Baptist Network for Cancer Care: Our Approach to a Patient’s Needs

By Morton Kahlenberg, MD, FACS
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The prevention and treatment of breast cancer is optimally achieved through a well orchestrated team approach. The Baptist Network for Cancer Care was created more than five years ago to provide Bexar County and South Texas with an efficient and compassionate model to prevent and treat breast cancer. As a result, our Breast Centers have garnered and maintained national recognition and certification of excellence through the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).

The traditional care model for cancer care has been for patients to be seen by various physicians in a step-wise manner, often waiting a significant amount of time for each appointment, insurance authorization, and any required clinical or radiologic services. Our model provides care coordination and a personalized, compassionate approach throughout each step of the care continuum.

The Baptist Network for Cancer Care provides advanced breast radiology services at multiple locations throughout San Antonio. Radiology services include digital mammography, tomosynthesis (3D mammography), ultrasound, breast MRI and image-guided biopsy.

Once an abnormal mammogram is encountered and a biopsy is required, patients are introduced to a nurse navigator. For patients who require care based on their biopsy findings, the nurse navigator becomes a personal care concierge and quarterback of care, ensuring that care from cancer specialists is provided in a timely manner. Our nurse navigators are expertly trained and certified to address all aspects and issues patients may face with the diagnosis of breast cancer. Stress and anxiety is generated by the unknown, and our nurse navigators empower patients with knowledge to help decrease anxiety and stress.

Favorable treatment outcomes from breast cancer require skilled, experienced and compassionate physicians. The Baptist Network for Cancer Care is aligned with local breast cancer physicians from experienced oncology and surgical practices. Patients are provided access to advanced surgical, medical and radiation oncology services, as well as access to national clinical trials.

Modern surgical techniques are provided by the surgical specialists in the Baptist Network for Cancer Care, including breast preserving techniques and skin- and nipple-sparing mastectomies with reconstruction. Patients have access to network plastic surgeons who offer modern reconstruction techniques including expanders and implants as well as using one’s own tissue (autologous reconstruction using DIEP, TRAM and latissimus flaps).

Gene abnormalities serve as significant risk factors for breast cancer and the Baptist Network for Cancer Care provides genetic counseling and testing services for patients and families to ensure proper treatment and possible prevention of cancer.

Baptist Health System is privileged to provide access to cancer care for San Antonio and south Texas.