October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so we looked into the latest innovations in screenings and treatments at local breast centers and spoke to Lisa D. Curcio, M.D, director of the Northern Dutchess Hospital Breast Program, about the best ways to stay healthy and cancer-free.
The Center for Breast Health at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern offers comprehensive breast diagnosis and treatment services including a high-risk screening program and consultation with a genetic specialist. Another unique offering is the support group, called the Underwires, that is led by the director of the Center, Dr. Karen Karsif. Good Samaritan is part of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network whose hospitals in Westchester and Kingston have comprehensive breast centers as well.
Vassar Brothers Medical Center and Northern Dutchess Hospital (both part of Nuvance Health) have introduced new technologies for breast surgery. The Magseed marker—a tiny, magnetic seed—is used during lumpectomy to aid surgeons in locating lumps. It’s flexible, very accurate, and is considered less intrusive, as there’s no wire or radiation required. They also have oncoplastic breast surgeons at both hospitals, which is unique. Oncoplastic surgeons combine breast cancer tumor removal (a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy) and plastic surgery techniques (reconstruction) during breast conservation surgery.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital Breast Center added two breast surgeons to its team last year: Stacy K. Ugras, M.D. and Roshni Rao, M.D. as well as three dedicated breast radiologists, which allows for more screenings and diagnostic exams. The Center also introduced an innovative new device called SAVI SCOUT, which helps treat early-stage breast cancer. This metallic reflector, about the size of a grain of rice, is placed inside the breast in the tissue that needs to be removed. This allows surgeons to use nonradioactive radar waves to detect it in a patient’s breast and locate the abnormal tissue. Prior to this, surgeons relied on wire localization to mark a tumor which, in addition to being painful, required patients to come in extremely early the day of surgery. Now patients can have this procedure done in advance by a radiologist as part of their pre-op checklist.