Sunday, February 18 , 2018, 10:30 pm | Fair 52º

Your Health
A Noozhawk partnership with Cottage Health

Patients Win When Santa Barbara Breast Care Alliance Experts Team Up

The old adage of strength in numbers rings true with the Santa Barbara Breast Care Alliance (SBBCA), which brings together health-care providers from different disciplines and organizations to collaborate on individual cases.

Nationally accredited, the SBBCA provides seamless care “without walls” to breast cancer patients from the Central Coast.

“From the patient’s perspective, a diagnosis of breast cancer is so scary and the treatment options and course are so complicated that you really need a cohesive team to be able to work through that process,” said Dr. Lauren Jacobson, a Cottage Health pathologist who chairs the SBBCA.

In addition to Cottage Health, the alliance includes the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, Sansum Clinic, Pueblo Radiology Medical Group and private practices. From those groups, SBBCA draws in surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons and others. Several have fellowship training specific to breast cancer.

They meet at noon each Wednesday to weigh in on cases one at a time.

“You’ve got the community coming together every week to search for the best possible strategy for that patient,” said Dr. Fred Kass, a medical oncologist.

“Every individual treatment plan benefits from the collective wisdom and experience of practitioners whose primary focus is on state-of-the-art breast cancer treatments.”

Likewise, Jacobson calls the meetings “an incredibly powerful tool” with benefits that continue as providers consult with another through the week.

“The lines of communication are so open because of that style of practice,” she said.

Patients benefit in other ways, too. From the time of diagnosis, the alliance provides a breast-care navigator who is trained to steer the patient through treatment, disease management and recovery.

Patients can also access one of California’s biggest genetic counseling centers.

“If my family member had breast cancer, I would want them to get treatment in Santa Barbara,” Jacobson said.

Click here for more information or to schedule an appointment at one of our three convenient Breast Care Center locations.

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