Center for Breast Cancer
The Center for Breast Cancer at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center provides coordinated, state-of-the-art care for patients with benign and malignant diseases of the breast. For patients diagnosed with breast cancer, we offer dedicated care, innovative treatment options, and cutting-edge research. A great deal of progress in the detection and treatment of breast cancer has been made in recent years, and our physicians are on the leading edge of finding even better solutions.
Women with a diagnosis of breast cancer are cared for by a multidisciplinary team of physician specialists, including radiologists, breast surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and plastic surgeons.
From the tranquility of the building, to our complementary therapy services, to the most sophisticated personalized therapies and equipment available, Yale is committed to tailoring treatment to our patients to ensure they have the best experiences possible during their time in our care.
Reconstructions vary from placement of a simple implant to complex reconstructions using natural tissue from the abdomen, thigh, or back. Careful attention is given to achieve the best possible cosmetic result and quality of life, without compromising the chance of cure. In each case, the approach is customized to best fit each patient’s needs and goals.
Our plastic and reconstructive surgeons have adopted an Enhanced Recovery pathway (ERAS), for all DIEP and free flap breast reconstruction surgeries. The pathway encourages the use of regional anesthesia and multimodal pain management techniques to reduce the need for opioids after surgery. Studies at Yale and at other centers have seen a significant reduction in opioid use, while still adequately managing post-operative pain. Using multiple methods for managing post-op pain can reduce unwanted side effects of opioids and enables the patient to feel better faster and go home sooner.
What to consider before getting breast implants: New guidelines from the FDA
The Breast Imaging Center does approximately 89,000 breast studies each year including 50,000 screenings, 10,000 diagnostic tests, 900 MRIs, and 3,000 various procedures. The newest technology, digital tomosynthesis, creates a three-dimensional picture using breast X-rays for review. This allows our radiologists to look very closely at the breast tissue, often minimizing the need for repeat mammograms. In addition, we offer ultrasound and 3-Tesla breast MRI.
Patient Support Services
Genetic Counseling and Testing
Yale Cancer Center and our partner, Smilow Cancer Hospital, acknowledge the seven American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) evidence-based quality guidelines for breast and colorectal cancers.
The latest performance data for breast center is listed here.
Breast Center Members
Maryam Lustberg, MD, MPHBreast OncologyMaryam Lustberg, MD, MPH, is the director of the Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital and chief of Breast Medical Oncology at Yale Cancer Center. A medical oncologist, Dr. Lustberg says she loved science and the humanities in high school and college. “Studying biochemistry in college, I knew I didn’t want to always be in the lab and realized that the practice of medicine allowed me to take the best of science and invest in patients,” she says. “I had multiple family members over the years who had cancer and always appreciated the relationships they formed with their physicians.“ In medical school, she shadowed a breast cancer physician. “She knew her patients so well and they trusted her. It wasn’t just, ‘Here’s your treatment,’ but talking to them about their lives and their goals and their families,“ Dr. Lustberg adds. Today, Dr. Lustberg says she takes that patient-centered approach to heart. “I really enjoy the longitudinal relationships we can develop with cancer patients. Not all of our patients do well, and the losses we feel deeply, but at all stages, we can work with patients and families for a long time and I enjoy that,” she says. Dr. Lustberg treats all stages and types of breast cancer, and her research focuses on quality of life, symptom management, and toxicity. “It’s a field I am passionate about and something I can integrate in my inpatient and outpatient care,” she says. When working with a patient who has a new diagnosis of breast cancer, Dr. Lustberg says she understands that to many, they are learning a new language. “They may already have a lot of information but it may have washed over them and now it’s time to regroup after they’ve had a little time to process,” she says. “I review the diagnosis and what it means and spend a lot of time reviewing treatment options. I always emphasize that this isn’t the only time we will talk about options, as there are a lot of new ones coming out.” Additionally, Dr. Lustberg says she makes a point to stop the conversation and ensure that her patient and their family members understand what she is saying and to ask if they need her to stop, slow down, or answer additional questions. “I believe in shared decision-making and acknowledge that we as physicians can always do a better job at communicating with our patients. I will do everything I can to make sure their needs are being met,” she says.
In the News
Breast Cancer Trials
- Breast Cancer
(CompassHER2-pCR): Preoperative THP and Postoperative HP in Patients Who Achieve a Pathologic Complete Response
- Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer
A Phase 1, Multicenter, Open-Label Study to Determine the Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics, and Preliminary Efficacy of ABBV-927 and ABBV-368 With and Without ABBV-181 in Subjects With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Solid Tumors