Dr. Douglas Duven made the transition from full-time general surgeon to a practice devoted to breast care in 2003. He felt there was a need for increased coordination of care and long-term follow-up for breast patients.

“Establishing the Cedar Valley Breast Care Center gives the patient a central contact point for routine follow-up, as well as nurses to contact starting at the time of diagnosis, surgery and follow-up treatments,” he says.

“After participating with the American Society of Breast Surgeons in several conferences and meeting people there, I learned how to improve the quality and timeliness of care.”

Dr. Duven is a strong proponent of one of the latest breast cancer screening technologies, digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) or 3D breast imaging, which takes multiple images from different angles and provides a much clearer and more accurate image of breast tissue. Digital mammography allows manipulation by the radiologists to closely examine areas of interest or concern on the mammogram.

Dr. Duven uses ultrasound examination to evaluate the breast tissue as needed. Ultrasound imaging visualizes the tissue differently than mammography, providing more information.

He offers fine-needle aspiration biopsy as well as ultrasound-guided core biopsy at the Breast Care Center. Biopsies utilizing mammographic tomosynthesis imaging are also available for abnormal findings that are not seen well by ultrasounds. Tissue biopsy reports are typically available in three business days.

“Women have become more educated about their own breast health, and this has caused an increase in patients seeking care at the Breast Care Center for evaluations and education,” Dr. Duven says.

The Cedar Valley Breast Care Center also sees patients who are at high-risk for breast cancer. These patients may qualify for genetic testing, which has improved as well, and now requires a simple saliva specimen. Some women who are at high-risk need close surveillance, which is offered and coordinated at the center.

“Our cancer patients are provided with the information and education to make the best treatment decisions for themselves,” Dr. Duven says. “Treatment is individualized for the patient. We also like to remind the public that we are the Breast Care Center, not the breast cancer center. We do provide care for patients with benign (non-cancerous) breast conditions.”

The American Cancer Society’s statistics show that invasive breast cancer will develop in one in eight women during her lifetime, although men are not immune from the disease. Early detection provides the best opportunity for cure.