Richmond clinic simplifies care for women with breast cancer

RICHMOND, Va. -- There is a new one-stop shop for breast cancer patients at Massey Cancer Center at Stony Point. The Breast Cancer Collaborative Care Clinic opened for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

"Seems like it reduced some of the stress and anxiety to be able to have every single provider on the same page and be able to get that full scope of your care in a single day," surgical oncologist Kandace McGuire said.

Karen Davis got her routine mammogram back in November and was told to come back for a second one.

"When they called me back, I didn't even think about breast cancer. It was just this thought that maybe they didn't get enough images,” Davis recalled.

But it turned out to be early stage breast cancer.

Karen chose to go through the new collaborative care clinic.

It proved to be more convenient for the 48-year-old woman who lives in Emporia and works in Chesterfield.

"It was very assuring for me to know everything I had to look forward to in one day," Davis said.

The clinic works like this.

Once a patient gets a breast cancer diagnosis, they meet first with a nurse practitioner who walks the patient through the process.

Then typically, the following week, the patient meets a social worker and then a meeting with the three physicians - the surgeon, the medical, and radiation oncologists - all on the same day.

Much different from the traditional model for breast cancer care.

"Really the onus is put on the patient to make their separate appointments unless their primary care does it for them. So, they don't really look at the full scope of their care for sometimes several weeks to months," Dr. McGuire said.

Currently, the Breast Cancer Collaborative Care Clinic is only at Massey Cancer Center at Stony Point.

There are plans to expand it to downtown in May.