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Ellis Medicine upgrades cancer treatment and options

Breast cancer awareness

Ellis Medicine upgrades cancer treatment and options

Ellis Medicine continues to upgrade its advanced cancer treatment options, staff, and equipment that
Ellis Medicine upgrades cancer treatment and options
Ellis Hospital exterior front entrance at Nott St.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

Ellis Medicine continues to upgrade its advanced cancer treatment options, staff, and equipment that Ellis administrators say rival national cancer centers.

Some of the latest developments at Ellis include the hiring of breast cancer surgeon Dr. Prathima Kanumuri, who has had fellowships in breast surgery at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT, and a research fellowship at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., among others.

Ellis Medicine will also be introducing a state-of-the-art, 3-D mammography machine at its Bellevue Woman's Center on the Troy-Schenectady Road soon after the first of the year.

Ellis Medicine, with locations in Schenectady, Niskayuna, and southern Saratoga County, uses a team approach for integrated cancer care.

"By bringing together specialists from varied fields, we can share ideas and expertise to deliver the most effective treatments for each patient's situation," says an Ellis statement.

Dr. Kanumuri, who joined Ellis late last month, specializes in breast cancer surgery.

"Being a female surgeon, I have always been passionate about women's health issues," she said.

"It is this passion that motivated me to pursue a career in breast surgery," she said. "With the tremendous advances in treatment and understanding of breast cancer, we know that more surgery is not necessarily better," Dr. Kanumuri said in a statement about her profession.

"This understanding has helped us evolve and gravitate away from disfiguring aggressive surgical approaches to one of breast conservation surgery, skin- and nipple-sparing mastectomy, sentinel lymph node biopsy, oncoplastic surgery and breast reconstruction using implants and tissue flaps," she said.

This knowledge has allowed surgeons to pay close attention to cosmetic issues without compromising oncological principles and this has ultimately improved the quality of life for breast cancer patients, she said.

Dr. Kanumuri is fellowship-trained in breast surgery and breast oncoplastic surgery. She is part of the Ellis Medical Group and sees patients with benign and malignant diseases of the breast. She will perform surgery at the Ellis campuses, which include Ellis Hospital at 101 Nott Street in Schenectady, the Bellevue Woman's Center, the McClellan Street Health Center in Schenectady, and the Medical Center of Clifton Park).

She said there have been dramatic changes in breast cancer surgery over the past two decades. She said a more personalized approach to each patient is a key to successful surgery. "Everybody is different. We tailor (the surgery) to the person," Dr. Kanumuri said.

"It's really an exciting time for the treatment of breast cancer," she said.

Dr. Kanumuri's husband is Satish Madiraju, MD, an interventional cardiologist with the Schenectady Cardiology Group. They have a three-month old daughter and live in Glenville.

Dr. Kanumuri went to medical school at Sri Ramachandra Medical College in India. She did her residency in general surgery at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass. and the breast surgery fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT. She is certified by the American Board of Surgery. She has also had fellowships at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, NY, and the North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Manhasset, NY.

"Me and my husband are very excited to be part of this community both personally and professionally and look forward to fulfilling careers in the capital region," Dr. Kanumuri said.

New Mammography Machine

The new 3-D mammography machine coming to Bellevue Woman's Center in early 2016 will provide better and more detailed detection of invasive breast cancer, said Dr. Sara P. Raymond, a radiologist at Ellis Medicine and a member of Schenectady Radiologists PC, located at 107 Nott Street in Schenectady.

Dr. Raymond is a medical doctor (she received her MD at Albany Medical College) who has specialized in radiology. She is part of the team approach to cancer detection and treatment at Ellis Medicine.

She said the approximately $400,000 mammography machine is a breakthrough in cancer detection. She said it provides a three-dimensional image of the breast and a 40 percent increase in the detection of invasive breast cancer.

"It (the new mammography machine) can detect very early stage breast cancer. It's more sensitive and more specific," Dr. Raymond said.

The new machine will be used for routine screenings, call backs, and has a biopsy option.

Dr. Raymond said Ellis does a lot of breast cancer screening at the Bellevue Woman's Center. She said there tends to be a higher rate of breast cancer in the Northeast as compared to other parts of the country.

Dr. Raymond did her residency at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, and he fellowship in radiology at the University of Virginia Health System.

During her training she has seen great strides in medical imaging that can detect "very small cancers."

Dr. Raymond was a member of a panel of medical professionals that discussed breast cancer during the Women's Night Out on Oct. 1 at Proctors theater in Schenectady featuring Sandra Lee, the television personality and longtime girlfriend of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Ms. Lee recently had successful breast cancer surgery and discussed her treatment at the well-attended event.

"Ellis really devotes itself to women's health, especially breast cancer (detection and treatment)," Dr. Raymond said. She said Ellis Medicine continues to incorporate the latest advances in imaging and breast cancer surgery in its cancer treatment programs.

"We understand the unique health care needs of women," says a Ellis statement on breast surgery.

"We offer comprehensive breast health services, including advanced diagnostic and surgical care along with the support and expertise you need for complete breast health," the statement says.

"Our goal is to detect and diagnose breast problems as soon as possible and to provide women with quality treatment options to ensure the best possible outcomes," the Ellis statement says. For more information see www.ellismedicine.org or call 518-347-5051.

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