The profit-for-charity Asian Breast Center (ABC) opened its doors in 2017 at the Centuria Medical Makati to the health community and breast cancer awareness advocates.
A veritable one-stop shop is now the facility of choice for women and men when it comes to their breast health and wellness.
Providing a COVID-safe environment free from in-hospital diseases and viruses, it is fitted with a spacious waiting area, consultation rooms, diagnostic rooms, a modern operating room, and recovery rooms aptly called Executive Suites, that can match the best hotels in the city for almost half the price.
As the ABC strictly adheres to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s (NCCN) guidelines, patients are assured that they are getting the same quality and standard of care similar to leading breast cancer hospitals in the United States.
Topnotch treatment is provided by ABC’s team of doctors headed by Dr. Norman San Agustin, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and founder and president of Morristown Surgical Associates at the Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey, United States.
The center believes in delivering value. By offering a holistic, comprehensive, and multi-disciplinary approach to breast care that includes prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment.
The 45-minute comprehensive consultation is already inclusive of a complete medical history assessment, Gail scoring, clinical breast exam, education on breast exam and cancer risk-reduction, cart ultrasound reading, tailored treatment plan, and options for other diagnostic procedures superior to other health providers. A whole set of experts from medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, plastic surgery, radiology, and even physical therapy can all be found at the ABC.
The center also offers some of the latest breast cancer therapy for early-stage breast cancer. One of these is the Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT), an advanced breast cancer treatment for stage 0 to 1.
Unlike other radiation therapies that radiate the whole breast and take about 33 treatments or cycles over several weeks, the IORT is done only once during the time of lumpectomy (or partial mastectomy) and targets mainly the specific area where the cancer is. When the patient wakes up from surgery, the radiation therapy is completed, and she may already be discharged or sent home, and back to work in a few days.
For diagnosis, the center has a Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) machine that can accurately detect cancer with higher accuracy and specificity versus a mammogram and is much safer than a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exam.
MRI is an expensive high-tech diagnostic test used specifically if there are inconclusive findings in the mammogram and/or breast ultrasound. Some European nations have totally banned some breast MRI tests because it uses Gadolinium-based contrast (or dye) agents that remain in the brain for many years after the scan.
The MBI uses Tc-99 sestamibi, an approved agent for breast imaging. This low-radiation-dose protocol dye is perfectly safe as it is completely secreted once the patient urinates after the exam, and so does not remain in the body. The MBI can be helpful for some women who needs but cannot endure an MRI session for reasons such as kidney failure, claustrophobia, or who have pacemakers or some other metallic implants. It is perfect for Asian women who have naturally dense breasts tissue. It also uses ultrasound equipment and an advanced digital mammography system that allows a wide variety of breast procedures with minimal discomfort to the patient.*