The multidisciplinary breast team at the University of Arizona Cancer Center and Banner – University Medicine has received accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), an American College of Surgeons’ program that holds breast centers to the highest standards of care.
“Although screening and treatment have improved, breast cancer tops all other cancer diagnoses among women in the United States,” said Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH, leader of the UA Cancer Center’s breast cancer clinical research team. “This accreditation recognizes our efforts to continually push ourselves to improve standard of care to our patients, from prevention to survivorship, to battle this common cancer.”
“This accreditation will be a beacon to new patients and an assurance to current patients that the UA Cancer Center’s breast team provides the best in cutting-edge care,” said UA Cancer Center Director Andrew Kraft, MD.
With this accreditation, Southern Arizona boasts an even more highly credentialed breast center. The UA Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center with headquarters in Arizona, and also is accredited by the Commission on Cancer.
The breast team sought NAPBC accreditation to “raise our bar a little higher,” said Beth High, MSN, breast oncology nurse navigator. “We are already known for providing excellent cancer care, but this accreditation lets patients know we have passed stringent testing. They will know when they walk in the door that it’s a top-of-the-line breast center.”
The breast team began its application in 2015, a process that has involved extensive data collection to demonstrate compliance with rigorous NAPBC standards. The process culminated with the program being granted official NAPBC accreditation following a site visit in late 2017. This accreditation will ensure that the UA Cancer Center remains at the forefront of cancer care as medicine advances.
“Breast cancer treatment is complex and rapidly evolving,” said Victor Gonzalez, MD, head of radiotherapy for the breast program. “Optimal management requires input from an entire team of specialists. From breast radiologists to surgeons to medical oncologists, each component is critical. That is why this accreditation is so important: It demonstrates that, collectively, we as a team are providing world-class care for our patients with breast cancer.”
NAPBC accreditation will help patients and their caretakers make informed decisions about where to seek care.
“After finding a breast lump, a frightened patient might scramble for guidance, and Google is a frequent first stop for information,” High said. “Many websites recommend looking for an academic-based medical center and an NAPBC-accredited center, because then you know you’re getting quality care. The UA Cancer Center’s status as an NAPBC-accredited breast center will be another pathway to lead patients to us, to give them peace of mind. This accreditation increases our visibility and credibility.”
As the UA Cancer Center breast team prepares to welcome new patients in response to this heightened visibility, its members reflect on the importance of being both patient-focused and team-focused.
“Helping patients and their families during their cancer journeys is the most rewarding aspect of my work,” said Rebecca Viscusi, MD, a UA breast team surgeon. “I am extremely fortunate to work at the UA Cancer Center with so many compassionate and intelligent people. I’m proud of the high level of care we offer our patients and proud to be part of a team that offers such an incredible resource to the community.”
For more information about the UA Cancer Center Breast Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic, please visit the UA Cancer Center website. To make an appointment at the UA Cancer Center — North Campus, call 520-694-CURE (2873). To make an appointment at the UA Cancer Center — Orange Grove campus, call 520-742-4183. To make an appointment with the UA Cancer Center Breast Imaging Center, call 520-874-MAMM (6266) or 874-6300.
About the University of Arizona Cancer Center
The University of Arizona Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center with headquarters in Arizona. The UA Cancer Center is supported by NCI Cancer Center Support Grant No. CA023074. With primary locations at the University of Arizona in Tucson and at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, the UA Cancer Center has more than a dozen research and education offices throughout the state, with more than 300 physicians and scientists working together to prevent and cure cancer. For more information: uacc.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube)