What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer happens when abnormal cells grow out of control in the breast. These cancer cells can spread to nearby lymph nodes, other tissues, and parts of the body. Besides skin cancers, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. Mammograms can detect early changes in breast tissue and help catch breast cancer in its earliest, most curable stages. Talk to your doctor about when you should start getting a yearly mammogram.

You should have regular screening mammograms even if you don’t have any breast cancer symptoms. Our state-of-the-art imaging suite offers 3D mammograms.

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There are a few factors that can contribute to your risk of developing breast cancer, including family history, inherited genes (such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes), and radiation exposure. You can learn more about your specific breast cancer risk using genetic testing.

Our multidisciplinary approach to breast surgery

Alice M. Police, M.D., FACS is the Regional Director of Breast Surgery in Westchester County at the Northwell Health Cancer Institute. Known as an innovator in breast surgery, Dr. Police is now making more comprehensive care available to patients at the Northwell Health Cancer Institute here at Phelps, and at the Breast Institute at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, NY.

Dr. Police’s cutting-edge approach involves three different innovative surgical techniques, which typically have a higher likelihood of resulting in “clear margins” and offer a faster recovery time. Clear margins mean that there are no cancer cells at the outer edges of the surgical site, indicating that all the cancer has been successfully removed. These techniques use a guidance system called SAVI SCOUT. This system uses radar technology to allow for greater precision during surgery.

doctor Alice Police with one of her patients

Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) is a technique that involves a single, large dose of radiation using low-energy x-rays at the time of surgery. This approach allows the surgeon to precisely target the surgical site and helps limit radiation exposure to healthy tissue. Patients who are treated with intraoperative radiation therapy may be able to avoid 5 to 6 weeks of postoperative radiation.

Benefits of surgery using the SAVI SCOUT guidance system

information graphic: less anxiety, shorter wait time, clear margins, faster recovery, precisetechniques

Prevention is your #1 tool against breast cancer

Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer occurring in women today. Susan G. Komen advocates for the prevention of breast cancer through healthy lifestyle choices like remaining at a healthy weight, exercising, limiting alcohol and postmenopausal hormone use, and breastfeeding (if possible).


For more information, call the Northwell Health Breast Care Center of Westchester.

Take Northwell Health’s free breast cancer risk assessment.

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Breast Imaging Center of Excellence
We have been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.
We’re here to support you on every step of your journey

Your oncologist will explain all of your treatment options and create a plan for your specific needs and goals. You’ll work closely with a dedicated team of specialists in medical oncology, surgical oncology, and radiation oncology who will collaborate to ensure seamless coordination of your treatment plan.

Occupational and Physical Therapy use a holistic approach to treat patients with breast cancer pre and post-surgery. This allows for a comprehensive approach encompassing the entire body. Treatments may include: activity of daily living modification and management, exercises for strength and deconditioning, compensatory training for cognitive deficits, scar management, focus on the shoulders and scapulars, and balance retraining for neuropathy. Additionally, Phelps offers lymphedema treatment by one of our certified lymphedema therapists. Treatment may include management of lymphedema and assessment for compression garments.

We know that every patient’s cancer journey is unique. We offer a variety of support services for you and your loved ones right here at Phelps Hospital. Our support program includes oncology nurse navigators, oncology nutritionists, social workers, and others who are dedicated to coordinating your care and ensuring your needs are met. Our unique hospitality team will make sure you have a comfortable stay while you’re with us.

Explore the support program

photo of doctor alice police

“A woman can come in with a breast lump and promptly get her imaging, biopsy, surgical consultation, medical and radiation oncology consultation and genetic information completed by a team of health care professionals dedicated to providing great medicine and a great patient experience. Our approach is seamless. It decreases anxiety and gets things done so that a woman can get back to her life.”

- Dr. Alice Police