Katie Fritz, MD FACS
Hannah Caulfield, MD
“You have breast cancer.” That is the last thing you would want to hear from your doctor. Roughly 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. But no matter your level of understanding, being told you have breast cancer can suddenly turn your whole world upside down. The diagnosis of breast cancer can have lasting effects on not only you, but also your family and friends who are closest to you. During this time you may find it difficult to listen, understand, and even remember to what you are being told. The diagnosis of cancer is hard to hear, but being a survivor can be life changing. In this time of emotional turmoil, it is important to have a supportive team of family members, friends, and experts who can help you deal with these emotions. They will help you navigate the journey through diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately the path to becoming a survivor.
Portneuf Cancer Center physicians and staff have the expertise, skills, and tools to provide state-of-the-art technology and treatment. All patient cancer care and services are located right here under one roof: medical oncology, radiation oncology, infusion therapy, financial counselors, social workers, and a cancer nutritionist. Our Combined Breast Cancer Clinic was established specifically to meet the needs of our breast cancer patients by providing experts from all three disciplines in one clinic visit. Newly diagnosed patients schedule one appointment to meet collectively with their surgeon, radiation oncologist and medical oncologist. At that single appointment, the medical team discusses appropriate treatment options and develops individualized treatment plans tailored to the patient’s specific diagnosis and unique concerns. Our team of cancer experts is there to answer patient’s questions concerning surgery and post-operative care, radiation and oncology treatments, as well as to provide other necessary resources.
Like other major cancer facilities, Portneuf Cancer Center follows the published guidelines for cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment as established by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). The NCCN guidelines set the standard of care for the treatment of cancer patients. Collectively, our highly skilled multidisciplinary team recognizes that the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of breast cancer is very personal. Our goal is to help you understand your treatment options so that together we can decide on the best treatment plan for you.
The combined breast cancer clinic significantly reduces the amount of time between diagnosis and treatment. It provides a one-stop place to meet your cancer care team and offers each patient a clear overview and understanding of their diagnosis and treatment. For those who travel from outside of Pocatello, it cuts travel time and associated costs.
In addition to our unique and individual patient-physician appointments, the entire Cancer Center team meets weekly. This meeting includes social workers, dieticians, radiation therapists, physicians and nursing staff. We meet to discuss every patient on therapy and identify problems that may arise, including medical and social issues. Each month, we hold a specialized tumor board specifically for breast cancer. The tumor board members include radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, hematologists, surgeons, pathologists and radiologists. We review both routine and unusual cases, including radiographic images and pathology, to develop and confirm general treatment plans for each individual patient. Using a peer review process, we can guarantee the highest level of care and the best possible outcome. A team approach to cancer treatment is vital to ensuring that nothing goes unnoticed.
Collectively, our multidisciplinary team of physicians recognizes that the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of breast cancer is very personal. Our goal is to help you understand your diagnosis and options, so that together, we can decide on the best treatment plan for you.