In Israel, about 4,000 women are diagnosed each year with breast cancer. Most of these women are over the age of 50. Breast cancer in women in this age group is primarily attributed to age and “Western” standards of living. Factors include: diet, exercise, medication, and exposure to radiation. Frequently, breast cancer developed at a younger age derives from hereditary genetic mutations. One in nine women in Israel are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime, a percentage that has parallels throughout the developed world. Approximately one third of these women will not survive their fight against this malignant disease.
Nine hundred and fifty women die annually in Israel from metastatic breast cancer. This figure represents a significant improvement in the death rate compared with the death incidence 30 years ago. Early detection is a primary factor for this significant decline in death rate. Cutting-edge radiation equipment is key to early detection. Other factors include improved primary care at the diagnosis stage and improved treatment facilities. Rabin Medical Center is now focused on establishing a new centralized Breast Care facility, a focus that will help save the lives of many more women.
Rabin Medical Center offers a full range of detection, diagnostic and treatment services for breast diseases. It is one of the largest of such facilities in the country, with breast clinics on its two campuses. Approximately 3,000 women are examined each year, of which about one third are new patients. In addition, almost 8,000 mammographies for the detection of breast diseases are performed annually.
In establishing a Breast Care facility, the hosptial will centralize the different services for breast care that are currently scattered in various departments. This will facilitate faster diagnosis and enhance integrative care. The proposed Breast Care Center will expand current services by bringing together all relevant breast cancer detection, care and research services in one state-ofthe- art facility. Here, patients will have direct access to imaging and surgical services, laboratory processing, innovative treatments, and consultations designed to reduce patient anxiety and to facilitate prompt services. These integrative services will derive from the team approach that will bring together the services of surgeons, radiologists, gynecologists, plastic surgeons, geneticists, oncologists, nurse coordinators, dieticians, and psychologists.
The woman and her husband, an ultra-Orthodox couple living in the central Israel community of Kfar Khabad, were married over 40 years ago, and have been trying to have a child for nearly four decades.
Under the leadership of John J. Sciarra, MD, Ph.D., a group of fifteen OB/GYNs from across the U.S. and the Bahamas visited Israeli's Rabin Medical Center.