The GW Comprehensive Breast Center

GW Comprehensive Breast CenterThe GW Comprehensive Breast Center is the first breast care facility in the region to offer you and other area women a wide range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for breast cancer. The center, located on the eighth floor at 2300 M Street, N.W., combines advanced imaging and diagnostic technology with high quality medical care provided by nationally- and internationally-renown breast-care specialists who evaluate and treat benign and malignant breast diseases.

“One hundred percent of our services are with physicians and surgeons who care only for the breast,” says Rachel Brem, MD, Director of the GW Comprehensive Breast Center. “These same doctors speak to and educate professors, and are nationally and internationally recognized.”

In addition, the GW Comprehensive Breast Center offers support and education programs for patients and their families, including individual psychotherapy, support groups, nutritional counseling and complimentary medicine. If you are diagnosed with cancer, the medical staff will develop an individualized plan of care that meets your specific needs, and coordinates that plan through a designated patient navigator who will help guide you through the entire treatment and recovery process.

The center offers a number of risk-based and community-focused services, such as the GW Mammovan that is operated by Medical Faculty Associates,  and has partnered with GW Hospital’s Center for Integrative Medicine to offer physical therapy, massage therapy, Reiki treatments and post-op care for lymphedema.

Because it is part of an academic medical center, the GW Comprehensive Breast Center is at the forefront of breast cancer research and prevention, and the medical staff uses many of most advanced surgical and treatment techniques. Patients who are being treated at the center may voluntarily participate in clinical trials that are available through research grants from national funding sources to help increase knowledge of the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

This collaboration of services reflects “the world-class service of our program, which is unique on so many levels,” explains Dr. Brem.

GW Comprehensive Breast CenterA Comfortable, Spa-Like Setting

Because even annual screenings for breast cancer can be an unsettling experience for many women, the GW Comprehensive Breast Center offers a comfortable and serene spa-like setting, with an open floor plan, upscale décor with vibrant pink accent walls, floral wall art and upholstered furnishings.

ACR COEA Designated Center of Excellence

The GW Comprehensive Breast Center has been designated a Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology for stereotactic breast biopsy, breast ultrasound and ultrasound-guided breast biopsy. The designation means that the center has achieved excellence in personnel quality, patient safety and efficiency.

Advanced Surgical Options for Breast Cancer

Advanced surgical options are available at the GW Comprehensive Breast Center from surgeons who specialize in breast procedures. Those options range from breast conserving treatments such as a lumpectomy to simple and modified radical mastectomies. Doctors at the center may use sentinel node mapping to first examine the lymph nodes most likely to be affected by breast cancer and avoid more extensive full lymph node dissection procedure. If a mastectomy is necessary, patients are referred to plastic surgeons to discuss reconstruction options. The center was the first in the region to offer the seed localization procedure that uses tiny radioactive seeds to mark a tumor to allow more accurate surgery.

“Nipple-sparing mastectomies and radioactive seed locations are just a few of the cutting-edge techniques we are making available to patients,” says Christine Teal, MD, FACS, Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Breast Surgery. “We also have the most advanced imaging techniques, which enable us to better evaluate patients with cancer or provide earlier detection.”


The center offers a number of imaging options to accommodate a woman's risk factors for breast cancer. Among the options are:

  • 2-D and 3-D Mammography. For women with an average risk for breast cancer.
  • Molecular Breast Imaging (scintimammography). For women who have been newly diagnosed with breast cancer. “We find additional cancer in 10 percent of women screened,” says Jessica Torrente, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiology.
  • Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound. Used for women who have dense breast tissue. “There is a substantial increase in breast cancer risk with dense breast tissue, so we use ultrasound rather than mammography in these cases for added clarity,” says Dr. Torrente.

Recommendations for Early Breast Cancer Detection

Rachel Brem, MD, Director of the GW Comprehensive Breast Center, recommends that women have annual mammograms beginning at age 40, regardless of family history, to optimize their chances for early detection when treatment can be most effective. Dr. Brem recommends that women follow the American Cancer Society guidelines* for screening and early cancer detection.
Read the American Cancer Society Guidelines >

GW Comprehensive Breast Center
8th Floor
2300 M. Street, NW
Washington, DC

Types of Breast Cancer Breast Care Services GW Hospital
The type, size and spread of cancer are important information to help a doctor determine a course of treatment.
Diagnosis Breast Care Services GW Hospital
The GW Comprehensive Breast Care Center has a comprehensive, technologically-advanced art imaging center for breast cancer diagnosis.
Biopsy Breast Care Services GW Hospital
Should an abnormality be found in your breast, it may be determined that you need to have a biopsy. Read about the several different types of biopsies.
Types of Surgery Breast Care Services GW Hospital
If it is determined that you have breast cancer, the doctor will discuss your surgical options with you. Read about the two types of surgeries, lumpectomy and mastectomy.
Therapies Breast Care Services GW Hospital
Read about the various types of therapies used separately, or in combination with surgery, to treat breast cancer.
Breast Reconstruction Breast Care Services GW Hospital
At the GW Comprehensive Breast Care Center, expert reconstructive plastic surgeons are available to discuss current options and to help you determine which course is medically and physically appropriate for you.
This Draft Has Sidebar Blocks
Sidebar Block 1

To schedule a mammogram, call 202-741-3270.

Sidebar Block 2
Are Your Breasts

Are you a 1, 2, 3 or 4?
Do you know your number?

Doctors rate breast density on a scale of one to four. For woman with dense breasts, a mammogram alone may not be enough. GW Hospital is the only hospital in the region with Breast Specific Gamma Imaging and Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound — both used for detecting cancer in women with dense breasts.

Sidebar Block 4


The George Washington University Hospital is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc.(UHS), a King of Prussia, PA-based company, that is one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation.          

The George Washington University Hospital

900 23rd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037

© 2015 The George Washington University Hospital. All rights reserved.

Note:The information on this Web site is provided as general health guidelines and may not be applicable to your particular health condition. Your individual health status and any required medical treatments can only be properly addressed by a professional healthcare provider of your choice. Remember: There is no adequate substitution for a personal consultation with your physician. Neither The George Washington University Hospital , or any of their affiliates, nor any contributors shall have any liability for the content or any errors or omissions in the information provided by this Web site.            

The information, content and artwork provided by this Web site is intended for non-commercial use by the reader. The reader is permitted to make one copy of the information displayed for his/her own non-commercial use. The making of additional copies is prohibited.