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Beebe Center for Breast Health Aims to Prevent Cancer through Patient-Centered Approach 

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Dr. Diana Dickson-Witmer breast surgeon at Beebe

 

By Dr. Diana Dickson-Witmer

The patient is us.

My name is Diana Dickson-Witmer, MD, FACS, breast surgical oncologist, board certified in Surgery, at Beebe Center for Breast Health, and I want you to know that there is more to Women's Health care than surgery and other treatment for cancer.

Throughout my career, one of the things I have always tried hard to keep in mind is that the patient is us. We, the providers, are going to be in the same position, maybe not with the same diagnosis, but if we live long enough, we will eventually sit in the patient's chair. We always need to treat the patient exactly the way we would want to be treated ourselves. We, as patients, will expect to be listened to, to be respected, and to have our priorities factored into the creation of a patient-centered treatment plan.

I joined Beebe Healthcare because the health system has a clear vision for the future. It will provide the very best healthcare in Sussex County with a focus centered on patients. I am excited to join this growing, forward-looking institution, and to be given the extraordinary opportunity to play a leadership role in development of the next generation of healthcare in Sussex County and beyond.

The Women's Health group at Beebe is also very interested in prevention of cancers. Not everyone can do things that will prevent a breast cancer from happening, but there are modifiable risk factors, and it's a lot better to prevent a cancer from ever happening than to treat even an early stage cancer.

Together, with Dr. Roseanne Gichuru and other members of Women's Health team, we will work to help inform the public about how each woman can estimate her personal risk of developing breast cancer, and what she can do to reduce that risk. We will be creating a Breast Cancer Prevention Program that will facilitate appropriate surveillance of women at greater than 20% lifetime risk of breast cancer, and of making appropriate referrals to genetic counseling or to specialists to consider tamoxifen for risk reduction. The aim of these efforts is to reduce the risk of breast cancer wherever possible and to find breast cancer at an early stage should it occur.

Everyone here at Beebe is committed to this patient-focused approach, and I'm proud to have joined this team and to have the opportunity to lead the expansion of the center to provide even more services to the people of Sussex County and surrounding areas.

To learn more about the Beebe Center for Breast Health, visit www.beebehealthcare.org/services/oncology/breast-health.

 

More about Dr. Dickson-Witmer:

Dr. Dickson-Witmer began seeing patients in March at Beebe’s Tunnell Cancer Center and Beebe’s South Coastal Cancer Center. Call 302-645-3332 to make an appointment.

Dr. Dickson-Witmer joins Beebe with decades of experience and expertise in the field of breast surgery. In addition, Dr. Dickson-Witmer is known for her trailblazing work in the field of breast surgery – setting the standard and developing the programs to train future surgeons in the field.

In 1994, she introduced stereotactic breast core needle biopsy to Delaware, and trained radiologists and surgeons in the technique. She also introduced sentinel node biopsy to the Delaware valley in 1999.

She has been featured in numerous medical publications, given hundreds of presentations, and served on three medical missions, one in Africa and two in Central America.

Previously, Dr. Dickson-Witmer was the Medical Director of the ChristianaCare Breast Center at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, where she chaired the weekly breast tumor conference.

Dr. Dickson-Witmer is an expert member of the newest American College of Surgeons Program, the Cancer Surgery Standards Program. She is also a member of several national professional organizations and committees and is the Delaware state chair for the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. She was also a founding board member of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, serving from 1996-2009, and was the inaugural recipient of DBCC’s Shining Lights Award in 2014.