UCLA Campus    |   UCLA Health    |   School of Medicine Translate:
UCLA Health It Begins With U

UCLA Breast Center

Print
Email
Share
Revlon/UCLA Breast Center: Westwood Location, 200 UCLA Medical Plaza, Los Angeles

Multidisciplinary Program

Multidisciplinary Program at Revlon/UCLA Breast Center
Learn more about the Multidisciplinary Program at the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center »
Being diagnosed with breast cancer is often the beginning of a stressful and confusing time in a person's life.  As a way to cope with this stress, obtaining information about treatment options can be quite helpful. The UCLA/Revlon Multidisciplinary Program was developed to provide a concise, thorough, personalized treatment plan with attention focused on supporting the spirit as well as the body.

Multidisciplinary treatment is care provided by a team of specialists from different disciplines. Typically, the treatment of breast cancer involves an oncology surgeon, a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist, and occasionally a plastic surgeon. To see all these specialists at separate appointments usually takes several weeks at best. At the Revlon/ UCLA Multidisciplinary program, all of the needed specialists are available to provide their evaluations and recommendations in one afternoon. In recognition of the mind and body connection, our psychosocial team of psychologists and the Simms/Mann Integrative Oncology team also attend the program to provide support in coping techniques and advise on therapies. Input from a Genetics counselor may also be available.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in the United States. The treatment decisions for individuals with breast cancer can be complicated. Our multidisciplinary approach considers the whole patient and blends the most up-to-date cancer care with a nurturing supportive environment. We are here to walk with you through the process and beyond to the next chapter in your life. At the Revlon/ UCLA Breast Center, you are not just a patient, you are a person.

The Team

The oncology surgeon is often the first specialist seeing a breast cancer patient who just received the diagnosis. The main focus of a breast cancer surgeon is completely removing the tumor as well as sampling the lymph nodes under the arm on the side of the cancer. Staging of the tumor after surgery allows further treatment planning.

The medical oncologist provides recommendations regarding the need for pre-operative or post-operative chemotherapy as well as possible hormonal blockade therapy. A medical oncologist may be involved in long-term follow-up of breast cancer patients.

A radiation oncologist focuses on reducing the chance of local recurrence after breast cancer surgery using directed radiation therapy to the breast/ chest wall. Depending on the pathology and the patient, partial breast or whole breast treatment or other type of radiation may be recommended.  Typically, radiation treatment is daily, Monday through Friday, for six weeks. For some people, an abbreviated three-week or 5-day course may be an option. In some cases, radiation is not needed at all.

A plastic surgeon is available for consultation for women who are considering mastectomy. For many women, immediate reconstruction at the same time as mastectomy is often an option. For others, delayed reconstruction may be necessary. Implants or tissue flaps are the general reconstruction choices and the optimal reconstruction choice will be recommended for anyone who has the need as part of their personalized care plan.

A psychologist will provide individual evaluation of all breast cancer patients who attend the program in recognition of this highly stressful time. For some people, individual counseling, group, or family supportive interventions is determined to be helpful in cancer treatment.

The Simms/Mann Integrative Oncology Team is part of our psychosocial team. They provide assistance with coping mechanisms and provide numerous services free of charge to breast cancer patients. Some of the services they provide include, breast cancer support groups, meditation classes, art classes, spousal support groups, yoga, and nutritional counseling.

For some high risk patients, a referral to a genetics counselor may be recommended as well and contact information will be provided.


What to Expect

  • Patients who will benefit from the Multidisciplinary Program are those who prefer a comprehensive, yet concise, personalized treatment plan to be provided in one afternoon. In particular, patients who travel a distance to UCLA for evaluation are able to get all their recommendations in one visit.
  • The Program usually runs from 12:30 pm to 5 pm on Wednesday afternoons. Patients and their family members arrive at 12:30 pm for check-in and have a brief orientation at 1 pm.
  • Each patient and their family/ friends are then taken to an assigned exam room where they will remain for the afternoon.
  • One of the specialists is assigned as the "lead physician" for each patient.
  • Each cancer physician then rotates through over the course of 2-3 hours for the consultations. Patients are encouraged to take notes or record the consultations as they ask their questions. There is no time limitation for each consultation and each physician will remain until all questions for their discipline are answered. Depending on the treatment a patient has already received at outside facilities, not all patients need to be seen by every specialist.
  • After a patient has been seen by all needed specialists, patients and their family will be given a short break while the physicians meet in our conference room to review each person's radiological studies with the radiologist as well as the tissue slides with the pathologist. Each case is discussed and the cancer disciplines provide their recommendations for a custom treatment plan.
  • The lead physician then rejoins their assigned patient to review all the recommendations from the cancer specialists. In addition to this verbal recommendation, a written report with the recommendations is mailed within 10 business days.
  • For those patients who decide to have their breast cancer treatment at UCLA, these cancer specialists become their "team" to provide the needed multidisciplinary care in their breast cancer journey. Follow-up appointments will be tailored according to the clinical assessment of each patient.

How to Begin

  • Determine Eligibility: Patients should contact their insurance company directly to determine coverage of evaluation or 2nd opinion at the Revlon/ UCLA Breast Center. The cost of the program varies depending on the complexity of each case.
  • Obtain a UCLA identification number. This is needed to schedule an appointment. If this is a first visit to UCLA, call (310) 301-8899 to pre-register.
  • Contact the Multidisciplinary Program at the Revlon/ UCLA Breast Center at (310) 825-2144 as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. All appointments are on Wednesday afternoons.
  • Send medical records: All relevant medical records must be received at least 5-7 days prior to the appointment date. Records should include:
    • Pathology slides and reports-a complete set of the actual glass slides from any surgeries or biopsies of the breast
    • Radiographic images and coinciding reports-including mammograms, breast ultrasounds, MRI, CT or bone scans, when appropriate.
    • Blood work results within the last month
    • Records from any treatments since diagnosis-including surgery, radiation treatment or chemotherapy

We suggest mailing or delivering records directly, and not relying on a referring physician to do so. Use a company with a tracking system to ensure reliable delivery. If a patient ultimately decides to seek treatment from a non-UCLA physician, all medical records that were sent or brought to the Revlon/ UCLA Breast Center will be returned at the end of the appointment.

UCLA Rated One of the Top Hospitals in the Nation