Mountainside Hospital offers comprehensive breast health and cancer treatment programs

October 5, 2010 12:46 PM

New Jersey has the nation’s seventh highest incidence of breast cancer and among the state’s 21 counties, Essex County has the second highest breast cancer rate, according to data gathered by the National Cancer Institute and state government. In response to those disturbing statistics, Mountainside Hospital is focused on providing comprehensive and innovative breast cancer education, screening, diagnosis and treatment.
 
In special recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, all mammograms performed at Mountainside in the month of October will come with a special gift.  The Mountainside Hospital Women’s Imaging Center will also hold raffles throughout the month for handmade pink scarves donated by the hospital’s knitting group.
 
In fact, every month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Mountainside. Talks about breast health and breast cancer are available throughout the year and include the upcoming Breast Health presentation by AmeriGroup on October 29 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in Mountainside’s Bayberry Café.  With some 6,300 new cases of breast cancer expected to be diagnosed in New Jersey this year, the hospital aims to use the October 29 event as an opportunity to educate the community about the importance of regular mammography screenings.
 
High-tech tools benefit patients
 
“Mountainside’s state-of-the-art digital mammography technology significantly enhances our ability to detect breast cancer by providing clearer, more detailed images,” explains breast radiologist Dr. Madelyn Danoff. “It also allows us to perform mammograms more quickly and comfortably, particularly for women with larger breasts.” In fact, Mountainside has large plate equipment available which reduces the number of images required for large-breasted women.
 
When a biopsy, the next diagnostic step, is indicated, Mountainside Hospital uses the most innovative and minimally invasive options available. Board-certified radiologists and surgeons perform procedures that can be completed in most cases in less than one hour with virtually no pain or complications.
 
Other diagnostic tools available at the hospital include risk assessment for women with a family history of breast cancer; breast ultrasound procedures that facilitate the evaluation of breast abnormalities by revealing the shape, texture and composition of tumors; and two different types of sentinel lymph node mapping.
 
Multiple treatment options
 
Diagnostic test results are confidentially reviewed by a multidisciplinary team of medical experts who collaboratively establish a treatment plan. An array of treatment alternatives are available within Mountainside Hospital. The hospital is equipped for surgical procedures performed by highly-skilled surgeons; consultation with plastic surgeons for breast reconstruction; radiation therapy; and chemotherapy treatment at an Infusion Center staffed by nurses who hold national certifications from the Oncology Nursing Society.
 
Support every step of the way
 
In the aftermath of a diagnosis of breast cancer, Mountainside Hospital addresses both the physical and emotional needs of patients, as well as the concerns of their families. Physical and occupational therapy are provided when needed and nurse educators, social workers and volunteers who are also breast cancer survivors are among those who lead and participate in  support groups.
 
All patients who have positive breast cancer biopsies at Mountainside are referred to the hospital’s patient navigator, Kathy Furniss, A.P.N.-C, a certified nurse practitioner. The role of the patient navigator is to afford patients a reliable, consistent contact who can answer technical questions about their treatment, as well as provide emotional support and work with insurers to expedite review and approval of coverage for necessary procedures.
 
“Each breast cancer patient copes with her diagnosis and treatment differently, so I assess how I can best serve specific, individual needs and respond accordingly,” said Kathy Furniss. “My role is to ensure comprehensive care through outreach to the patient and her family, her doctors and anyone who can support her journey with practical or emotional assistance.”
 
About Mountainside Hospital
 
The Women’s Health Center at Mountainside Hospital encompasses specialists capable of serving all of the needs of female patients from adolescence through menopause. In addition to breast cancer, the center’s medical team addresses reproductive health including child birth and infertility, symptoms and complications of menopause and all gynecological cancers.
 
Mountainside Hospital has been serving community health needs since 1891. Today, the 365-bed private hospital is devoted to delivering personalized, primary-care centered services while also functioning as a learning center via its nursing school and affiliations with other educational institutions. Within Mountainside Hospital, patients have immediate access to the finest, most current treatment alternatives at specialized centers which focus on ambulatory care, women’s health, cancer care, congestive heart failure and other needs. Among community hospitals statewide, Mountainside is one of a small, select group approved to provide emergency angioplasty in its Emergency Room.

 

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