300 20th Ave N Nashville TN United States 37203
Few things are more frightening than a diagnosis of breast cancer. Not only is a woman suddenly concerned about survival, she worries about her family, her responsibilities and even her physical identity. Oncologist breast surgeon Pat Whitworth and the Nashville Breast Center team are making that journey considerably less terrifying.
“First, most patients with breast cancer are cured and go on to live normal lives. Furthermore, most patients do not need chemotherapy. We have molecular genomic tumor profiling to tell us who benefits from chemotherapy and who doesn’t. So we prescribe chemotherapy only for those patients who have a potentially life-saving benefit”.
Preservation and even enhancement of physical appearance are now a key part of treatment. Working closely with the plastic surgeon, Dr Whitworth incorporates onco-plastic surgery principles for each patient. For lumpectomy the breast is restored with a lift procedure (including the opposite breast for symmetry) when needed. For mastectomy the skin and often the nipple are preserved; the glandular tissue is replaced with an implant or other tissue, making it difficult or impossible to know a mastectomy has been done.
“Our guiding principle is to match the treatment to the patient, considering her spiritual, emotional and physical identity as well as the ideal curative approach”.
Dr Whitworth specialized in surgical oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center; he has served as Vice Chair for breast research for the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group and Chair of the Board of Directors for the American Society of Breast Surgeons.