What does integrated breast care look like?
With the Centegra Comprehensive Breast Program, care is delivered by a group of highly skilled compassionate professionals from many different medical specialties. High-quality cancer care requires communication and coordination, and these experts bring the best of what they offer to benefit people with breast cancer and benign breast conditions.
Our knowledgeable team works together to provide compassionate care whether you are getting your annual mammogram, managing lymphedema or choosing which treatment options are right for you.
Roles of the care team
Radiologists and Imaging Team
The breast imaging team provides screening mammograms and diagnostic imaging services. Radiologists then read the mammograms at the Centegra Gavers Breast Center in Crystal Lake and in Huntley, McHenry and Woodstock.
Fellowship-trained radiologist Elissa S. Brebach, MD, is the Breast Health Medical Director, Radiology for Centegra Health System and the Centegra Gavers Breast Center where the Comprehensive Breast Program at Centegra is based. Dr. Brebach is an independent physician on the medical staff at Centegra Health System.
After a breast cancer diagnosis, you will first meet with a breast surgeon who will help you decide what treatment is best in your unique situation. The breast surgeon will be your champion in planning and coordinating care with the other specialists involved in your breast cancer treatment.
Breast Health Navigator
When it comes to dealing with breast cancer, an important resource available to you is your breast health navigator. Your breast health navigator will share results with you, answer your questions and connect you to all the resources you need from screening and diagnostics to treatment, support groups and complementary therapy. At Centegra, Karla Hernandez, RN, a certified breast health navigator, delivers this personalized care, working closely with the other members of your care team.
Oncology Nurse Navigator
Together with the breast health navigator, the oncology nurse navigator walks breast cancer patients through every phase of treatment and connects you with experts who will support in your care. Jessica Sima, MSN, RN is the oncology nurse navigator at Centegra Sage Cancer Center. She partners with the cancer team to guide you through the various phases of cancer care.
A consultation with a genetic counselor may be recommended to help evaluate the influence of genetic factors in your risk of breast cancer. Genetic Counselor Tina Han, PhD, MS, LCGC offers genetic counseling and testing at Centegra Sage Cancer Center. Han is board-certified and licensed in genetic counseling.
Women who have surgery to treat breast cancer may choose to combine breast cancer surgery with reconstruction surgery to rebuild the shape and look of their breasts, such as breast reduction, lift or breast implant placement. Plastic surgeons work with the breast surgeon to develop a personalized plan for this reconstruction.
As the physicians who treat cancer patients using chemotherapy or other medications, medical oncologists work with the breast surgeon and other specialists to develop a personalized treatment plan for every breast cancer patient.
Radiation oncologists are physicians who use radiation therapy to treat people with cancer. At Centegra, radiation oncologists are highly skilled at using precisely targeted approaches, designed to eliminate cancer cells while protecting healthy tissue. Radiation oncologists work with the chief medical physicist, dosimetrists and radiation therapists to develop a radiation treatment plan for breast cancer patients.
Additional breast cancer team members
More than 50 people are part of the cancer care team at Centegra. These dedicated health professionals and providers offer treatments and support to breast cancer patients and their families, including:
- Nutrition Services
- Physical Therapy and Lymphedema Prevention
- Complementary Therapy
- Financial Counseling
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists
Diet plays an important part in the journey of the breast cancer patient. Maintaining a healthy diet during and after cancer treatment can help breast cancer patients feel better and stay stronger. A certified specialist in oncology nutrition is the best source of information about patients’ diet.