Memorial Healthwatch Winter 2008/2009
Broward's Leading Breast Cancer Program
Extraordinary Physicians at Two Cutting-Edge Facilities Combine Superior Individualized Treatment with Compassionate Care
Word is out about the extraordinary physicians, facilities and programs at Memorial Cancer Institute's Breast Cancer Centers. As a result, more than 1,000 new patients with the disease turn to Memorial every year. Memorial's first Breast Cancer Center opened on the Memorial Regional Hospital campus in Hollywood in 2005, and to meet the increasing needs of the community, a second location opened in 2008 at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines. They are two of only a few freestanding cancer centers in the country dedicated exclusively to this disease.
Alejandra Perez, MD, is Memorial Breast Cancer Centers Director, and she leads the highly skilled team that includes Aruna Mani, MD and Carmen Calfa, MD.
Young, energetic and passionate about their patients, Memorial's breast oncologists are driven to help find a cure for the disease. They are among the few breast oncologists nationwide with research-based practices, and they feel the extra time required to enroll hundreds of patients in clinical trials makes all the difference.
Breast cancer care has come a long way in the past 20 years, with exciting advances that can provide many new opportunities for patients.
"Each breast cancer presentation is as unique as the individual it affects. Clinical research enables us to work to identify the particular characteristics of each breast cancer subtype and offer a new, hopefully more effective, approach," says Dr. Perez.
Memorial patients have participated in clinical trials of key breast cancer advances, including adjuvant herceptin and lapatinib. In clinical trials, treatment for early-stage, HER2-positive disease has been found to cut the risk of relapse in half.
"Few other breast cancer centers are set up in a way that enables the physicians to provide optimal supportive care. Memorial is extremely responsive to the needs of our patients," says Dr. Mani.
Memorial provides the technology needed for leading-edge surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This enables the physicians to tailor treatment based on the disease and patients' wishes.
"We also offer such supportive treatments as acupuncture and massage to help patients cope with their disease and rise above it," says Dr. Calfa.
The ultimate goal is to find a cure for breast cancer, but until then, the Memorial Breast Cancer Centers team is dedicated to providing evidence-based, individualized care in an environment of warmth and caring.
To find a Memorial physician who is committed to patient- and family-centered care, call Memorial Physician Referral Service toll-free at (800) 944-DOCS. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.