Banner Health News Center  

Banner Thunderbird opens breast cancer clinic


New and unique approach reduces stress, speeds up treatment

GLENDALE, Ariz. (March 20, 2013) – A diagnosis of breast cancer is frightening enough without the added stress that often comes with trying to secure appointments with busy specialists and determining what treatment options are available.

Sometimes, patients are unaware of support groups and other resources that exist to help them on their journey to recovery.

In an effort to reduce that stress and speed up the treatment of the cancer, Banner Thunderbird has opened a Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Clinic for women and men with breast cancer. Now, breast cancer patients will meet with three physician specialists, an oncology social worker, and an American Cancer Society patient navigator at one time and at one location, to discuss their treatment options.

The oncology social worker is present to provide counseling, information on support groups, and make the patient aware of other resources that could be helpful. The patient navigator will be available to provide support and connect patients with resources available through the American Cancer Society.

“Essentially, the patient receives three consultations in one visit,” said James Powell, director of Radiation Oncology at Banner Thunderbird. “Having the team collaborate and develop a care plan in one visit streamlines the experience and better supports our patients through a difficult time.”

After a confirmed diagnosis of breast cancer, patients referred to the Banner Thunderbird Breast Clinic by a physician or through self-referral will be contacted by the clinic to schedule an appointment. Family members are also encouraged to be at the meeting. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Prior to the appointment, the clinic staff will work with the patient’s referring physician and primary care physician to gather the necessary information and place it into one electronic medical record. This allows detailed information to be available to a team of three specialists – a surgeon, medical oncologist, and a radiation oncologist.
  • The three physician specialists meet together to design a recommended treatment plan specifically designed for that patient.
  • At the patient appointment, all three physicians, the oncology social worker and the patient navigator are present to discuss the recommended treatment options and alternative treatment options. They will also answer any questions from the patient and his or her loved ones.

As a result, the patient’s treatment can begin more quickly, reducing the anxiety associated with having to wait for treatment to begin.

The new service is covered by most insurance plans. Patients can contact the Banner Thunderbird Breast Clinic at (602) 865-5445.

About Banner Thunderbird
Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, Ariz., specializes in heart care, surgical services, obstetrics and gynecology, Emergency care, behavioral health, cancer care and pediatrics including the West Valley’s only pediatric intensive care unit, pediatric Emergency department and Level III neonatal intensive care unit. The hospital is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health system with 23 hospitals in seven states. For more information, please visit

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