excel in oncoplastic and reconstructive methods to remove a breast tumor and carefully reshape the breast. In some cases, it can be done in as little as one surgical procedure. For the majority of patients, it is a well-planned, multi-step process aimed at reducing scarring and maintaining as much of the breast tissue as possible. Typically, breast reconstruction falls into two categories: implant-based reconstruction, which uses a gel implant; and autologous reconstruction, which uses the patient’s own tissue to create a flap or graft. We can perform autologous fat grafting and reconstructive microsurgery to rebuild the breast so it looks and feels like a normal breast.
- Advanced radiation therapies: Our advanced radiation technologies allow us to re-treat previously treated areas that have a recurrence. With Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT), we can deliver radiation directly to a tumor site immediately after the tumor is removed, sparing healthy tissues/organs and shortening treatment times, often from six weeks of radiation therapy to one session.
- Options for metastatic breast cancer: Our physicians have expertise in treating breast cancer that has spread to other areas of the body, such as the bone, liver, lungs, skin and brain. We may use radiofrequency ablation for breast cancer patients with metastasis to the liver, Endobronchial Ultrasound System (EBUS) for metastasis to the lungs, or kyphoplasty for metastasis to the bone.
- Lymphedema prevention and management: We can perform a sentinel node biopsy prior to surgery to determine whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and reduce the risk of lymphedema. We also provide a lymphedema management program to help patients manage the condition.
- Side-effect management and support: Our experts provide nutrition therapy and naturopathic medicine to help combat unwanted side effects and keep you strong so you can tolerate treatment. Also, we’ll provide mind-body medicine, rehabilitation, spiritual counseling and image enhancement services to help you deal with physical changes and emotional distress.
- Hormone blockers: Our experts use hormone therapy to fight various forms of cancer, and our Integrative Oncology Services will help you to manage side effects. Hormone therapy usually involves medications that prevent cancer cells from deriving the hormones they need to grow. Our physicians may use hormone therapy with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
- Targeted therapy: While standard chemotherapy affects all cells in the body, targeted therapy directs drugs or other specially created substances to attack cancer cells. For breast cancer patients, in addition to chemotherapy drugs, our oncologists may recommend biological response modifiers, such as Herceptin, to treat breast tumors that produce too much of a protein called HER2.
- Genomic testing: Genomic tumor assessments help identify the DNA alterations that are driving the growth of a particular tumor. As we understand more about these gene mutations, we are better able to provide cancer treatment therapies that specifically target changes in that tumor's genetic profile.