Banner Health News Center  

Banner Thunderbird opens Breast Cancer Clinic


GLENDALE, Ariz. (March 14, 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. Additionally, patients are often unaware of support groups and other resources that exist to help them on their journey to recovery.

To help reduce the stress associated with a breast cancer diagnosis and help accelerate the treatment of the cancer, Banner Thunderbird has opened a Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Clinic for women and men with breast cancer.

What makes this new service unique is the fact that breast cancer patients will meet with three physician specialists, an oncology social worker, and an American Cancer Society patient navigator at one time, 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.

Prior to the appointment, the clinic staff will work with the patient’s referring physician and primary care physician to gather all of the necessary information and place it into one electronic medical record. This allows for 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 Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic at 602-865-5445.

About Banner Thunderbird Medical Center
Banner Thunderbird Medical Center – part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health system with 23 hospitals throughout the West—is a 514-bed hospital offering surgical services, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency care, behavioral health services and heart care. It is Glendale’s largest private employer with 2,800 employees and 1,200 physicians.

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