Skip to main content

Breast Cancer Care

Services

Breast Cancer Care

Using the most advanced diagnostic tools, including 3D mammography, we care for patients through all phases of cancer, from diagnosis and treatment to recovery and survivorship.

Request an Appointment

Our Approach

An academic medical center with a focus on research and discovery

Our Interdisciplinary Breast Research Program fosters close interaction between basic science and breast cancer clinicians through collaborative clinical research. We strive to translate breast cancer research into improved care to reduce the burden of cancer in the patients we serve.

Because we are an academic medical center, we are able to offer clinical trials for new treatments not available anywhere else in the region.

Supportive care every step of the way

Georgia Cancer Center offers a wide range of cancer support services. Our team members are here to help, especially with some of the added emotions or anxieties that you may experience during your cancer care. We also provide support through our full-service Image Boutique and Breast Cancer Support Group.

Breast cancer genetic counseling and testing 

Through research we know that inherited genetic factors such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been identified as factors that may increase one’s risk for breast cancer. We provide genetic counseling and testing for these inherited conditions.

Breast cancer Nurse Navigator provides seamless communication

At the Georgia Cancer Center, your Breast Cancer specific Nurse Navigator provides guidance and helpful information through all phases of your breast cancer care. Don’t hesitate to call with any questions or concerns about any aspect of diagnosis or treatment.

Accreditation

The Georgia Cancer Center provides expert breast cancer care through the area’s only multidisciplinary Breast Health Center. Using the most advanced diagnostic tools, including 3D mammography, we care for patients through all phases of cancer care, including diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship.

 

Consultation with your specialist

On your first day, you will come in for a consult with your doctor.

  • A radiation oncology nurse will take you into an exam room and check your vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, pulse) and weight.
  • The radiation oncologist will then perform an examination. During your consultation, your doctor will talk to you about your specific cancer. They will go over the basic plan of action on how we'll approach your cancer care, discussing all possible side-effects of radiation treatment.
  • You will then have an appointment set up to get your CT scan.

Having your CT scan

A CT scan will give your treatment team a 3D rendering of your internal anatomy. This scan will be used by our planning department and doctors to create your treatment plan.

  • On the day of your appointment, a radiation therapist will bring you to the CT room. You will be assisted onto the table and straightened to ensure that your body is aligned properly. This includes sitting in a reclined position with the arm on the effected side raised above your head. Your arm needs to be in the same position every time you come for treatment, to achieve this, we make a device called a VacLok.

  • The VacLok starts out with a consistency similar to that of a bean-bag chair, this is formed around your elbow.  Then, all of the air will be vacuumed out to create a mold of your arm. After the VacLok is made, you will be scanned, once again, to ensure that your internal anatomy is perfectly aligned. When the therapist is satisfied, you will be ready for the actual CT scan.  Lasers will be used to mark crosshairs on your skin, and “BB’s” will be placed over these marks so that their location can be seen on the CT scan.
  • Next, the scan will be performed. The CT table will move through the scanner. You will not feel anything because nothing will actually touch you.  The room is mounted with cameras and audio equipment so that the therapist can see and hear you at all times should you need anything.  At this point you will need to remain as still and relaxed as possible.
  • After your scan is complete, you will be assisted off the CT table and given an appointment time for your first treatment.  If that has not yet been determined, the clinic will call you with more information and an appointment time when your plan has been completed.

Your treatment plan

Your scan will be sent to Varian Eclipse Planning System for our dosimetrists and physicians to review and create your individualized radiation treatment plan. The planning process can take up to a week. When the team has completed your plan, you will be assigned to a treatment room and given an initial appointment.

What happens during your treatment

Your first appointment will take a little longer than the rest of your treatments. 

  • You will be taken to a treatment room and get in the same position that you were in during your CT scan. The table will be raised, and you will be aligned to the crosshairs that were marked on your skin. While trying to get you aligned, the therapists will be moving you around. You should relax, “lay heavy”, and let the therapist do all the moving. 
  • At this point, shifts will be made from these marks based on what the dosimetry team has planned for you.  Once shifts have been made, radiographic images will be taken to ensure that you are aligned according to your plan and will be checked by your oncology physician before any actual radiation treatment is administered. It should be noted that films taken in the treatment room are used for set up and localizing specific anatomy and do not show a progression or digression of your disease.
  • Once these images are approved by the physician, your skin will be remarked and you will then receive your first treatment. The machine will rotate to different angles based on your treatment plan. During your treatment, you will not feel the radiation, however, you will hear the machine buzzing.

Tattooing

After completing your first treatment, permanent marks, or tattoos, will be made on your skin.

  • This involves placing a drop of ink on the skin and using a tiny lancet to make the marks. These tiny permanent marks allow the radiation therapist to ensure consistency in your daily set-up.
  • They also allow you, the patient, the freedom to shower or bathe without the worry of maintaining ink marks and tape on your skin.

Photograph

After the permanent marks have been made, a photograph of your treatment set-up will be taken for the clinic’s records. This is to ensure that your treatment set-up will be consistent should a different therapist need to treat you at a later date. 

Scheduling

Since this will be the room where you receive your daily treatments, you will discuss a daily treatment time with your radiation therapist. Available time slots will vary depending on your treatment room’s schedule. The decided treatment time will be consistent throughout your treatment regimen. Treatments are given Monday through Friday, you do not have to come for treatment on Saturday or Sunday. 

Weekly Follow-up

After your first week of treatment, every Monday you will visit with a physician. This is a time when you can talk to the doctor about any concerns or side-effects you may be experiencing.

Resources:

 

Our Providers

Augusta University Medical Center specialists provide care and support throughout your entire healthcare journey.

Krutchik, Allan Norman, MD

Hematology/Oncology

Vinyard, Alicia Huff, DO

Surgery Oncology

Generated by 113

Resources & Tools.

Close
Close

Personalize your experience.

Select your preferences below, so we can deliver the most relevant content to you:

Close

Personalize your experience.

Select your preferences below, so we can deliver the most relevant content to you: