Sunnybrook has opened its new Breast Rapid Diagnostic Unit (RDU) which provides next-day breast cancer diagnosis and goes further to provide personalized screening recommendations for all individuals assessed.
Responding to the needs of many who still wait weeks for assessment of a breast concern, the Sunnybrook Breast RDU provides rapid assessment for women and men suspected of having breast cancer. All individuals assessed at the RDU are asked about breast cancer risk factors such as family history, and receive tailored recommendations for screening. Those who do not have a diagnosis of breast cancer but who may be at high risk are referred for genetic assessment and risk management in the High Risk Clinic at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre.
“Our goal is to help more individuals gain earlier and rapid assessment so they will know their diagnosis as soon as possible and the course of action to help them get better,” says Dr. Eileen Rakovitch, head of the Breast Cancer Care team at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre.
The Sunnybrook Breast RDU also features a dedicated Breast RDU Nurse Navigator who guides and supports each individual through the assessment process that is often a very anxious time.
Individuals also benefit from the combined expertise of the breast care team and other breast- dedicated specialists in the Departments of Medical Imaging and Anatomic Pathology at Sunnybrook.
How It Works:
• A family physician can refer individuals to the Breast RDU if there is an abnormality on a mammogram, breast ultrasound or a clinical finding that is highly suspicious of breast cancer.
• Once the referral has been received, the Breast RDU Nurse Navigator contacts the individual.
• Individuals meet with the Nurse Navigator at the Breast RDU and undergo assessment that includes a Clinical Breast Exam. Individuals then get a state-of-the-art digital mammogram and ultrasound. Based on the results of these tests, they may receive further tests including an ultrasound-guided core biopsy, and fine needle aspirate biopsy.
• Sunnybrook has two new Rapid Processors to facilitate pathological diagnoses, and the Breast RDU Nurse Navigator and the Breast physician ensure concordance between imaging findings and final pathology.
• All individuals assessed are asked about breast cancer risk factors such as family history, and receive personalized screening recommendations.
• Individuals return the next day and meet with a Breast physician to discuss their diagnosis and treatment options.
• Those who do not have a diagnosis of breast cancer but who may be at high risk are referred for genetic assessment and risk management in the High Risk Clinic.
• A note is sent back to the referring physician summarizing all findings and management recommendations. The Breast RDU is part of the Sunnybrook Breast program that provides total breast care and is dedicated to the early detection, rapid diagnosis and innovative treatment of breast cancer.
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