Treating and Beating Cancer in Women


The Cancer Center at New York Hospital Queens is a collaborative of all the health care disciplines involved in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It has distinguished itself by consistently earning the approval of The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. The Commission establishes standards to ensure the quality of cancer care in health care settings and is the foremost accrediting body for cancer care programs.

Leading in breast care

The hospital’s Breast Center is the largest provider of breast health services in Queens. In its commitment to its patients, the staff
concentrates on more than the woman’s diagnosis. “Too many cancer centers focus exclusively on the clinical side of care. They forget that all aspects of a woman’s life, including her family and career, are impacted by the changes a cancer diagnosis imposes,” says Karen S. Karsif, M.D., director of the Breast Center. “Here at New York Hospital Queens, we have everything a comprehensive breast care center should have – the highest levels of technology, the most advanced research, and genetic counseling for high-risk patients – and we also provide a tremendous level of heartfelt compassion and care to each of our patients.”

Targeting gynecologic cancers

While strong public education efforts have helped to raise awareness of breast cancer, many women are unaware that
gynecologic cancers also pose significant health risks. “We offer comprehensive care for all gynecologic cancers,” assures Marie Welshinger, M.D., director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at New York Hospital Queens. “When surgery is needed, we use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible, to reduce post-operative pain, scarring, and recovery times. We find, for example, that fewer adhesions form following laparoscopic surgery, a minimally invasive procedure for endometrial cancer.

Another major benefit of minimally invasive surgery is that, for cervical and ovarian cancers, it has the potential to preserve a woman’s post-surgical fertility, if the cancer is caught in its earliest stages.”

World-class radiation oncology

Radiation oncology plays a major role in the treatment of women’s cancers.

“We are continually refining the ways we treat breast and gynecologic cancers,” says world-renowned radiation oncologist Dattatreyudu Nori, M.D. Dr. Nori is professor and chairman of Radiation Oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College and director of The Cancer Center at New York Hospital Queens. He was one of the developers of computerized brachytherapy, or radiation seed implants.

Some breast cancer patients can be treated with radiation alone and do not need chemotherapy. “An important breakthrough in the advancing field of radiation oncology was the development of image-guided radiation therapy,” Dr. Nori reports, “and New York Hospital Queens is the first in the area to have this incredible tool. We can now target the highest possible dose of external beam radiation directly to a tumor while sparing healthy tissue.” Dr. Nori notes that brachytherapy can be highly effective in the treatment of gynecological cancers. He adds that New York Hospital Queens has one of only six dedicated brachytherapy centers in the country. “And because we are pioneers in this field, patients come to Queens from all over the world for brachytherapy.”

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