The Department of Breast Surgery of The First Hospital of Jilin University was established on September 1st, 2005. Its predecessor, the Bethune - Laval Oncology Unit (BLOU) Breast Cancer Support Group (BCSG), was co-founded by Bethune Medical University and Laval University in Canada on September 18th, 1991. It is the first specialized department set up in a provincial general hospital to engage in breast disease medical treatment, education and scientific research.
The department has 87 beds, advanced medical equipment and rich technical resources. Being a major member of the general surgery department, our department was selected as “National Clinical Key Specialty” by the Ministry of Health in 2012. In 2018, it was selected as the “Jilin Provincial Breast Disease Prevention and Control Center” by the Jilin Provincial Development and Reform Commission.
The department now has 2 mammography screening machines, which are used for detection of tiny breast lesions and stereotaxic biopsy; 6 sets of color Doppler ultrasound specialized for breast imaging and 4 sets of vacuum-assisted breast biopsy (VABB) equipment, which are used for breast disease biopsy and minimally invasive treatment of benign tumors; 1 γ-ray detector and 1 fluorescence imaging device for sentinel lymph node biopsy and several more advanced equipment for breast disease diagnosis and treatment such as ductoscopy and mammoscopy.
In regards of the diagnosis of breast diseases, the department has completed the transformation from the traditional approach using tumor resection, intraoperative frozen pathology, postoperative pathology to a more modern diagnostic mode using preoperative fine needle aspiration (FNA) and core needle biopsy (CNB). On the basis of the traditional modified radical mastectomy for breast cancer, the department actively carries out breast-conserving surgery and oncoplastic surgery (OPS). Currently, the department’s breast-conserving rate ranks first in Jilin Province. The department also took the lead in developing new surgical techniques such as sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) for early breast cancer and mastoscopic axillary lymph node dissection in Jilin province. After neoadjuvant therapy, SLNB was performed in patients whose axillary lymph nodes were downstage from CN1 to CN0 according to the established guidelines, which greatly avoid serious complications caused by axillary lymph node dissection in all stages of the disease. The department also provided both physical and mental rehabilitation for patients who were not suitable for breast conservation, and carried out stage I breast autologous and prosthetic reconstruction, all of which achieved great satisfactory results.
The First Hospital of Jilin University is one of the first batch of hospitals in Jilin Province to operate the multidisciplinary consultation (MDT) model. In 2007, the department established a breast cancer MDT collaboration group in conjunction with oncology, radiotherapy, and pathology departments, which has been persistent for many years thereafter. By the end of 2020, a total of number of more than 3,400 breast cancer patients have participated in these consultations. Facing the sudden epidemic, the department set up the “Jiyi Medical Clinic” which was in the form of an online and offline combined mode and carried out standardized tour lectures and MDT diagnosis and treatment in a timely manner, providing the most convenient standardized, individualized and precise comprehensive treatment for breast cancer patients within Jilin Province, which has made great efforts to improve the survival rate of patients. The department has also established postoperative rehabilitation and publicity classrooms, as well as a postoperative follow-up system, providing free long-term follow-up and convenient diagnosis and treatment services for every patient in our department, which has greatly improved the quality of life of patients.
The solid foundation of specialization has enabled the department not only to improve the level of clinical diagnosis and treatment, but also to take the lead in various fields such as basic research, publication of papers, acquisition of projects from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and clinical translational research. All of them are in the leading position in the province and have already ranked to the top in China.