WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- A new era of individualized breast cancer care has arrived in upper Westchester and the Hudson Valley addressing the unique needs of breast cancer patients.
Thanks to advances in research and the development of targeted medicines, medical oncologists at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital’s Cheryl R. Lindenbaum Comprehensive Cancer Center provide treatment tailored to the tumor type, leading to increased survival and quality of life.
“In recent years we have learned that breast cancer can be divided into three types, and each type responds best to different therapies,” said Dr. Martin Oster, a medical oncologist with ColumbiaDoctors, the faculty practice of Columbia University Medical Center, who practices at both NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley and the National Cancer Institute-designated Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NYP/Columbia University Medical Center. “We now treat each breast cancer patient based on the tumor type, which raises the chance of a cure.”
The three types of breast cancer are distinguished by the protein “markers” on the breast cancers’ cells, which are either estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) receptors. Treatment may involve hormone therapy, chemotherapy or targeted therapy. Unlike chemotherapy, which kills fast-growing cells in the body, targeted therapy is specific to the particular cancer, and spares the rest of the body.
“Knowing a patient’s type of breast cancer early helps us to develop the most effective treatment strategy and guides us throughout the patient’s treatment,” said Dr. Oster who has cared for patients with breast cancer and cancers of the head and neck for the past 40 years. Additionally, knowing the type can help doctors choose the best possible medications to treat patients whose breast cancer has recurred or metastasized. “Targeted therapy is also used to treat metastatic breast cancer, which helps improve a patient’s length and quality of life,” said Dr. Oster.
At NYP Hudson Valley Hospital, breast cancer patients receive individualized, comprehensive care from a multidisciplinary team of disease-focused breast cancer specialists that includes medical oncologists, breast surgeons, radiation oncologists and pathologists. Support services including wellness services, breast cancer support groups, cancer support groups and caregiver resources are available to patients and their families. “Our goal is to provide the best possible treatment to patients in a welcoming and supportive environment,” said Dr. Oster. “Our patients feel the warmth and compassion of a community hospital and know they are receiving the same treatment as from a major medical center in Manhattan.”
To make an appointment with Dr. Oster, call 914-293-8400. Learn more about the Cheryl R. Lindenbaum Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital.