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Hospital out to reduce stress by speeding up breast cancer diagnosis

Wait times could be reduced from weeks to days under a new program at Guelph General
20160202 Guelph General Hospital Sign KA

A new initiative at Guelph General Hospital will considerably reduce the amount of time a woman will have to wait to find out whether or not she has breast cancer.

The Breast Assessment Clinic starts on July 13. Every Wednesday it will allow women whose initial screening mammogram shows abnormalities to come in and have follow up mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies done, if needed, on the same day.

"It's an initiative we've undertaken locally to allow our patients to have better, more expedited care," said Dr. Samir Patel, Guelph General's Chief of Diagnostic Imaging in an interview.

"It reduces the waiting and the stress, that's really what's driving this," Dr. Patel said.

Previously it could take up to six weeks to go through the various tests and wait for results.

Through the Breast Assessment Clinic there would be an initial mammogram done and then a maximum of six days before the other steps are all completed the next Wednesday if needed.

"You would get everything else done the following week," Dr. Patel said.

"This is about improving our patient's experience by significantly reducing their time spent wondering whether or not they have cancer," he said. "It's also about providing the best possible care should cancer be found."

The sooner a diagnosis is made, the sooner treatment can begin, Dr. Patel said.

The clinic is held every Wednesday and an appointment requires a referral from a physician.