WESTCHESTER, N.Y. -- A new level of breast cancer care has arrived in Westchester County at the recently opened NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital Cancer Center. Dr. Carolyn Wasserheit, a medical oncologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital and Director of Breast and Gynecologic Cancer Projects at the newly-opened NYP/Lawrence Cancer Center, is spearheading several specialized cancer programs to improve the health and quality of life for women with breast cancer and the growing number of survivors of the disease.
“NYP/Lawrence Cancer Center is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, which holds our breast cancer programs to the highest standards of care,” said Dr. Wasserheit, an Assistant Professor of Medicine with the faculty of NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Westchester and Columbia University Medical Center. “In addition to providing a full range of care to breast cancer patients, we are dedicated to supporting breast cancer survivors with programs that address pertinent issues related to their long-term survival including bone health, cardiac health, and oncofertility.”
Many breast cancer survivors take long-term hormonal therapies that can negatively affect their bone health and result in bone diseases such as osteoporosis and osteopenia. “At NYP/Lawrence Cancer Center we have a multidisciplinary team of specialists who will devise an individualized plan for a breast cancer survivor who is deemed at risk for bone disease,” said Dr. Wasserheit. “This may include measuring bone density levels and treating the disease with appropriate therapies.” As developments continue to evolve in this field, Dr. Wasserheit and her team will guide breast cancer patients with the latest approaches to preserve their bone health.
Heart disease remains the greatest health risk in women, including breast cancer survivors. “As more breast cancer survivors are living out their full life expectancies, many are at increased risk for heart disease,” explained Dr. Wasserheit. “This is due to one or a combination of factors, including the long- term or late-term cardiotoxic effects of the breast cancer treatment, the patient’s own risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or simply the fact that she’s getting older. Our cardiac health program identifies women who are at high risk for heart disease and offers a personalized approach to address their unique needs. We will be collaborating with cardiologists at Columbia University who have a specific interest in cardio-oncology to create guidelines that will be implemented here at NYP/Lawrence Cancer Center.”
Cancer therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery may impact a woman’s fertility, leading to ovarian failure, early menopause or other reproductive problems. Dr. Wasserheit plans to establish an oncofertility program at NYP/Lawrence Cancer Center to address these issues in women with breast cancer. “Some women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer wish to preserve their fertility, so we want to help them achieve this goal,” she said. “We work closely with reproductive endocrinologists who are experienced in the fertility preservation of cancer survivors.”
Dr. Wasserheit is thrilled to bring high-level comprehensive cancer care to women living in Westchester County. “Our multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists engage in shared decision making to develop an individualized plan of care for each patient,” she said. “We frequently consult with faculty at Columbia University Medical College, many of whom are world class experts in the field, to discuss our most complicated cases.”
“My true passion is giving the best possible care to my patients,” she continued. “Our Cancer Center is a wonderfully warm community environment where I can sit down with my patients, answer their questions, and help make their cancer experience less fearful for them,” said Dr. Wasserheit. “Every patient deserves her own individualized care plan with shared decision making, and I’m glad to be in a place where this is encouraged.”
To make an appointment with Dr. Wasserheit please call 914-787- 3100. Learn more about NYP/Lawrence Cancer Center.