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October 6, 2022 (Santa Barbara, CA) The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center will PINK for breast cancer awareness month. Pink lights will illuminate the building at 540 West Pueblo Street in Santa Barbara in October to commemorate those who have died of breast cancer and to honor breast cancer patients and their families, as well as the medical professionals and researchers who work to find a cure. The pink glow was generously funded by the Sansum Clinic Women’s Health Initiative. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer, likely to affect one in eight women, according to the American Cancer Society.
“We encourage individuals to be proactive and schedule their annual breast screenings,” commented Matt Bauman, DBA, MBA, VP of Oncology. “We want people in our community to know that if they are diagnosed with breast cancer, our multidisciplinary team is best equipped to guide them every step of the way. Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provides the most comprehensive breast cancer care on the Central Coast. Our multidisciplinary team of experts offers advanced breast imaging and the latest surgical, medical and radiation oncology treatments for breast cancer. A wide range of supportive care and wellness programs provide patients with every opportunity for successful treatment and recovery. Below are some points for patients to consider when deciding where to receive their breast health care.
Where you get your mammogram and breast screenings, the level of technology and who reads the results, matters. The Sansum Clinic’s imaging department has been designated Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR) recognizing our advanced technology and high level of accuracy in detecting breast abnormalities before symptoms begin. The department provides the full range of state-of-the-art breast imaging services to our community at the highest standards of the imaging profession. Fellowship-trained breast radiologist Winifred Leung, MD specializes in breast imaging including 3D mammograms, automated breast ultrasound, breast MRI, image guided biopsy and breast needle localization. Dr. Leung focuses her entire practice solely on breast imaging, which allows her to gain an in-depth level of knowledge and expertise, while keeping abreast of research in her field. She works closely with oncologists and surgeons at the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center. She leads the Santa Barbara Breast Care Alliancewhich provides patients with the collective knowledge of Santa Barbara County’s diverse team of breast cancer experts.
“Annual breast screening is so important to catch cancer early, when it’s easier to treat,” says Dr. Leung. “Millions of women have skipped important breast exams during the pandemic. This is essential because we know that this imagery saves lives.
A multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer care treatment yields the best results. Experience and training are important when selecting the team to guide your breast cancer journey. Breast surgery, associated with medicine and/or radio-oncology, are the mainstays of breast cancer management. These specialists work together to create a personalized breast cancer treatment plan for each patient, and they can have face-to-face discussions since they work in the same location.
“Our multidisciplinary approach to the fight against breast cancer gives women the best chance of achieving good results”, commented Eric Bank, MD, medical oncologist.
“It is important for breast cancer patients to have hope because breast cancer is curable and treatable. We can take care of them, no matter their personal situation. We treat the person, not just the cancer, by supporting patients in so many ways“, said Katrina Mitchell, MD, IBCLC, PMH-CFellowship trained breast surgical oncologist and certified lactation consultant.
When radiation therapy is part of breast cancer treatment, the level of technology and the team providing it affect effectiveness and safety. Our center’s state-of-the-art linear accelerators provide sophisticated image-guided radiation therapy. Ridley-Tree’s radiation oncology department, which includes radiation oncologists, physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists and nurses, is accredited by the world’s premier radiation oncology society for its exceptionally safe, high-quality care. quality to patients.
“Radiation therapy lowers the risk of the cancer coming back to the breast. Radiation removes any residual quantities that might be left behind. The better the technology, the better we can target the area we want to treat and avoid the areas we don’t want to treat,” explained Shane Cotter, PhD, MD, radiation oncologist.
Breast cancer patients and their families have it easier when they have extra support. Ridley-Tree Patient Navigators help patients and their loved ones understand diagnostic and treatment information, and act as a bridge to different doctors and medical team members. Social workers, oncology dietician nutritionists, and wellness instructors help patients better manage their treatment and symptoms, as well as the financial and social complications of cancer, so they can move faster toward recovery and physical and emotional recovery. Additional services such as Paxman Scalp Cooling Technology, a wig shop, and acupuncture help patients manage the cost of treatment, maintain their self-image, and feel more like themselves.
Clinical research has fueled the greatest advances in breast cancer care in recent years. Overall breast cancer death rates have been slowly declining since 1999, and many people working in oncology link this to advances in research. The Ridley-Tree Clinical Research Department provides patients with access to clinical trials at leading academic and cancer centers around the world, and recently opened a radiation oncology clinical trial for patients with breast cancer.
“It’s exciting to have a trial that is at the forefront of how we make important decisions about radiation therapy, and to work alongside many trial sites and major academic centers,” remarks Shane Cotter, MD, PhD, radiation oncologist. “We always look forward to the initiation of studies that we believe ask the best questions and best serve patients in our community.”
It is important to know your family history of breast cancer. Patients with a family history of breast cancer may benefit from genetic counseling to determine their risk. Certain genetic mutations can increase breast cancer risk, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, which account for up to half of all hereditary breast cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Ridley-Tree genetic counselors help patients understand complex genetic information and coordinate with a patient’s oncologists and surgeons on how best to incorporate the findings into their care and treatment.
“Genetic counseling is not only important for someone with cancer, but it can also be extremely helpful for their family members when making decisions about what screening options they have and what to do. ‘they can do to help prevent cancer or catch it early’, shared Danielle SharagaMS, LCGC, Genetic Counseling Program Manager
Many programs that support breast cancer patients at Ridley-Tree Cancer Center would not be possible without the support of the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara (CFSB). From the Rancheros Vistadores Tough Enough to Wear Pink walk/run, the foundation has a rich history of organizing community fundraisers that provide critical funding to the cancer center. CFSB is the financial fuel for Ridley-Tree’s advanced technology, clinical research, supportive care and wellness departments.
“These services are available to all breast cancer patients who reside in Santa Barbara County, regardless of where they receive treatment or their ability to pay,” explained Lori Willisexecutive director, Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara.
For more information on the RTCC Breast Cancer Program visit breastcancer.ridleytreecc.org
For more information on scheduling a mammogram, visit breastimaging.sansumclinic.org