Fighting Breast Cancer – New Jersey Business Magazine


“This is a very exciting time for breast cancer research,” says Generosa Grana, MD, director of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Cooper, Camden, and member of the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research , which promotes research into the causes, prevention and treatment of cancer and serves as a resource for providers and consumers of cancer services. “It is not only important to know if one is at higher risk of cancer by heredity, but also to understand the genetic changes that a cancer has acquired during its development, because all these genetic alterations will help explain cancer behavior. and can guide the selection of specific treatments for that cancer. Through genetic testing of the individual and genomic profiling of the cancer, we can identify the specific genetic defect and then, most importantly, determine a appropriate treatment. “

MD Anderson Cancer Center’s dedication in Cooper to fostering a strong and healthy community is supported by its cancer awareness, education and screening program. As part of its cancer prevention and early detection efforts, free cancer services are provided to uninsured and underinsured Camden County residents at conveniently located radiology and clinic sites.

Deborah M. Capko, MD, surgical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), notes that since any surgery comes with its own risks, MSK focuses on “de-escalating” surgery – where possible, by doing less. surgery for some cancers. For example, not all breast cancer surgeries require the traditional axillary lymph node dissection, which can potentially cause lymphedema (swelling of the arm). In many situations, only a lymph node sample is taken and in some cases this is completely unnecessary. “The ongoing clinical trials are guiding us to learn when less is more,” says Capko.

Nationally, a growing number of women are able to preserve their breasts through lumpectomy and radiation therapy. When a mastectomy is necessary, Dr Capko can often replace a traditional mastectomy with a mastectomy that preserves the nipples and the skin, a procedure in which the skin envelope of the breast is preserved, allowing a more optimal aesthetic result. This requires close collaboration between the breast surgeon and the plastic and reconstructive surgeon.

The world’s largest private, non-profit cancer center, MSK offers its world-class cancer care services throughout New Jersey, with outpatient centers in Montvale (Bergen County), Basking Ridge (County) Somerset) and Middletown (Monmouth County), covering virtually all of northern and central New Jersey. In addition to providing outpatient cancer care such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, interventional radiology, and radiology services such as screening mammography, ultrasound, MRI, computed tomography and PET imaging, MSK Monmouth is the first MSK facility outside of Manhattan to house operating rooms, where same-day outpatient surgeries are performed. More complex surgeries or specialized care are typically performed and coordinated with MSK in New York, with follow-up physician visits and patient care performed in New Jersey.

Residents of the state can also learn more about their own breast cancer risk through MSK’s RISE – Risk Assessment, Imaging, Surveillance and Education program. Developed for people at increased risk for cancer, a team of highly collaborative healthcare professionals analyze factors to determine if a person is at increased risk for breast cancer. If this is the case, the healthcare team can customize a long-term monitoring plan that includes educating their patient on ways to reduce her risk and monitoring for any signs of breast cancer developing, for the patient. detect and treat it as early as possible.

Meanwhile, the Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center (TCCC) in Elizabeth is the first cancer treatment center in the state to offer AccuBoost, an image-based technology that takes the guesswork out of radiation therapy. The procedure helps doctors apply localized radiation more precisely to affected areas in patients with early-stage breast cancer, potentially improving outcomes by sparing as much healthy tissue as possible. Patients with early-stage breast cancer who have undergone lumpectomy are prime candidates for this new technology.

AccuBoost displays the tumor bed and lumpectomy cavity while the breast is immobilized and compressed by mammography. Using the image as a guide, doctors then implant a sealed radiation source into the tissue near the affected area, allowing targeted delivery of vertical and horizontal radiation. By showing the site where the cancer was removed and the surrounding area of ​​breast tissue, AccuBoost helps doctors treat the extent of breast cancer while targeting affected tissue and identifying areas where cancer might come back.

“AccuBoost provides enhanced options for breast-conserving radiation therapy with high-precision partial treatment that optimally spares surrounding normal non-cancerous tissue,” said Clarissa Henson, MD, president of radiation oncology at Trinitas. “It is important that we offer patients with breast cancer a personalized treatment.

Additionally, Paramus-based Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care is the only hospital on the east coast, and only the fourth in the country, to use the latest generation of capabilities available in Brainlab’s latest version of ExacTrac Dynamic.

This technology allows clinicians to be more precise in administering treatment by incorporating additional views of the exterior and interior of the patient’s body. Doctors will be able to see a patient’s shape, temperature, movements and anatomy in real time using high-resolution thermal and surface imaging.

The technology will be particularly useful in the treatment of breast cancer.

“This technological development can account for a patient’s breathing and only delivers treatment when their chest is in the correct position, which prevents damage to healthy tissue. When a patient breathes, treatment stops until the body returns to its original position, ”says Dr. Thomas Kole, radiation oncologist at Valley.

Steps women and men can take to minimize their risk of breast cancer include eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and limiting alcohol. Certain populations deserve special attention. Hereditary factors are especially important for people of Ashkenazi (East European) Jewish descent, as one in 40 people will carry a genetic defect that predisposes them to breast cancer. African Americans have a higher death rate (39%) from breast cancer than the general population of Caucasian women. Meanwhile, young African American and Hispanic / Latin women are more often diagnosed with aggressive breast tumors that respond less to standard cancer treatments and, as a result, lead to higher death rates. Either way, early detection is the most important.

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