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Johns Hopkins Bayview News - Johns Hopkins Breast Center Centralizes Services for Women

Fall 2012

Johns Hopkins Breast Center Centralizes Services for Women

By: Tracey Fitzgerald
Date: September 3, 2012

Early diagnosis and coordinated care benefit patients

breast center medical team
Johns Hopkins Breast Center medical team, left to right, Danijela Jelovac, M.D., medical oncologist; Marshalee George, Ph.D., AOCNP, oncology nurse practitioner; Mehran Habibi, M.D., surgical oncologist; Semra Engin, M.D., radiologist

There is a place in Baltimore that women seek out for breast cancer care; women like Joanne Knapp and Anna Rollins, who found an entire team of care providers who supported and cared for them in the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of their breast cancer. Though breast cancer care has been an integral service on the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus for many years, we now offer a more comprehensive approach at the Johns Hopkins Breast Center, a brand-new facility designed to provide women with the right people, tools and technologies to stay healthy.

Expert and personalized care

The recently opened center is managed by a multispecialty team of care providers, who come together to analyze patient cases and work collaboratively in the creation of treatment plans that aim for the best possible outcomes. There also is significant emphasis on the importance of treating each patient as an individual, with needs that go beyond what can be physically detected.

"There are a lot of hospitals for patients to choose from in Maryland, but there are tremendous benefits of coming to Johns Hopkins," says Mehran Habibi, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Breast Center. "Expertise matters. When you want the best, you get it here."

In addition to providing patients with access to some of the world's most commended physicians, all fellowship trained, the opening of the new Breast Center means that women now have one centralized resource to turn to when it comes to managing their breast health. Here, surgeons, radiologists, medical and radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons and patient navigators put their thoughts together with the latest technology to create a comprehensive system for patient support. As breast cancer becomes more prevalent, and patients take a more active role in their health care delivery process, the team also is seeing an influx of people in search of a second opinion.

"It's important to take the time to get a second opinion and make sure you are working with the right team of people, who will put together a plan that is best for you," Dr. Habibi says. "Individuality is the key. And that is among the things we do best."

Putting patients at ease

There are many ways that the Breast Center team offers that individualized approach. A certified oncology nurse is available to answer questions and walk women through every step in the process. The availability of Johns Hopkins clinical trials further increases the opportunity for each patient to follow a customized treatment plan, based on her unique health needs. And knowing that breast care can be a sensitive and emotional topic for many women and their families, the team at the Breast Center is committed to making customer service, including quick answers, a top priority.

"We expedite the screening or treatment process for our patients, making same or next-day results available when we can," says Semra Engin, M.D., radiologist. "It helps tremendously that we have all of the right people and technology in one place with the opening of the Breast Center. It makes it easier for us to collaborate and get back to our patients with answers quickly."

Early detection is key

Both Drs. Habibi and Engin promote the importance of early detection, encouraging women in the community to come into the new Breast Center for annual mammograms, while also performing breast self-exams on a monthly basis. When found in earlier stages, many breast cancers can be cured completely.

"A woman knows her body better than anyone else," says Dr. Habibi. "Regular physical examinations and annual mammograms can go a long way in preventing the spread of disease. And when a cancer is detected, it's important for a woman to know we are here and ready to take care of her."

To make an appointment, call 410-550-8282.