New breast cancer treatments highlighted at lecture presented by AVH Foundation |

New breast cancer treatments highlighted at lecture presented by AVH Foundation

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Deborah Breen, President & CEO Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation

On May 24th, Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation (AVHF) presented “Multidisciplinary Treatment of Breast Cancer” as part of the new “Surgical Grand Rounds” lecture series. This lecture was produced with Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH) surgeons Drs. Les Fraser and Joseph Livengood, with special support from the Hotel Jerome and an anonymous donor.

The lecture was well-attended by both community members and area clinicians, and was presented by Dr. Fraser as well as Dr. Armando Armas, medical oncologist; Drs. Bruce Green and David Marcus, radiation oncologists; and Drs. Jennifer Butterfield and Jason Martin, plastic surgeons. With one in eight American women developing invasive breast cancer in her lifetime, our community should understand the scope of diagnostic and treatment options available.

Early detection is still the best prevention and AVH has state-of-the-art 3D mammography technology to ensure images have the greatest clarity. According to Dr. Lora Barke, a radiologist and fellowship trained breast imaging specialist who is on the AVH and Invision Sally Jobe Imaging Center medical staffs, “The whole point of screening mammography is to find cancer before it can be felt as a lump, before it has a chance to spread to lymph nodes and other tissues.”

Dr. Barke, along with other radiology breast specialists based out of Denver who are at AVH on a weekly basis, read all mammograms completed at AVH. In fact, scans from around the state are read by these experts and when they are at AVH, patients who are having their mammograms at Sally Jobe and other medical centers from around the state are having their scans read here in Aspen. In addition to mammography, AVH also houses an arsenal of other diagnostic imaging technology should further testing be needed, including breast ultrasound and breast MRI capabilities. Further, once the next phase of hospital construction is completed, there will be a dedicated women’s imaging center, enabling AVH to augment its already robust breast program with stereotactic breast biopsy capabilities.

As patients begin their journey, a dedicated nurse navigator helps guide them. Receiving this personalized support makes a big difference as patients cope with their diagnosis. The AVH nurse navigator can help to decode medical jargon, coordinate appointments, and provide emotional support. For patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, knowing the next steps and having complete information on treatment options is extremely important. Oncologist Dr. Douglas Rovira works closely with patients who have been diagnosed, and helps coordinate care with other specialists from breast surgeons, to radiologists, to radiation oncologists, to pathologists and plastic surgeons. If surgery is needed, it can be performed at AVH by Dr. Les Fraser, a general surgeon who specializes in minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery and in breast surgical procedures, such as lumpectomies and mastectomies.

AVH is leveraging state-of-the-art technology, local medical expertise and even telemedicine capabilities to ensure the best possible diagnostic tools, treatment options and support systems are available for patients facing breast cancer. Nancee Dodge, AVH Nurse Practitioner in Oncology sums it up well by saying, “People don’t want to uproot their lives to obtain the same care that they can receive at home.”

This update is brought to you by Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation. For more information about the Campaign for Aspen Valley Hospital, visit our website: