SMHF - Breast Health Clinic

Double Your Donation: Support leading-edge health care

Canadian business icon Jim Pattison is making a $4-million matching donation to support Surrey Hospitals Foundation’s fundraising campaign to upgrade equipment inside the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. In this video series, join us in exploring some of the 56 clinics providing vital health care for the community.

Leading-edge treatment requires leading-edge tools. The Surrey Hospitals Foundation current campaign aims to continue that legacy in support of the Breast Health Clinic at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre.

The clinic was initiated because the time from suspicion to diagnosis was up to four months – time spent waiting for tests and biopsies, appointments and procedures, explains Dr. Rhonda Janzen, surgeon at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre’s Breast Health Clinic.

“The clinic was first visualized with the intention of getting from suspicion to diagnosis in 21 days.”

After referral to the clinic, patients get their full work-up done and then receive their disposition – either learning that they’re fine, and nothing more needs to be done, or that they’ll move onto treatment for breast cancer.

Much of the success the breast health clinic has enjoyed has come from the donations. About five years ago, when the clinic team realized they needed an extra six biopsy spots a day, the ultrasound machines to allow that were funded by donations.

“Donors have really helped our clinic evolve over the years,” says radiologist Dr. Sanjiv Bhalla, pointing to one of the most recent additions, the tomosynthesis machine. “If a woman has dense breasts, sometimes it’s difficult to know what you’re seeing – if it’s a mass or an abnormality, or if it’s just dense breast tissue. With conventional mammography and ultrasound, that’s difficult to sort out. The tomography machine lets us perform almost a 3-D mammogram, and take a look at the breast tissue from multiple different angles.”

Helping avoid many unnecessary procedures, that has been a real game-changer, Dr. Bhalla says.

Thanking the donors for making so many of the innovations possible – innovations that have allowed patients to get expedited, better care – Dr. Janzen highlights what’s next for the clinic.

“What we’re working on now is a machine that helps us identify patients who are going to have a problem with arm swelling, or lymphedema, because we’ve had to take out their lymph nodes because the lymph nodes already had cancer,” she says.

Special procedures are possible to minimize arm swelling – and the clinic team includes a plastic surgeon with the unique training to do them – but a specialized microscope is also required. “Our current focus now is to get the microscope so we are able to intervene with people to minimize their risk of lymphedema.”

Help the Breast Health Clinic at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre continue providing leading-edge care: Donate today at DoubleYourDonation.ca and Jim Pattison will match your donation!

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