Mammography at the Breast Care Center is a branch of radiology that focuses on the breast. It is used to detect breast cancer or to determine the cause of breast problems. The basic mammogram falls under two categories, diagnostic and screening mammogram. A mammogram screening is used to help detect breast cancer in women who may or may not have symptoms. A diagnostic mammogram is performed when the physician is diagnosing a problem. In this case additional images are often performed. For example, a breast ultrasound may be performed in conjunction with a mammogram. According to the American Cancer Society, one of the best detection of early breast cancer is self examination.
Mammography exam checks for early signs of cancer. There are a variety of x-ray exams that fall under Mammography. To name a few, there is needle localization, galactagram, and breast biopsy. Registered technologists perform your exam. A radiologist trained to read mammograms will read the procedure. On average, there are approximately 50 exams performed at the Imaging Center with dedicated equipment.
During the procedure the breast is compressed and radiographic images are taken. This process is often uncomfortable to the patient, but is necessary.
There are several reasons why compression is important. They include but are not limited to:
- Compression helps separate tissue that is overlapping
- Not compressing increases the risk of missing an early cancer
- The amount of radiation exposure to the breast is decreased by compression
The Kirkland Cancer Center offers state-of-the-art curative treatment with chemotherapy, symptom management and palliative care. The staff is widely experienced in current treatment methods and our patients see their physician and receive chemotherapy treatments in one building. For each patient’s convenience, a pharmacy is on-location so that all chemotherapy drugs are available within the unit.
Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs designed to slow or stop the growth of rapidly dividing cancer cells in the body. It may be used as the primary treatment to destroy cancer cells, before another treatment to shrink a tumor, after another treatment to destroy any remaining cancer cells or even to relieve symptoms of advanced cancer.
Patients from age 18 through geriatric ages receive treatment from the Kirkland Cancer Center. Various stages of cancer are treated in this facility — from curative to palliative or “care”ative.
All our registered nurses are chemotherapy certified and trained in the administration of chemotherapy and management of care for oncology patients. The director, clinical manager and the full-time outpatient registered nurse are Oncology Nursing Society certified. They have the most tenured staff at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. A high criteria is set for these nurses regarding their continued education.
- Registered oncology nurses who are chemotherapy certified and trained in the administration of chemotherapy and management of care for oncology patients
- Registered dietitian
- Social worker
- Case manager
- Oncology pharmacist
- Director, clinical manager and full time outpatient registered nurse are Oncology Nursing Society certified
- Financial counselor is available to assist with enrollment in free medication programs
Infusion Setting Options
The Kirkland Cancer Center chemotherapy infusion area, located on the second floor, has four private rooms, 21 semi-private treatment areas and two community treatment areas with a total of 12 chairs. Patients may choose to receive their chemotherapy in one of the individualized and inspirational treatment bays, with names such as “Hero,” “Champion” and “Superstar” or choose to socialize in one of our group treatment settings. All bays feature large windows with natural sunlight, providing views of the center’s atrium or healing garden.
With a special emphasis on moments of joy and celebration during patients’ milestones in treatment, patients ring a 24-inch gong on the chemotherapy floor after receiving their last treatment. The entire floor is able to hear the beautiful and majestic vibrations. Kirkland Cancer Center’s theme is victory with the goal of providing hope for every patient to win their battle against cancer.
We are accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and by the American College of Surgeons. Continuous quality assurance monitoring and medication documentation gives us attention to patient safety.
The Department of Medical Oncology is located at the Kirkland Cancer Center. Patients who have an upcoming appointment are encouraged to call 731-541-9561 to verify where they should go for their appointment.
The following services are available to oncology inpatients and outpatients 24-hours-a-day:
- Pain and other symptoms management
- Chemotherapy administration
- Blood transfusions
- Antibiotic therapy
- Our Medical Oncology Team
- The Medical Oncology Department began over 25 years ago and the healthcare team provides over 250 years of experience in caring for patients with various types of cancer in all stages of the disease.
Also collaborating with physicians and nurses are the department’s case manager, cancer research nurse liaison, pharmacist, dietitian, social worker, as well as pastoral care staff and volunteers.
The Radiation Oncology Department is on the first floor of the Kirkland Cancer Center on West Forest Avenue, across from Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. Radiation patients and their families can park on the Lower Level (first floor) of Parking Garage 4, next to the Kirkland Cancer Center on West Forest Avenue. Enter through the front door or side door from the parking garage.
This department also assures “physician access” with a radiation oncologist “on-call” 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (Regular office hours in Radiation Oncology are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.)
Board Certified Radiation Oncologists:
The support staff of the Radiation Oncology Department is comprised of medical physicists, dosimetrist, radiation therapists, nurses, and office personnel, all of whom are well-trained in the needs and protocols for Radiation Oncology patients.
The Department of Radiation Oncology provides specialized services utilizing state-of-the-art equipment. The radiation oncologists, two medical physicists, and a medical dosimetrist devise individualized treatment plans including three-dimensional treatment planning. Treatment “set-up” is performed on two Varian simulators. The following types of treatment delivery are performed on three Varian accelerators.
External Beam Radiation Therapy
- Electron and photon energies using three Varian linear accelerators and superficial therapy unit.
- Treatment units for administering radiation to cancers involving such sites as skin, lung, breast,
High Dose Brachytherapy
- Direct internal or external delivery of high dose of radiation.
- Treatment usually completed on an outpatient basis within a few hours.
Low Dose Brachytherapy
- Internal treatment for gynecological cancers.
- Treatment usually completed on an inpatient basis within 48 to 72 hours.
- Latest addition to program of services.
- Treatment option for benign or malignant brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations, and
- Incorporates both neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist expertise.
- Three-dimensional treatment planning and modified linear accelerator focus radiation beam within one
or two millimeters of lesion.
- Treatment usually completed in one day.
This new equipment allows radiation oncology technicians to produce radiation custom blocks used to determine where radiation will be administered.
- Custom blocks are cut and cast specifically to the shape and location of the tumor.
- Provides automation for producing the blocks.
- Beneficial to cancer patients especially for small treatment fields (like the head and neck) that would not
be closely shaped with previous designs.
- Reduction in the amount of radiation that is exposed to non-cancerous tissue.
- Permits multiple-field treatments. Hundreds of fields can be treated in rapid succession.