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Vanderbilt Breast Center announces new clinic offering patients single-visit care

Ingrid Meszoely, M.D

When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, multiple clinic visits may begin to mount, along with questions that the patient wants answered sooner rather than later. Now, the Vanderbilt Breast Center is seeking to answer those questions, and to take a multidisciplinary team approach to breast cancer care, in a single visit.

The new program was created under the direction of Ingrid Meszoely, M.D., assistant professor of Surgery and newly named clinical director of the Center. "This model of cancer care is unprecedented," Meszoely said. "The patient will see all three clinicians involved in their care in a single setting. We are the only place in the Nashville area offering this level of multidisciplinary care for breast cancer in this type of venue."

This special clinic for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients takes place every Wednesday. Each new patient is evaluated by a nurse practitioner and meets with patient education experts to learn about Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center services and other community resources. Meanwhile, the multidisciplinary team meets to review the patient’s history and develop individualized, comprehensive treatment recommendations.

Next, the patient meets with her cancer care team -- the surgeon, medical oncologist and radiation oncologist -- for an unprecedented one-on-one session to wrap up the comprehensive appointment. Clinical trials staff are also on hand to discuss potential participation in breast cancer trials.

The Vanderbilt Breast Center is a component of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, one of only nine in the country to hold a Specialized Program of Research Excellence in breast cancer from the National Cancer Institute. This allows Vanderbilt to conduct more research involving all aspects of breast cancer and to offer services and innovative clinical trials that non-academic centers cannot offer.

The Breast Center also offers a special clinic for women considered at high risk for breast cancer due to family or personal history or genetics, including counseling from the Family Cancer Risk Service. There are also a wide range of technologies available in a convenient outpatient setting, including digital and analog mammography, ultrasound, fine needle aspiration, ultrasound-guided biopsy and stereotactic computer-assisted biopsy. For more information about the Vanderbilt Breast Center visit: www.thevbc.org.