Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

Morton Plant Hospital is accredited by the National Accreditation for Breast Centers, an honor bestowed on cancer programs by the American College of Surgeons. This distinguishes our breast cancer program and its many facilities for superior patient care and our commitment to continuously improving patient outcomes through research, testing and treatment.

We offer patients multiple facilities for breast cancer care and education in the Tampa Bay area, including the Susan Cheek Needler Breast Center and the Comprehensive Breast Care Center of Tampa Bay. Both of these facilities are conveniently housed in the Axelrod Pavilion, a new, state-of-the-art facility that features a comforting, spa-like atmosphere and the latest technology in breast care. The talented team of specialists at the Comprehensive Breast Care Center of Tampa Bay is led by surgical oncologists Dr. Peter Blumencranz and Dr. Kathleen Allen.

Our breast cancer care services include, but are not limited to:

  • Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI)
  • Digital screening mammography
  • Digital diagnostic mammography
  • Minimally invasive breast biopsy
  • Regional, systemic and combination chemotherapy
  • Lymphedema rehabilitation
  • External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • Breast reconstruction (implants and natural tissue)
  • Mastectomy (partial, full, complete and total)
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy

What Is Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation?

Accelerated partial breast irradiation technology offers women a shorter, more intense course of radiation therapy following a lumpectomy. Traditional postoperative radiation therapy involves treating the entire breast with external beam radiation every day for six to seven weeks. With accelerated partial breast irradiation, a balloon catheter is inserted through the breast tissue directly into the lumpectomy bed. A radioactive source then delivers highly targeted radiation dosages through the catheter, every day for only five days. This radiation technique allows patients to complete their course of radiation in just a week.

The Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation Experience - How Does It Work?

Patients who qualify for accelerated partial breast irradiation therapy receive treatments twice a day for five days. Before each session, a pretreatment CT scan verifies that the balloon catheter is correctly inflated and positioned within the breast. Patients then go to the treatment room where their catheter is attached to a cable which is attached to a robot that houses the radioactive source that is automatically sent into the balloon. The treatment times vary from 5-15 minutes depending on the activity of the source.

These painless sessions occur in six-hour intervals and tend to take place early morning and mid-afternoon. At the end of the fifth day and 10th session, the balloon catheter is deflated and removed.

Morton Plant Hospital and Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation - Changing the Course of Cancer Treatment

Morton Plant Hospital was one of the first facilities in the Tampa Bay area to provide accelerated partial breast irradiation. The balloon catheter device received FDA approval in Fall of 2002. By February 2003, we had adopted this technique and become part of a national study to evaluate its effectiveness. Today, accelerated partial breast irradiation is no longer considered experimental and many women are benefitting from this post-lumpectomy radiation therapy.

For more information about Outpatient Services offered at Lykes Radiation Pavilion, please call (727) 462-7220.

Breast Cancer Care Facilities at Morton Plant Hospital

For a free physician referral, please call the BayCare Customer Service Center at (727) 462-7500 or find a specialist near you. Our various breast cancer care facilities in Clearwater, FL, include:

Susan Cheek Needler Breast Center        
Axelrod Pavilion
Morton Plant Hospital
400 Pinellas St., Suite 100
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 298-6670

Comprehensive Breast Care Center of Tampa Bay
Axelrod Pavilion
Morton Plant Hospital
400 Pinellas St., Suite 200
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 462-2131