According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In Florida alone, 12,650 women were diagnosed last year. As the best approach to treating breast cancer is early detection, it’s comforting to know that Brevard County is home to TEPAS Breast Center, a comprehensive breast screening and diagnostic center that offers compassionate care coupled with top-quality medical expertise and cutting-edge technology.
“We are proud to offer Brevard first-class care and leading technology in one comprehensive breast center,” says Alicia Stellato, Office Manager. “We have the best tools available — some of which you cannot find anywhere else in the county. This provides ease for both patients and staff, reducing anxiety and expediting treatment.”
Leading Techniques & Technology
Centrally located near the Melbourne Airport, TEPAS Breast Center is expertly designed for tranquility and relaxation, and is a one-stop shop for breast care. The center proudly offers the most up-to-date techniques and technology including digital mammography, positron emission mammography (PEM), breast ultrasound, Mammotome® ultrasound-guided biopsies and SAVI™ brachytherapy/partial breast irradiation.
The new standard in mammography, digital mammography produces detailed images of the breast through low dose X-rays, allowing the radiologist to see the breast more clearly. The system is equipped with a digital receptor and a computer instead of a film cassette. The digital mammogram is then stored on a computer where the magnification, orientation, brightness and contrast of the image may be manipulated to better interpret the exam.
PEM, a new comfortable technology, is PET scanning of the breast. PEM offers high-resolution breast imaging showing not only location, but also the metabolic phase of masses within the breast. PEM significantly improves the ability to distinguish between non-cancerous (benign) and cancerous breast masses. TEPAS Breast Center is the only diagnostic center in Brevard to offer this state of the art diagnostic tool.
“PEM’s advanced imaging capabilities help us accurately stage newly diagnosed breast cancers. I also allows to track progress to chemotherapy, and can help women who borderline mammograms avoid biopsies,” says Emran Imami, M.D., F.A.C.S., board-certified general and breast surgeon.
If a patient experiences an abnormal mammogram, TEPAS Breast Center will commonly perform magnification views and a breast ultrasound immediately for clarity. Using this technology, sound waves produce pictures of breast tissue, and can determine whether a lump is concerning or simply a fluid-filled cyst.
All suspicious breast masses are biopsied for diagnosis. Biopsy removes tissue for study and helps detect cancer early, when it is most curable. An alternative to the operating room, TEPAS Breast Center performs biopsies in-house with Mammotome®, a newer, gentler breast biopsy. It uses ultrasound to accurately pinpoint suspicious tissue and gently removes it for further examination. This outpatient procedure lasts about 20 minutes and patients return to normal activity with only a small bandage — no stitches required.
SAVI™: Advanced Breast Conservation Therapy
TEPAS Breast Center recently received a Distinguished Achievement Award for excellence in accelerated partial breast irradiation for its use of the SAVI™ applicator, an advanced therapy for breast cancer as a part of breast conservation therapy. Most women with breast cancer opt for a lumpectomy, thereby preserving their breast. Women then need radiation treatments to the breast, which usually lasts six weeks. Women with early stage breast cancer may choose SAVI™, which conveniently provides radiation to the lumpectomy site. There are no chest wall or spacing restraints. SAVI™ treats only the tumor bed so the patient is exposed to less radiation. This minimizes radiation exposure to healthy tissue, which reduces damage to critical structures such as the skin, heart, lungs and ribs.
“This sophisticated treatment option allows precise fit to breast and cavity size and custom dosing. Women enjoy better cosmetic results and lower anxiety by completing radiation treatment in 5 days versus six weeks,” says Dr. Imami.
SAVI™ was developed so more women can choose breast conservation therapy without a major interruption in their daily and family life. For more information, visit www.savisisters.com.
Compassionate Care & Support Services
TEPAS Breast Center is committed to increasing breast cancer awareness in the community by supporting non-profit organizations and facilitating health fairs, which encourage women to perform monthly self-examinations, undergo routine annual mammograms, and see their physician annually for a breast examination.
Also at TEPAS Breast Center, you’ll find a plethora of information and resources such as the American Cancer Society Resource Center, on-site clinical psychologist and monthly support groups.
“It’s rewarding to raise awareness about early detection and link women to resources and support,” says Danielle Babcock, Marketing Liaison. “I love seeing women’s faces light up when they find just the right wig and hearing how the support group has created new friendships among women on similar journeys during breast cancer treatment and recovery.”
One of Brevard’s only American Cancer Society (ACS) resource centers, TEPAS Breast Center donates space to the ACS in its office to offer wigs, turbans, scarves, prosthetics and bras, as well as helpful information to those battling cancer. Patients also have the option to purchase retail items including custom breast forms and lingerie. A certified breast prosthetics fitter from Heart Strings provides individualized and personalized assistance to meet patient needs.
TEPAS Breast Center understands the holistic nature of cancer treatment and recovery. Joanie Kane, a Licensed Massage Therapist from Rejuvenations, an independently owned and operated spa that offers massage therapy onsite at TEPAS Breast Center, has extensive training and experience in cancer massage, lymph drainage and geriatric massage. Her comforting touch alleviates stress and stiffness. All massages are customized to treat individual needs, no matter what stage of cancer.
Counseling and support are also available onsite through Rachel LeFebvre, Ph.D., a Clinical Psychologist with Girlfriends Health, an independently owned and operated organization. Dr. LeFebvre is dedicated to promoting women’s health during every stage of life. TEPAS Breast Center also hosts a monthly breast cancer support group. Finally, women can access Breast Friends of Florida (www.breastfriends.com/aff/florida), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping breast cancer patients.
Almost everyone has been touched by breast cancer in some way. Last year 205,020 women and 1,910 men were diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. TEPAS Breast Center offers a comforting, integrated approach to breast health and breast cancer treatment.
“As Brevard’s only comprehensive breast center, TEPAS Breast Center provides the latest techniques and technology, helpful resources, and compassionate, quality care,” says Babcock. “We make it easy for breast health to be a part of your routine, so you can continue living your life.”
Contributing writer: Danielle Babcock.