The Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital

The Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven is a National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center recognized for excellence in patient care and outcomes.  A great deal of progress in the detection and treatment of breast cancer has been made in recent years, and our physicians are on the leading edge of finding even better solutions.

The Breast Center offers coordinated, state-of-the-art care for patients with benign and malignant diseases of the breast. An interdisciplinary team of specialists provides dedicated personalized care, innovative treatment options and cutting edge research.  Our team of physician specialists include radiologists, breast surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and plastic surgeons.

Breast Imaging

The breast imaging center performs screening and diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasounds, MRI and digital tomosynthesis examinations. Digital tomosynthesis creates a three-dimensional picture using breast x-rays that allow our radiologists to look very closely at the breast tissue, minimizing the need for repeat mammograms. In addition, we offer ultrasound, and 3-Tesla breast MRI performed by our radiologists who are recognized as leaders in their field.

Breast and Reconstructive Surgery

The surgeons at the Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital perform breast surgery exclusively and are nationally known as pioneers in the development of non-invasive procedures like sentinel lymph node biopsy, intraoperative guidance by ultrasound, and advanced oncoplastic procedures. Our surgeons are experts in skin-sparing and nipple-sparing mastectomy and often work hand-in-hand with our plastic surgeons to offer a variety of options for breast reconstruction.

Reconstructions are customized to best fit the goals and lifestyle of the patient. Procedures vary from placement of a simple implant to elaborate reconstructions using natural tissue from the abdomen or back, such as TRAM or DIEP flap reconstruction. The goal is to achieve the highest chance for cure with the best possible cosmetic result and quality of life for our patients.

Medical Oncology

Medical oncology involves drug therapy, such as chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy. Our medical oncologists are known for their unique expertise in breast cancer. They utilize both standard approaches and cutting-edge biological or targeted therapies that attack the cancer while avoiding harm to normal tissues.

Our medical oncologists continue to study innovative new treatments, and patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital have the opportunity to receive such novel therapies through clinical trials not available elsewhere in Connecticut.

All new cases are discussed weekly by the breast cancer medical oncologists so that every patient benefits from the combined expertise of the entire group. In addition, our medical oncologists provide second opinions for patients from around the U.S. and other countries.
Patients can receive care at Smilow Cancer Hospital in New Haven or at one of our Smilow Care Centers, located throughout Connecticut. Patients receive the same high quality care in the most convenient setting for them.

Radiation Therapy

Treatment with radiation is an integral part of therapy for many breast cancer patients today. Smilow Cancer Hospital’s Radiation Therapy Center has state-of-the-art facilities in New Haven and renowned physician expertise and leadership in radiation oncology.

Pathology

One of the most important elements of modern breast cancer treatment is the pathologic evaluation of tumors, and increasingly, the ability to profile tumors allows patients access to novel treatments that may be most effective for treating their particular tumor. Smilow Cancer Hospital has one of the finest pathology departments in the country, complete with a high-level tumor profiling service. In our Tumor Board conferences, pathologists carefully review the characteristics of each patient’s tumor and help the clinical team to define an optimal treatment strategy for the individual patient.

Genetic Counseling and Testing

Our team of graduate-trained and board certified genetic counselors assist patients with navigating insurance pre-authorization, pre- and post-test counseling. They ensure that the correct test is ordered and that it is interpreted accurately. In addition, our genetic counselors work closely with our breast and gynecologic oncologists who can provide options for patients at high-risk.

Patient Support Services

The Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital places great emphasis on taking care of all of our patients’ needs, including supportive care services.  

The onsite Cingari Family Boutique offers products to meet the special needs of people with cancer -- like head wraps and wigs -- and services that address the body image changes experienced during breast cancer treatment.

Learn more about breast cancer patient support services