When a potential abnormality in the breast is found, patients are referred to the Breast Care Program at St. Joseph’s Hospital for assessment (diagnosis). The unique, specially-designed Norton and Lucille Wolf Breast Care Centre is the main hub of St. Joseph’s Breast Care Program. Here, patients undergo clinical assessment and participate in the development of a treatment plan with their care team.
Patients will be seen by a multidisciplinary team according to their care needs. The care team includes: advanced practice nurse, social worker, spiritual care provider, surgeon, radiologist, oncologist, expert nurse navigator, volunteers and others.
What patients can expect:
When a patient comes to the Norton and Lucille Wolf Breast Care Centre for assessment (diagnosis), he or she will be registered and asked to fill out a questionnaire. A nurse will then review the questionnaire with the patient, who is then seen by team members working with the surgeon, including advanced practice nurses. Since St. Joseph’s is a teaching hospital, patients may also be seen by residents and medical students.
Breast investigations include mammogram and/or ultrasound of the breast. Please be aware that most abnormalities found by these tests are BENIGN. For the radiologist to be certain about any finding on imaging, he/she may offer the patient a biopsy AT THE SAME APPOINTMENT. As a result, the patient may be at the hospital for a lengthy period of time and should make appropriate work and parking arrangements.
In addition, patients offered a biopsy will be asked to participate in research by having additional biopsy samples taken at the same time and donating them for research.
The Breast Care Program provides:
- Highly specialized clinical care
- Education and support
- Coordination of care, from diagnosis through surgery
- Information about and referrals to community resources
- Follow up