Breast Cancer Care at Its Finest. And Most Convenient.
September 15, 2021
UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center has recently expanded breast care services at its Moncrief Cancer Institute location in Fort Worth, adding more advanced imaging capabilities, increased options for clinical trials, and additional physicians with expertise in breast cancer.
The result is patient-centered breast care offered in a coordinated, cohesive, and multidisciplinary way – with most of the care delivered under one roof.
“The purpose of developing these services and growing our team is so that we could offer a more comprehensive group of services for breast care in the Fort Worth area,” says John Sweetenham, M.D., Simmons Cancer Center’s Associate Director for Clinical Affairs. “We now have a much more complete service in Tarrant County and the surrounding communities than we had before.”
He cites the imaging enhancements as one example. Previously, breast imaging services at UTSW’s Fort Worth location were limited to screening mammography. With the expansion, radiologists are now able to do diagnostic mammography and biopsies when appropriate, rather than sending patients to other locations.
Only NCI-designated center in Fort Worth
UT Southwestern is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in North Texas, as well as the only academic medical center in Fort Worth providing breast care services. In addition, UTSW is nationally ranked for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report – the highest-rated cancer center in North Texas.
“We offer the most advanced technologies and techniques available for breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment in this region,” Dr. Sweetenham notes. “Patients benefit from the knowledge and experience of an integrated team of cancer specialists that includes medical oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, therapists, and more.”
“With our recent additions to breast care services in Fort Worth, UT Southwestern is ready and able to provide the level of care that referring physicians want and expect for their patients.”
Access to clinical trials
As an NCI-designated center, Simmons Cancer Center is active in clinical trials, a characteristic that carries over into the Fort Worth breast care program as well. “We have a large number of clinical trials, and we’re committed to improving access to them in all of the communities we serve, including Fort Worth,” Dr. Sweetenham says.
As one example of a breast cancer-related trial currently available in Fort Worth, he points to the COMPASS HER2 study, which is investigating how to optimize treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. UT Southwestern physicians have been collaborating with Fort Worth community surgeons to make this clinical trial available to locally treated cancer patients.
Several additional clinical trials are available to patients and do not require travel outside of the Fort Worth area. To learn more or refer a patient to these trials, call 817-288-9863.
With the exception of surgery and radiation therapy, which are performed at UT Southwestern’s William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital in Dallas – rated the No. 1 hospital in North Texas by U.S. News – breast care patients can now receive nearly all of their care at the UT Southwestern/Moncrief Cancer Institute location in the Fort Worth Medical District. This includes imaging, medical treatments such as chemotherapy and hormonal therapy, and support services that include genetic testing, fertility preservation, and more.
“To have nearly all of the care available in one location is certainly a convenience for breast care patients, but it’s also a medical advantage in that all of a patient’s caregivers are in close proximity, which makes collaboration among them that much easier,” Dr. Sweetenham notes.
He adds: “With our recent additions to breast care services in Fort Worth, UT Southwestern is ready and able to provide the level of care that referring physicians want and expect for their patients. We offer prompt appointments too, making us a reliable partner in your patients’ care.”
Make a Referral
To refer a patient to the Simmons breast care team at Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth, call 817-288-9788.
Simmons Breast Care Services at Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth: A Summary
UT Southwestern offers a wide range of advanced breast imaging technologies in Fort Worth, including:
- 3D mammography with tomosynthesis
- High-resolution ultrasound
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Minimally invasive needle biopsy using stereotactic or ultrasound guidance
We provide the following medical treatments in private infusion rooms at Moncrief Cancer Institute:
- Hormonal therapy
- Neoadjuvant therapy
- Targeted therapy
UT Southwestern offers complementary support services for improving patients’ overall health and well-being, including:
- Dietitian services
- Fertility preservation
- Fitness training
- Genetic testing and counseling
- Mental health services
- Music therapy
- Social work services
- Spiritual support
- Support groups
Surgery and Radiation Therapy
Surgery and radiation therapy for breast cancer are offered on UT Southwestern’s main campus in Dallas. However, patients can see their physician in Fort Worth for pre- and postoperative care at Moncrief Cancer Institute.
Meet the Fort Worth Breast Care Physician Team
Ina Patel, D.O.
Dr. Patel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine’s Division of Hematology and Oncology. She specializes in breast cancer and joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2020.
Dr. Patel completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago, where she performed cancer research. After finishing medical school in Chicago, she completed a residency in internal medicine at Medical City Fort Worth, serving as Chief Resident. She received advanced training in hematology and oncology through a fellowship at Texas A&M College of Medicine.
Samira Syed, M.D.
Dr. Syed is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine. She specializes in breast cancer and has a strong clinical background in medical oncology, drug development, and clinical research.
Dr. Syed earned her medical degree at Aga Khan University in Pakistan and completed her residency in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. She then completed fellowships in hematology and oncology at Baylor College of Medicine and at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She joined the UTSW faculty in 2012.
Rachel Wooldridge, M.D.
Dr. Wooldridge is an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery’s Division of Surgical Oncology. She is also the Co-Medical Director of Simmons Cancer Center’s Genetic Counseling Program. A UTSW faculty member since 2013, she specialize in breast cancer surgery.
Dr. Wooldridge earned her medical degree at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and then completed a residency in general surgery at Basset Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York, followed by a fellowship in breast surgical oncology at UT Southwestern. Her clinical research interests include high-risk breast cancer, surgical options after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and the role of MRI in breast cancer.