Breast cancer patients have better outcomes when they can receive prompt care targeted to their specific diagnosis.

With that in mind, Martin Fleming, MD and Ashley Hendrix, MD, have opened a new surgical oncology clinic at Regional One Health’s East Campus to treat breast cancer, skin cancer, and melanoma. They also see patients at the hospital’s downtown campus.

“We’re excited to build the Regional One Health breast cancer program in both locations and to make it easier for surgical oncology patients to get the treatment they need,” Dr. Fleming said.

Dr. Hendrix added, “Access to care is crucial, and breaking down barriers related to location is important to increase access.” At the East Campus, 6555 Quince Rd., Dr. Fleming and Dr. Hendrix have created a clinic where patients are encouraged to actively participate in their care.

They start by doing a thorough physical exam, getting a complete description of symptoms and family history, and discussing the patient’s unique risk factors. They talk with patients about their pathology report, including the type and stage of cancer and how they reached the diagnosis. They also help patients fully understand their treatment options.

“We believe in shared decision making,” Dr. Hendrix said. “We provide information and explain the science behind our recommendation, then create a plan that melds the science to the patient’s desires.”

The East Campus clinic treats all diseases related to breast health, both benign and malignant, so Dr. Fleming and Dr. Hendrix target the conversation to each patient’s individual needs. That can include high-risk assessment, genetic screening, and genetic testing.

Then, they discuss specific treatment options, which can include surgical, medical, and radiation oncology. “The plan for each patient depends on the diagnosis,” Dr. Fleming said. “Some are more medical oncology-focused, and some are surgically focused. Some need one discipline, and some need multiple disciplines.”

“It’s important to establish the best path forward for each patient from the very beginning.”

As surgical oncologists, Dr. Fleming and Dr. Hendrix offer options from targeted minimally invasive procedures to a full mastectomy. They use state-of-the-art technology and work with a specialized nursing team to provide the most effective treatment while protecting the quality of life.

When they schedule a procedure, they ensure patients know what to expect from preparation and recovery.

“We tell patients to stay hydrated in the days before surgery and to eat a good amount of protein to be ready to heal,” Dr. Hendrix said. “A lot depends on the specific procedure, so we provide a detailed list of everything they need to know when the procedure is booked.”

They also help patients navigate other aspects of their care, from medical or radiation oncology to nutrition to rehabilitation.

“We have navigators who help patients every step along the way,” Dr. Fleming said. “We take care of the whole patient and every aspect of their journey throughout their cancer treatment.’

For appointments, call 901.515.9595.

By Kelly Josephsen