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Kaleida Opens Breast Care Center

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – A brand new Breast Care Center has opened at the Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo. Kaleida Health began creating the center last October, and Thursday it was officially opened on the fifth floor of the hospital.

Amy Starck, 29, of Buffalo was treated last January before the Center was even completed after discovering a lump on her breast. But Starck says thanks to the Breast Center's quick diagnosis, she knew the lump was benign before waking up from her surgery.

"I knew every procedure as it was happening," Starck said. "Before I went into surgery the doctor came out and talked to me while I was in the waiting room. He talked me through the procedure until I went under and he was there when I woke up."

Breast surgeon and center director, Dr. Kenneth Eckhert, says diagnosing and treating breast cancer will now take just days instead of weeks, eliminating the anxiety for patients and families.

"We are not making it an emergency, but there is no reason that we should be delaying the process," Eckhert said. "The process should not take five weeks or more for a woman who is living in fear to find out she has something that is benign."

Patients will need a referral from their HMOs in order to be treated at the new center.

It includes state-of-the-art mammography equipment. Dr. Lisa Hansen, a mamographer, says the center offers both a breast imaging radiologist and breast surgeon. Hansen says there is also a new biopsy suite equipped with a special table.

"It means a woman can lie on her stomach and doesn't see you doing the biopsy underneath," Hansen explained. "So the chance of fainting is practically zero and I don't know of anyone who has fainted."

Since health experts say a woman's chance of developing breast cancer in her life time is one-in-eight, the Breast Health Care Center will also conduct genetic testing.

Leaders say the center will provide more comfort, more compassion and an accurate diagnosis.