The Breast Institute
The Breast Institute is a comprehensive program for breast health at Skagit Regional Health. Since opening in 2009, through a generous grant from Safeway Inc., the Breast Institute at the Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Center has helped thousands of women with screenings, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Our philosophy? Patients should have access to the latest advances in breast cancer treatment and care, personalized to meet their needs.
Even if you have no signs or symptoms of breast cancer, you may still be diagnosed with this disease. Once you have completed a thorough diagnostic imaging work up, breast biopsy and been given the news of breast cancer diagnosis, our Patient Navigator reaches out to help. Our navigator is here to guide you through and around barriers in a complex cancer care system to ensure timely care, comprehensive treatment and support through every aspect of your journey. Your Patient Navigator is your go-to person for all your questions and concerns. They will offer guidance and assistance from the moment you begin your cancer care with us, supporting you throughout your entire treatment plan and into survivorship.
The Breast Institute Cancer Conference Reviews Each Individual Case
Research has shown that when cancer care is coordinated between specialists, better outcomes and better patient experiences are the result. Each new patient’s case is presented at a weekly Cancer Conference. This important breast cancer meeting brings together clinical specialists to discuss every aspect of your care as a team, including:
- Radiologists (breast imaging specialists)
- Medical oncologists
- Radiation oncologists
Highly-Experienced Specialists Review Imaging and Breast Biopsy Results
Your imaging and breast biopsy results are reviewed by a group of highly-experienced cancer specialists who consider the following:
- Genetic and molecular testing
- Tumor histology and biomarker status
- Advanced imaging studies (breast ultrasound, breast MRI)
- Surgical and reconstructive options
Further testing may be arranged and the results are again reviewed with the group. A final personalized management plan is developed which represents a consensus of all involved cancer specialists.
Breast Cancer Treatment Options Meet Your Individual Needs
Your individual breast cancer treatment plan begins with precision diagnostics followed by a thorough evaluation of your specific type and stage of cancer. Research has shown us that there is not a one-size-fits-all treatment approach to breast cancer. This is why our team at The Breast Institute examines and discusses each case to develop a treatment plan tailored to the uniqueness of each patient.
Breast cancer treatment options may include:
- Medical Oncology: Cancers are treated with drug therapy to kill cancer cells. Medical oncology may use chemotherapy, hormone therapy and/or biotherapy.
- Radiation Oncology: This involves using high-energy x-rays to treat tumors using radiation.
- Surgery: Different types of surgical options are considered for both diagnostic evaluations and optimal treatment outcomes and potential cosmetic reconstruction based on your type and stage of cancer.
Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Provide Access to New Treatment Options
Participation in clinical trials at the Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Center provides access to novel therapies still under development. The Breast Institute team evaluates each case for the availability of a clinical trial specific to the patient's cancer type and state, and that aligns with the patient’s goals for treatment.
Breast Cancer Education Provides Much-Needed Support
At the Breast Institute, we are firm believers in the importance of education, starting at your very first appointment. We provide each patient with information tailored to their needs in order to understand their diagnosis, treatment options and the nutritional and support services available to make cancer care more manageable. Once treatment is complete, a comprehensive Survivorship Care Plan summarizes your cancer treatment course in detail and provides you with a schedule for follow-up care.
Affordable Transportation and Lodging to Meet Your Needs
Transportation to and from cancer treatment can be a concern for many patients and families. We can assist you in locating the resources that are most appropriate for your current personal needs. Additionally, the Sunrise Inn on the Skagit Valley Hospital campus is available at a low cost for patients or family members who may need to stay near the Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Center in Mount Vernon during any phase of their cancer treatment. We are here to help coordinate your transportation and lodging needs.
For More Information About The Breast Institute
To learn more about The Breast Institute at the Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Center, please contact one of our team members at 360-814-8148. We can help answer your questions, provide access to support services or schedule an appointment with a cancer care physician at one of our convenient locations.