Malignant Breast Biopsy
Lincoln Surgical has a plan if you receive a malignant breast biopsy result.
What happens when a patient has a biopsy that is malignant?
Basically, then we would schedule, after we've informed a patient and discuss what the findings are, that we would set up a follow-up visit, usually within a couple of days, to discuss those findings and what our next move and plans would be at that time.
What comes next for the patient?
If the biopsy shows malignancy, we then begin the plan already in place to take care of that woman. Typically we'll have a short discussion on the phone about some of the major factors that most women want to know about like the stage, how aggressive does a tumor look, how extensive surgery they might need to have, and sometimes we can't answer all those questions right away, but many times we can and we can put that perspective.
Discuss the patient consultation aspect of care.
We set up a consultation with not only the surgeon but also with the medical oncologists and radiation oncologist, because the treatment of breast cancer is a multidisciplinary approach...not with just a surgeon but with that team of physicians. Once we've talked to the woman about her diagnosis, then we will set those consultations up in order for her to hear about surgical treatment, potential for medical treatment, and potentially radiation treatment that may benefit her based on her particular situation. And it can be a very lengthy conversation, understandably so, because there is so much information out there, but also because everybody's situation is slightly different.
How can diagnoses differ?
Everybody's stage is different; everybody's aggressiveness and tumor is different. Some are very benign; some women are the same age and have the same size tumor and they're totally different, and we stress that every person is treated uniquely, individually for their situation.
With so many types of breast cancers, how are you able to provide such individualized treatment?
And actually it's very straightforward because we have national standardized guidelines that inform us physicians, and all physicians who take care of cancer, how best to treat each particular situation. And sometimes there are some choices that need to be made in those algorithms about different types of chemotherapy or surgical options and so on, but we know what treatments will work and are indicated and we know which ones will not be as effective. And we're able to do that based on the science of these guidelines, which is analyzed, all the clinical trials. They're constantly updated, and so we're able to very confidently tell each patient, "This is why we're recommending this treatment, and this is why you have these options, because we're approaching you with multidisciplinary treatment based on national standardized guidelines. You are very unique as is your cancer and tumor, and we have directed therapy directly for your situation."