With state-of-the-art detection, treatment and technology for women in every stage of breast health, the MemorialCare Breast Center at Long Beach Medical Center is dedicated to advancing the care, and early diagnosis, of breast cancer.
The Breast Center treats a wide range of patients and tailors each visit to fit the unique needs of each individual.
When entering the Breast Center, patients are sent to a private waiting area where they will find personal lockers for their belongings and dressing rooms where they can change into a comfortable robe rather than a paper gown.
For women who have found a lump in their breast or think they might have cancer, the patient experience is unique. Women who are in treatment for breast cancer or those who think they have breast cancer have a separate dressing area than those there for routine screenings. This eases anxieties about upcoming procedures.
“These women go in thinking the worst and that’s never pleasant,” says Sandy Lopez, program director, MemorialCare Breast Center, Long Beach Medical Center. “At the Breast Center, patients enter a vibrant living room-like waiting area, and slip into a comfortable robe, where they can forget about their fears and relax without the typical discomforts of a hospital environment.”
The spa-like environment provides a non-clinical feel and makes patients more comfortable before seeing a physician and having their diagnostic work-up done.
The Todd Cancer Pavilion was designed with the entire patient experience in mind. Upon entering the building patients are greeted at a concierge style desk where they can check in and speak to someone who helps guide them to the appropriate area. This creates a more inviting atmosphere that rids patients of the stereotypical “hospital feel.”
Once a patient has checked in for their appointment, they are escorted throughout the Breast Center by dedicated care team members. The care team is there to help calm nerves and ease uncertainties.
Changing a patient’s frame of mind is meant to take their focus away from the traditional experience associated with mammograms and breast cancer screening procedures, which in turn reduces stress.
At the Breast Center, there are various programs and support systems in place to help guide patients throughout their journey.
Women Guiding Women: Cancer Support & Education consists of a mentoring program where breast cancer survivors are trained to mentor newly diagnosed women with lifestyles similar to theirs, who they can help guide through their cancer journey. While each woman’s cancer journey is unique, newly diagnosed women are paired with a mentor with a similar diagnosis and treatment plan. Mentors serve as additional emotional support before, during and after treatment.
In addition to the mentoring program, Breast Center patients are paired with a social worker and nurse navigator to help explain diagnoses and answer every question. This allows patients to successfully be treated and comprehend the clinical aspects of treatment, while keeping communication open to making sure that everyone is on the same page during a patient’s unique care plan.
With the added support and multi-disciplinary care, MemorialCare Breast Center patients can rest assured that they have a strong team behind them that care about their well-being and state of mind.
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