BCH is fully committed to providing the finest breast cancer program in Colorado. Boulder Community Health is the only breast center north of Denver that is fully accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons. A center that achieves NAPBC accreditation offers its patients every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease.
We also earned national recognition by receiving the 2014 Women’s Choice Award as one of America’s Best Breast Centers, acknowledging the high quality of our breast cancer services and our dedication to meeting the needs of women.
The hallmarks of the BCH approach are:
Have general questions about breast cancer? Want information about our breast center services? Click below to contact our Breast Health Navigator.
Nationally Recognized Diagnostic Resources
Foothills Hospital has been designated a “Breast Imaging Center of Excellence” by the American College of Radiology (a national organization dedicated to advancing the science of radiology and improving patient care). To receive this important recognition, our Imaging Department demonstrated superior practice standards in:
- Image quality
- Personnel qualifications
- Quality control procedures
- Quality assurance programs
BCH is at the forefront of the latest advances in diagnostic technology for breast cancer. Our state-of-the-art diagnostics include digital mammography, breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), a breast-specific gamma camera (one of the only two available in Colorado) and the ability to perform stereotactic breast biopsies.
We were first to offer digital mammography in Boulder County. Conveniently available at four locations - Foothills Hospital in Boulder, Community Medical Center in Lafayette, Boulder Medical Center in Boulder and Medical Imaging Center in Broomfield - this groundbreaking diagnostic technology is key to the fight against breast cancer. Digital mammography produces quicker results and uses less radiation than standard film mammography. Patients benefit from more accurate detection of abnormalities, shorter exam times, and reduced need for repeat mammograms.
With a breast MRI, doctors can non-invasively determine what the inside of the breast looks like without having to do surgery or flatten the breast (as in a mammogram). Breast MRI can detect small breast abnormalities sometimes missed in a mammogram, and can successfully visualize breast implants and the dense breast tissue common in younger women. Each exam produces hundreds of images of the breast, cross-sectional in three directions, and no radiation is involved.
Our Women’s Imaging Center at Foothills Hospital has the highly advanced breast-specific gamma camera. The gamma camera provides clear, extremely precise images that help distinguish cancerous tissue from normal breast tissue. The camera can thoroughly examine exceptionally dense breast tissue and ultra-small tumors that are less than 10 millimeters.
Another important diagnostic tool in the fight against breast cancer is stereotactic breast biopsy. This outpatient, non-surgical procedure is used to determine if breast abnormalities are cancerous. Physicians can make a rapid, accurate and conclusive cancer diagnosis without surgery. For the patient, a biopsy causes minimal scarring and involves less trauma, pain, time and expense than surgery.
An integral part of our breast cancer program is the high level of communication and coordination between our physicians. Our doctors work closely together to develop comprehensive individualized treatment plans that meet each patient’s specific needs. Each week, doctors specializing in medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, surgery, plastic surgery and pathology meet to jointly plan care for every newly diagnosed breast cancer patient. They are joined by other members of our breast care team, including social workers, physical therapists, physician assistants specializing in cancer care, imaging technologists and clinical trial coordinators, along with our breast health navigator, cancer registrar and director of cancer care services. The collective expertise and experience of all these clinical professionals helps ensure that each patient receives optimal care.
Full Range of Treatments
The decision to pursue breast cancer treatment—surgery, then perhaps radiation, hormonal (anti-estrogen) therapy, and/or chemotherapy—can be emotionally overwhelming. As a breast cancer center of excellence, Boulder Community Health is committed to providing the technology and expertise to guide patients through the entire continuum of care.
We offer inpatient cancer care at Foothills Hospital. Experienced and specially trained nurses provide personalized care to acutely ill cancer patients and their families. In addition, we designed the Tebo Family Medical Building to provide optimal access to outpatient cancer treatments. Whether you’re at Tebo or in the hospital, all breast cancer patients have access to an extensive range of treatment services, including cutting-edge cancer fighting equipment, advanced radiation therapy and clinical trials of new cancer fighting drugs.
Breast cancer patients also benefit from the Center for Integrative Care, where they can take advantage of many complementary therapies, such as massage, acupuncture, and healing touch. We believe it’s vitally important that patients receive added physical, emotional and spiritual support to help them through the healing and recovery process.
Supporting Breast Cancer Patients in Need
Mercedes Alvarez had breast cancer but couldn’t afford needed diagnostic services and treatments. She found financial help through the Boulder Community Health Foundation and the BCH Ambassadors.
“They told us that the financial side of things should be the least of our considerations. We needed to worry about treating the cancer and not worry about what was going to happen to us financially because of the cancer,” said Greg Bowles, Mercedes’ husband.
Additional Support Services
Breast cancer patients have access to other valuable resources offered by BCH, including the Breast Health Navigator, extensive rehabilitation services and emotional support groups.
Cancer Support Specialists
Our Breast Health Navigator, Nanna Christensen, is an experienced oncology nurse who provides services solely for breast cancer patients and their families. She offers patients much needed educational and emotional support and provides personalized guidance through breast cancer treatment, from diagnosis to recovery and beyond. BCH was the first hospital in Boulder County to offer patients this valuable resource. For more information, call Nanna at 303.415.7057.
In addition to the Breast Health Navigator, BCH offers a variety of valuable programs for enhanced emotional support, including a range of support groups for breast cancer patients and their families.
Rehabilitation can decrease swelling and pain and help patients regain their range of motion more quickly. BCH offers one of the best post-mastectomy programs available, with skilled therapists providing one-on-one care to help ensure a successful recovery. The hospital also has an extensive outpatient rehabilitation services program to support the physical, social and vocational needs of breast cancer patients.
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