Our Center is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, and was the first National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Northeast to hold this designation. Women with a diagnosis of breast cancer are cared for by a multidisciplinary team of physician specialists, including radiologists, breast surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and plastic surgeons.
From the tranquility of the building and the range of services offered by complementary therapy and the boutique, to the most sophisticated personalized therapies and equipment offered in every discipline, Yale offers the perfect blend of art and science to help you through your journey. We are committed to tailoring treatment to you. At different points in time, you may need different resources – at Smilow, we are pleased to provide you with coordinated appointments with all of the appropriate specialties at the right time, accommodating your personal values and schedule.
The Breast Imaging Center performs over 50,000 breast examinations each year. These consist of screening and diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasounds, digital tomosynthesis, and MRI examinations. The newest technology, digital tomosynthesis, creates a three-dimensional picture using breast x-rays for review. This allows our radiologists to look very closely at the breast tissue, often minimizing the need for repeat mammograms. In addition, we offer ultrasound and 3-Tesla breast MRI.
The radiologists at Smilow Cancer Hospital are recognized as leaders in their field and are involved in teaching, both on a local and a national level.
Many patients with breast cancer also need medical therapy, such as chemotherapy and/or endocrine therapy. Our team of nationally renowned experts in breast medical oncology utilizes both standard chemotherapies and new ‘biological’ or ‘targeted’ therapies to attack the cancer specifi cally, while minimizing harm to normal tissues.
Our medical oncologists are nationally recognized for their contributions to breast cancer research. For example, investigators at Yale helped to elucidate the biology of a cellular receptor called HER2. As a result, our medical oncologists have been particularly successful in developing treatment strategies for HER2-positive breast cancer and have extended this expertise to provide effective therapies for triple-negative/basal-like and hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. They continue to study innovative new treatments, and patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital have the opportunity to receive such novel therapies through exciting clinical trials, many of which are not available elsewhere in Connecticut.
New and complicated patient cases are discussed weekly by the entire team so that every patient benefits from combined expertise. In addition, our medical oncologists are happy to see patients for a second opinion. While many patients opt to have their care at Smilow Cancer Hospital, we work closely with our colleagues at the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Centers, located throughout Connecticut, to ensure that patients can receive the same high-quality care in the most convenient setting for them.
One of the most important elements of modern breast cancer treatment is the pathologic evaluation of tumors, and increasingly, the ability to profile tumors allows patients access to novel treatments that may be most effective for treating their particular type of tumor. Yale is fortunate to have one of the fi nest pathology departments in the country, complete with a high-level tumor profiling service. And, because it operates “behind the scenes,” patients are frequently not aware of its importance. Today, breast cancer is divided into an increasingly complex number of categories based on a whole host of sophisticated molecular markers that were not identified a few years ago. Pathologists, therefore, play a crucial role in our Tumor Board conferences. They carefully review the characteristics of each patient’s tumor, and help the clinical team to define optimal treatment strategies best suited to the individual patient.
The Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital places great emphasis on taking care of all of our patients’ needs, with the best medical care available and a network of supportive care services. Our intake specialists will ensure that you have everything you need for your first visit with our team, and our clinical secretaries and schedulers will work with you to coordinate your appointments to fi t your busy schedule. Physicians at The Breast Center work closely with our patient care associates, nurses, advanced practice providers, and nurse coordinators to ensure that you feel well-informed and supported every step of the way.
Our team extends to a myriad of essential services including social work, pastoral support, dietary and nutritional aid, physical therapy, integrative medicine, pain management, and psychosocial support. In addition, Smilow offers a state-of-the-art Survivorship Clinic that employs a multidisciplinary team approach designed to optimally address patients’ needs after treatment ends. We work closely with collaborators at the Yale School of Public Health, so that women have the opportunity to participate in studies designed to promote health and wellness before, during, and after treatment through interventions like healthy eating, physical activity, and mindfulness