Surgery is often the best approach for breast cancer treatment. However, all our patients are discussed pre-operatively in our team meetings or by direct contact between specialists to determine the best course of action for you.
This considered approach by an expert multidisciplinary team is a key point of difference for Macquarie University Hospital Breast Cancer Program. Our team approach personalises your care and supports you through an integrated program of diagnosis, surgery and follow-up care.
If surgery is selected as the best option for you, then our surgeons are able to utilise the latest techniques to ensure complete removal of the cancer along with excellent aesthetic results:
- Standard mastectomy without a reconstruction.
- Breast conserving surgery and radiotherapy.
- Bilateral breast reduction surgery followed by radiotherapy. This technique is particularly useful for patients with very large breasts.
- Nipple sparing mastectomy. Some of our patients are eligible for this technique. This can be done in patients with pre-cancer (Ductal Carcinoma In-Situ, or DCIS) and invasive cancer as long as the tumour is not too close to the nipple.
- Mastectomy and immediate implant reconstruction. Some patients are suitable for a mastectomy and insertion of a silicone implant at the time of the initial operation.
- Mastectomy and tissue type reconstructions. In this situation we move tissue from one part of the body to another. This is a more complicated and more expensive procedure, which takes many hours of plastic surgery time.
- Sentinel Node Biopsy.
- Axillary Lymph Node dissection or clearance.
At the Genesis Cancer Care Centre at Macquarie University hospital the latest techniques are available to ensure that:
- You see a radiation oncologist and get an understanding of the pros and cons of radiotherapy. Not all patients require radiation therapy; conversely, many patients who might benefit from it in the long run are not given the opportunity to have radiotherapy.
- The indications for radiation include patients who have had a lumpectomy, those with DCIS or invasive cancer and those with larger or more difficult tumours that have spread to the lymph nodes – particularly for patients with tumours more than five centimetres or where there are more than four lymph nodes involved in the armpit.
- Our on-site VMAT radiation technique improves radiation accuracy and is 80% faster than conventional technology. All our patients with complicated radiotherapy techniques have 3D reconstructions of their anatomy using on-site CT scanning.
Macquarie University Hospital’s chemotherapy suite is a bright and modern environment, with 13 chairs and two beds. It operates as a day oncology service. Our caring nursing staff are all experienced and well-trained in oncology and haematology.
Our chemotherapy suite has a Paxman scalp cooling system available for breast cancer patients. The technology reduces the temperature of the head before, during and after chemotherapy, with the intention of preventing hair loss. Suitability of the scalp cooling system depends on the individual patient and should be discussed with the patient’s oncologist at their first appointment.
We also offer participation in clinical trials designed to test new drug therapies and chemotherapy regimens. Patients should talk to their doctor about whether or not they are suitable for participation in a clinical trial.
Additional information on chemotherapy treatment can be round at the Cancer Institute NSW website eviQ https://www.eviq.org.au/