Noted breast surgeon Alice M. Police, MD, FACS, has joined the Northwell Health Cancer Institute as regional director of breast surgery in Westchester County. Widely recognized as a game-changer in the surgical treatment of breast cancer, Dr. Police is now accepting patients at the Northwell Health Cancer Institute at Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow and The Breast Institute at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, further strengthening the comprehensive teams of medical, surgical and radiation oncologists at both facilities.
Based on her patients’ needs, Dr. Police offers access to three innovative surgical technologies to provide treatment for those needing breast cancer surgeries, resulting in faster recovery, in most cases. Her approach has a higher likelihood of achieving “clear margins” in a single breast surgery, meaning that there are no cancer cells at the outer edge of the breast tissue removed during surgery – an important indicator that all the cancer has been removed.
“A patient can literally have breast cancer one week and not by the following week,” said Dr. Police. “We are developing a comprehensive breast program at Phelps and Northern Westchester hospitals that cuts through the typical bureaucratic process so a woman can get her treatment started quickly. A woman can come in with a breast lump and promptly get her imaging, biopsy, surgical consultation, medical and radiation oncology consultation and genetic information completed by a team of health care professionals dedicated to providing great medicine and a great patient experience. Our approach is seamless. It decreases anxiety and gets things done so that a woman can get back to her life.”
Dr. Police uses a surgical guidance system called SAVI SCOUT, which is a surgical guidance system and the first-ever application of radar technology in the human body. The use of SAVI SCOUT allows for greater precision during breast cancer surgery so that less healthy tissue is removed. The Northwell Health Cancer Institute also offers the state-of-the-art breast procedure for women undergoing surgical breast biopsies or lumpectomies at 16 hospitals, surgical locations and outpatient radiology facilities on Long Island.
A margin probe provides a real-time intraoperative margin assessment, which gives Dr. Police critical information while the patient is still in the operating room. If the margins are not clear, the problem can be addressed in real time rather than requiring the patient to return for a second surgery. By comparison, initial surgeries performed in the traditional way require a second surgery in up to 25 percent of patients. When the initial surgery is done using the margin probe, the percentage of patients requiring a second surgery is generally in the single digits.
Working with her radiation oncology colleagues, Dr. Police also uses another surgical tool called intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), which targets small cancers. This may allow the patient to be treated only once, preventing the need for three weeks of follow-up radiation therapy.
“We are excited to offer this state-of-the-art treatment for breast cancer,” said Daniel Blum, president & CEO of Phelps Hospital. “Now there is no need for women who live in Westchester to travel to Manhattan or elsewhere to receive the best possible diagnosis and care. Dr. Police is among the finest breast surgeons in the nation and we are fortunate to have her join our team here at Northwell.”
Marla Koroly, MD, FACP, senior vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at Northern Westchester, considers Dr. Police’s approach to patient care just as significant as her skill as a surgeon. “Dr. Police brings a comprehensive and forward-thinking approach to breast cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr. Koroly. “Just as importantly, she has incorporated her understanding of the mental and emotional impact of the fear of having breast cancer into her practice, which is designed to remove barriers and streamline care. This is extremely meaningful to patients.”
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Police and her team, call 1-833-WBREAST (1-833-927-3278).
The Northwell Health Cancer Institute diagnoses and treats more than 16,000 new cancer patients annually at facilities throughout the metropolitan area. In addition to Phelps, the Cancer Institute has outpatient locations in Lake Success, Bay Shore, Huntington and Glen Cove, as well as hospital-based programs at Northern Westchester, Lenox Hill in Manhattan, North Shore University in Manhasset, Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Medical Center in New Hyde Park, LIJ Forest Hills, Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park and Staten Island University Hospital.
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