Maimonides Breast Cancer Center pioneered treatment in New York
BY SHAVANA ABRUZZO | Maimonides Medical Center has pulled off more than a few medical miracles in its illustrious, 103-year history.
• It performed the first human heart transplant in the United States — the world’s second.
• It developed the first commercial pacemaker.
• It conducted the first fine-needle aspiration biopsy in the country, eliminating the need for surgery and hospitalization.
• It was the first American hospital to use robotic surgery on kids.
• It was the first “day” hospital — one providing services on a regular daytime basis for specific sufferers — to offer outpatient chemotherapy.
Maimonides originated another “first” three years ago with the opening of Brooklyn’s first and only dedicated breast cancer center. The stunning $8.6 million, eco-friendly Maimonides Breast Cancer Center at 745 64th St. between Seventh and Eighth avenues in Sunset Park — down the block from the hospital’s main pavilion — features the latest diagnostic and treatment equipment in a serene, life-affirming environment, complete with a spa-like décor, interior landscaping, and a waterfall.
Consider it the medical equivalent of comfort food, with some heavy-duty therapies tossed into the pot.
“The facility is designed to support each patient as a whole person, integrating the healing of the body with the mind and spirit,” said Pamela Brier, the hospital’s president and chief operating officer.
Medical oncologists, breast surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists, and reconstructive surgeons — many of them nationally renowned — work with a genetics counselor, nutritionist, social worker, and other health workers to create the best individualized treatment plans for patients from all walks of life.
“We take extra effort to make sure that every patient who walks in here anxious after a diagnosis gets the best possible, compassionate treatment for their disease from a team of experts, all under one roof,” said Dr. Charusheela Andaz, associate director of breast surgery.
• Comprehensive screenings, using the finest tools available for minimally invasive biopsies that frequently prevent the need for surgery.
• Diagnostic, medical, and surgical breast services.
• Nutrition and genetics counseling.
• A full array of psycho-social support services for patients and families.
• Testing for specific genes called BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 that predispose to breast and ovarian cancer.
• 3T MRI machine with advanced breast imaging and biopsy capability.
• Multiple full-field digital mammography units.
• Multiple ultrasound units optimized for breast imaging and ultrasound-guided breast biopsies.
• Surgery and breast reconstruction.
• Radiation therapy.
• Hormonal therapy and systemic therapy, such as chemotherapy, or any combination of these.
• Psychiatrist, psychologist, and social worker offer assorted social and mental health services.
• Nutritionist provides counseling to help patients make good dietary choices.
• Reiki and yoga.
The medical industry has noted the facility’s approach to fostering physical, spiritual, and emotional healing. The National Action Plan on Breast Cancer accredited Maimonides’ breast cancer program, placing it among an elite five percent of programs in the country, while the American College of Radiology designated it a breast imaging center of excellence.
Unlike other sub-specialties where physicians refer patients, breast cancer patients often seek referrals from friends or relatives who have had breast cancer. Experts at Maimonides Breast Cancer Center are committed to fulfilling the act of confidence — in a place where every woman has her own team of highly skilled breast cancer specialists.
Maimonides Breast Cancer Center-The Gilbert Rivera Pavilion [745 64th St. between Seventh and Eighth avenues in Sunset Park, (718) 765–2550, www.maimonidesmed.org/CancerCenter/BreastCancerCenter.aspx].