While the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center is noted for its focus on cancer treatment, the key word for a new affiliated clinic in Farmington Hills is "wellness".
Located in the Lawrence and Idell Weisberg Cancer Treatment Center on Northwestern Highway, the Women's Wellness Clinic offers services directed toward overall breast health. Dr. Lisa Chism, who holds a Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from Oakland University, said the clinic used to be called "the high risk clinic."
"This is a shift in focus," she said. "We want to promote taking care of women and promoting breast health as well ... We see healthy women with healthy breasts, and we do have a lot of non-cancer patients and survivors."
Dr. Jordan Maier, medical director for the Weisberg Center, said prevention is a "critical component of what we do", as well as diagnosing cancers at an early stage so treatment is less aggressive and less debilitating for patients.
"It probably has never been more emphasized as it is now," Maier said of preventative measures like PAP tests and mammograms. "I think it's where we need to focus."
Chism said a lot of women question whether they need a mammogram, and the clinic still recommends a baseline at age 40. She also teaches women how to do a breast exam, so they can pick up on any change in their breast tissue.
The best case scenario is if a mammogram picks up a lump, she said, but "the next best case is when the patient picks it up. Worst case is when the provider picks it up, because we see them less often."
One of the clinic's most appreciated services, Chism said, is being able to give women same day results of their mammograms. If there's a problem, it can be quickly evaluated, so patients have an idea what they're facing.
"I think that's huge," Chism said. "Yesterday, I heard all day how grateful women are to get their results the same day ... I assure them we're going to evaluate it thoroughly and then do what we have to do. Everything you need, we can take care of."
From the physician's point of view, Maier said, having services in one place "allows for better communication and better treatment overall. It allows doctors to work closely together to manage the care of the patient."
The Women's Wellness Clinic also helps women with other breast issues, like fibroids and cysts, Chism said, adding, "We run that full spectrum from someone with healthy breasts to someone who has been diagnosed, and survivors."
To learn more, visit karmanos.org or call 800-527-6266.