Memorial Health provides specialized breast care, high-tech treatment options and support for patients and families coping with breast cancer. Our services include:
- 3D Mammogram
- Breast MRI
- Ultrasound-guided biopsy
- Stereotactic biopsy
- MRI-guided biopsy
- Lumpectomy (breast-conserving surgery)
- Chemotherapy/Endocrine (hormone) therapy
- Radiation therapy
- Breast cancer second opinion services
- Breast cancer high RISK screening
- Breast cancer clinical trials
Breast cancer screening and diagnostics
At the Memorial Health Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute (ACI), we believe that early detection is paramount. Routine screening with annual mammography beginning at age 40 has been shown to increase survival rates and identify cancer at an earlier stage. Breast cancers in younger women tend to be more aggressive. When they are caught early, women have more treatment options and better outcomes.
Screening Guidelines for Women of Average Risk
- Beginning at age 40, women should have a mammogram and clinical breast exam every year for as long as they are in good health. To schedule a 3D mammogram, call (912) 350-PINK (7465).
- Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam every three years.
- Women should conduct monthly breast self-exams beginning in their 20s.
Our breast imaging center is a comprehensive facility for overall breast health, including cancer detection, treatment and recovery. We offer 3D mammogram technology, which allows us to see more detail and detect tumors at an early stage.
- 3D screening mammography to examine breast tissue and detect changes or abnormalities
- 3D diagnostic mammography to diagnose a breast condition
- Breast ultrasound to quickly visualize and assess breast tissue
- Stereotactic needle biopsy to pinpoint the exact location of a breast lump and remove a tissue sample
- Ultrasound-guided needle biopsy to locate and remove a sample of suspicious tissue
- Breast MRI to locate small abnormalities that are sometimes missed by a mammogram
- MRI-guided biopsy to pinpoint and remove tissue samples for testing
- Breast health education
Breast Surgery Services
Breast surgery services include:
- Lumpectomy – surgery to remove the cancerous tumor and some surrounding tissue while leaving as much normal tissue as possible; also called breast-conserving surgery
- Mastectomy – surgical procedure to remove the entire breast(s) as a way to treat or prevent breast cancer. Nipple-sparing and skin-sparing mastectomies are available.
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy – procedure to remove the sentinel lymph node and examine to determine is cancer is present
- Axillary node dissection – procedure to remove lymph nodes from the axilla (armpit) area
- Breast reconstructive surgery – surgery to rebuild natural-looking breast mounts that closely match the form, size and symmetry of the natural breast including autologous tissue flap (DIEP) or implant based reconstruction. Also offer oncoplastic techniques.
- Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) – innovative treatment that delivers radiation directly into the tumor bed during breast-conserving surgery to destroy cancer cells, shorten treatment time, and prevent recurrence
- Diagnosis and treatment of many benign breast conditions
- Manage high-risk patients through our breast cancer high RISK screening
Breast Radiation Services
As technology and our understanding of human genomics improve, so do breast cancer treatments. Recent advances have allowed us to target and stop cancer cells more precisely than ever before. Whole breast radiation and partial breast radiation treatments are available using the latest equipment and technology. The ACI strives to bring each new breakthrough to women in our region.
IORT (Intraoperative Radiation Therapy)
Memorial Health was the first facility in Georgia to use INTRABEAM® intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) for breast cancer treatment. IORT combines surgery and radiation into a single procedure for the treatment of early stage breast cancer.
The IORT applicator is placed in the tumor cavity during breast-conserving cancer surgery (lumpectomy). It delivers low-energy radiation directly into the tumor bed to eliminate remaining cancer cells and help prevent a future recurrence. But the biggest impact for women is the reduction in treatment time. Breast conserving surgery is often followed by up to six weeks of daily radiation. With IORT, additional radiation time can be significantly shortened or avoided altogether.
The ACI also TrueBeam® cancer technology to deliver patients the best radiation therapy possible. This advanced technology delivers powerful doses of radiation with sub-millimeter accuracy, targeting tumors with extreme precision, while sparing the surrounding healthy tissues and organs. Doctors can deliver radiation therapy in minutes with this technology. Memorial was the first healthcare facility in Savannah to offer TrueBeam for its patients.
Breast Oncology Services
The medical oncology team at the ACI assists with the physical and emotional needs of people receiving chemotherapy. We offer individualized therapies for breast cancer that attack the way cancer cells grow without damaging healthy cells.
Clinical trials are also available to evaluate new treatments and therapies.
The ACI offers many important support services for patients being treated for breast cancer. These include nutrition counseling, physical therapy, social work,
Acupuncture – A board-certified and licensed acupuncturist offers treatment for patients at a private practice. Acupuncture has been shown to help reduce pain, nausea, anxiety, and stress in people with cancer. Sessions are provided at no cost for our patients.
Art Therapy – Journaling, decorating memory boxes, designing scarves, and other therapeutic projects are offered through a partnership with the Savannah College of Art and Design and the Healing and Education through Art initiative.
Counseling – Some individuals and families need extra help coping with the stress of illness and the changes it brings. A licensed counselor can meet with individuals or families at the ACI or at a private office. Initial consultations are free for our patients and families.
Hypnotherapy – Sessions may be helpful to control stress and to promote lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation. A licensed hypnotherapist provides individual and couple sessions one day a week at the ACI.
Music Therapy – Several times a week, we bring in local musicians to play uplifting music for our patients and their families.
Nutrition Counseling – It is important to maintain your strength during treatment. Dietitians help patients with ideas to help maintain weight and reduce side effects.
Pet Therapy – Certified pet therapy dogs visit the ACI weekly, offering plenty of hugs, kisses, and unconditional love.
Physical Therapy – After surgery, therapists help restore movement and function to patients so that they can return to normal activities.
Reflexology – This service involves applying pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, ears, or face that correspond to organs or systems within the body. It aids in controlling nausea, managing pain, and promoting overall relaxation. Reflexology is offered free of charge through our outpatient treatment area.
Social Work – Our social workers help patients and family members access resources and information (support groups, financial assistance, transportation, etc.) during treatment.
Spiritual Care – Chaplains at Memorial Health provide ministry, literature, and worship services. They are also available to talk with families about their cancer experience and offer prayer and spiritual counseling.
Strength for Survivors – Cancer survivors can meet with a personal trainer who guides them through the recovery and healing process. The program includes massage, yoga, Pilates, strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, and stretching exercises.
Support Groups – Support groups give patients and their loved ones an opportunity to share their stories, hear from others coping with the same issues, and meet with experts in the field of cancer treatment and recovery. To see upcoming support groups, go to MemorialHealth.com and click the “support services” button.
Yoga for Cancer Survivors – Yoga classes are offered free of charge for cancer survivors and people receiving cancer treatment. Classes are held every Tuesday at 6:30pm and every Thursday at 12:45pm. The classes increase strength and flexibility, promote balance, and provide relaxation.