The Breast Health Program , which opened in January 1997, provides a range of information and diagnostic services to women with the aim of promoting breast health. The Program, located in the Women’s Health Centre at C&W consists of 3 components.
1. A Breast Assessment and Diagnostic Service (operated in partnership with the BC Cancer Agency)
A team consisting of radiologists, radiology technicians, surgeons, nurses and support staff provides assessment, diagnosis, treatment, follow up, consultation and counselling for women with breast abnormalities. The goal of the program is to ensure that women who have an abnormal mammogram result, or who have detected a breast abnormality receive a diagnosis as soon as possible. This is accomplished through a variety of possible diagnostic procedures, ranging from ultrasound to steriotactic core biopsy or open biopsy. Biopsy procedures are done using local anaesthesia, in a procedure room. A significant amount of supportive care, education and counselling are provided by the nurses working in the program. Approximately 80% of women referred because of breast lumps or other problems will know their diagnosis by the end of their first visit. About 4% of women referred to the program require surgical referrals or referrals to the BC Cancer Agency for treatment of breast cancer. The Vancouver Centre for the Screening Mammography Program of B.C. is co-located at the Women’s Health Centre.
Referrals to the Breast Assessment and Diagnostic Service can be made by calling (604) 875-3705.
2. Breast Health Provincial Outreach Service
This service aims to assist communities throughout BC in establishing diagnostic services for women with breast abnormalities. This includes sponsoring a two week educational program for Family Physicians from throughout the province, who wish to upgrade their knowledge and skills in the area of breast health in order to provide a higher level of care in their home communities.
For further information regarding the Family Practice Breast Fellowship Program please call Dr. Karen Kruse at (604) 875-2952.
3. The Breast Implant Centre
This component offers information, support groups and supportive counselling for women or health care providers with questions or concerns about breast implants. The Centre can provide current information regarding implants through its collection of articles, books and videos.
The Breast Implant Centre can be reached at (604) 875-3225.