University Hospitals open new comprehensive Breast CenterBy John Easton
Medical Center Public Affairs
The University Hospitals recently celebrated the opening of the new comprehensive Breast Center, a multidisciplinary facility that brings together the full spectrum of clinical and support services, ranging from surgery and mammography practice to risk assessment and genetic testing, screening and diagnosis, treatment and counseling, and prosthetics and patient education.
The multidisciplinary design of the Breast Center, located on the second floor of the award-winning Center for Advanced Medicine5758 S. Maryland Ave.provides patients access to a team of caregivers who collaborate on every decision. For the patient, this means easy access to a variety of state-of-the-art services in an environment of convenience, simplicity and efficiency.
The University Hospitals have long been a leader in understanding and treating breast cancer. In 1941, Dr. Charles Huggins published the concept of hormone therapy for cancer, a discovery that brought him the Nobel Prize. In 1951, he demonstrated that hormone therapies could help even patients with advanced breast cancer.
His colleague Elwood Jensen then developed a way to identify which breast cancers would benefit from hormone therapy. Now, all breast cancers are classified as estrogen-receptor positive or negative, an important guide to prognosis and therapy.
Medications such as tamoxifen, which can block the effects of estrogen, have become important tools in the treatment and even prevention of breast cancer. In 1961, Huggins developed an experimental model of human breast cancer, the lack of which had been a major obstacle to research.
That tradition of innovation continues. In 1986, the hospitals were the first in the United States to perform stereotactic needle biopsies, a diagnostic tool that can prevent unnecessary surgery. The Cancer Risk Clinic, established in 1992, was the first of its kind in the Chicago area and has become a national leader in risk assessment and genetic testing. The world’s first computer-assisted mammography system was developed by researchers at the University and has been applied in the clinic since 1995. An experimental digital mammography machine was installed last year.