Breast Centers at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Are Manhattan's First To Be Accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers

Accreditation Program Recognizes Centers That Offer Patients State-of-the-Art Treatment Options, Including Clinical Research Trials

Oct 13, 2011


NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and its two affiliated medical colleges — Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medical College — have the only two breast centers in Manhattan that are fully accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).

The American College of Surgeons–administered accreditation is given to those centers that demonstrate "a firm commitment to offer[ing] patients every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease." NAPBC-accredited programs must provide state-of-the-art treatment options, including through clinical research trials; must take a multidisciplinary team approach; offer community outreach and professional education; and undertake quality-improvement initiatives.

Over the past 25 years, there have been many significant advances in the treatment of breast cancer — many of which were pioneered by physician-scientists at NewYork-Presbyterian and its academic affiliates, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medical College. Surgeons at the breast centers are among the first to perform total skin-sparing, nipple-sparing mastectomy, which helps improve the aesthetic outcome of reconstructive surgery. They were also among the first to use sentinel node biopsy, which limits the number of lymph nodes that need to be removed to determine if a tumor has spread. In addition, breast center surgeons are among only a few worldwide to perform bone marrow examination at the time of surgery to rule out micro-metastatic disease, and are among the first to offer intraoperative radiofrequency ablation to reduce the possibility of patients requiring additional surgery. The breast centers have also been leaders in oncoplastic surgery — the removal of cancerous tumor combined with cosmetic plastic surgery in a single procedure — and offer the only academic-based program in oncoplastic surgery in the New York metropolitan area.

Looking ahead, physician-scientists at NewYork-Presbyterian and its affiliated medical schools are working to advance new treatment and prevention strategies, including through an intraductal approach that employs a miniature endoscope to access the milk ducts through the nipple. Biomarkers in nipple fluid are being studied for their potential to be the basis of a screening test akin to a Pap test. Also under development are new radiotherapy techniques like balloon partial breast radiation that reduces treatment time and limits radiation exposure to healthy tissues. In addition, breast center physicians are leading a National Cancer Institute (NCI)–funded multicenter clinical trial studying cryoablation, or freezing, as an alternative to mastectomy or lumpectomy.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center's Breast Center, which is part of the Iris Cantor Women's Health Center, received a three-year accreditation in June of this year; NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center's Clinical Breast Cancer Program, part of the NCI-designated Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, received a three-year accreditation in March.

The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) is a consortium of national, professional organizations dedicated to the improvement of the quality of care and monitoring of outcomes of patients with diseases of the breast. This mission is pursued through standard-setting, scientific validation, and patient and professional education. Its board membership includes professionals from 15 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of breast care.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation's largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,409 beds. The Hospital has nearly 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits in a year, including 12,797 deliveries and 195,294 visits to its emergency departments. NewYork-Presbyterian's 6,144 affiliated physicians and 19,376 staff provide state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. For more information, visit

Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The Medical Center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Established in 1767, Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons was the first institution in the country to grant the M.D. degree and is now among the most selective medical schools in the country. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and state and one of the largest in the United States. For more information, please visit

Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University's medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, and most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with the Methodist Hospital in Houston. For more information, visit

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