The Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center was founded in 1983 by Kamilia F. Kozlowski, M.D. It was the first independent breast center of its kind in Tennessee and still remains one of the very few nationwide. Its goal was focused on delivering streamlined, cost-effective quality breast health care in a woman-friendly setting. Dr. Kozlowski developed the specialty of Clinical Breast Radiology being directly involved in the care of a woman’s diagnostic breast imaging workup, one of the very few “independent breast centers” Nationwide.
Her goal was to change the fragmented and inefficient delivery of breast health care. Traditionally, a woman would visit multiple specialists and sometimes get conflicting opinions to determine if there is a potential breast problem. In contrast, the Clinical Breast Radiologist can synthesize the information from her clinical and imaging armamentarium, perform the workup in a single setting, and accurately discuss with the woman whether there is a concern for breast cancer prior to her leaving the office.
If a tissue diagnosis is needed, the diagnosis is made in the office with specialized, painless needle procedures. Most results are readily available within 24 to 48 hours.
In 1997, the Knoxville Breast Center became the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center. The same woman-centered, woman-friendly, efficient medical care for the diagnostic part of breast health care was broadened to the treatment phase. Dr. George Webber, a dedicated breast surgeon who devotes 100 percent of his time to breast surgery joined the staff. He is the first surgeon in the community to advocate and promote lumpectomies in the surgical treatment of breast cancer for early breast cancer. Dr. Webber is also the first surgeon in Knoxville to regularly perform such cutting-edge techniques as sentinel lymph node biopsy and ductoscopy. As part of the comprehensive services, a Multidisciplinary Team was created. The specialists, in addition to the clinical breast radiologists and the dedicated breast surgeon include the medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, breast pathologist, plastic and reconstructive surgeon and lymphedema specialist. They discuss pathology and treatment planning issues which are unique for every woman. Women are also able to participate in clinical trials to further our knowledge about breast cancer.
As a valuable service of a comprehensive breast center, a High-Risk Assessment Center was also instituted in 1997. A woman’s family history, pedigree, and sophisticated computer models are evaluated to determine the risk of future breast cancer development. Testing for the known breast cancer genes is also available. Measures to reduce risk are discussed with a woman participating in this special service at the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center.