Comprehensive care with advanced technology
Discovering a lump or abnormality in your breast can be a frightening experience. It’s understandable if your first thoughts turn to breast cancer. But not all breast abnormalities are cancerous. Desert Regional Medical Center’s Comprehensive Cancer Center can screen for disease and, if necessary, treat it.
The Desert Comprehensive Breast Center
As part of our forward approach to care, our cancer center now features The Desert Comprehensive Breast Center. This full-service breast cancer screening and treatment facility is in Palm Springs and also has a satellite facility in La Quinta. The center offers:
• Low-dose screening and diagnostic mammography
• Stereotactic biopsy to remove tissue for examination
• 3D automated ultrasound for clearer detection in women with dense breasts
• 3T (Tesla) MRI, PET-CT and traditional CT scanning
• Bone density testing
• Breast cancer surgery
• Support groups and classes for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and patients with advanced breast cancer
Physicians specializing in breast and oncology surgery lead the center’s multidisciplinary medical team. It also includes specialists in breast imaging; radiology; pathology; medical, radiation and surgical oncology; and reconstructive surgery.
The team conducts weekly multidisciplinary pre-treatment planning conferences to discuss treatment options for its patients.
The importance of breast health
At Desert Regional’s Comprehensive Cancer and Breast centers, our focus is on giving you the resources to help prevent breast cancer at any age. Here are some of the most common questions we receive about breast health.
I know I need to watch for signs of breast cancer. Where do I start?
Women have a one in eight chance of developing breast cancer at some point during their lifetimes. But millions are still alive today, many whose breast cancer was detected early and in time for effective treatment. The first steps are easy:
• Schedule an annual mammogram
• See your healthcare provider for a breast exam as part of your regular checkup
• Make sure to do regular self-exams
How do I schedule a mammogram?
Call Desert Regional’s Comprehensive Cancer Center at (760) 416-4700 or use our convenient Contact Us
How often should I do a self-exam?
You should do a self-exam once a month — ideally about 7 to 10 days after the start of your menstrual period. Knowing your own body is the best way to spot changes that could develop into cancer. The American Cancer Society has developed a guide to self-exams
If I’m called in after my mammogram, does it mean I have cancer?
No. About 10 percent of patients who have mammograms are asked to return for a second look. But nearly all of those “second looks” are benign. However, this does mean more tests are needed to fully determine your condition.
I’ve already been diagnosed someplace else, but I want a second opinion.
We gladly welcome patients who need a second medical opinion, which is important. Contact us to make an .[Link to Contact Us]
If I’m diagnosed with breast cancer, what happens next?
If you are diagnosed, we’ll begin with a pre-treatment planning conference. Our doctors will meet together to determine your treatment options. This is also a chance for you to seek consultation on your diagnosis and treatment through our Second Opinion Service.
What treatment options do you offer?
Among the treatment options we offer are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and additional supportive care services. We see patients for both consultation and ongoing care. Our doctors also participate in national research trials and, where medically appropriate, we can offer patients the opportunity to enroll in studies for promising new therapies.
I’m new to this. How do I get my bearings?
Most of us fear the unknown. That’s why we try to take the unknown out of cancer. We hold a New Patient Orientation from noon to 1:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month. This is your opportunity to meet members of the center’s treatment team and ask questions. Our Breast Center also offers emotional support through a variety of groups for others who have been newly diagnosed or have more advanced breast cancer. You can find out more about those groups here.
For more information about our breast health services, call (760) 416-4700.