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Meet the Team

Meet the Team: Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre

The clinical team in the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre (MKBC) at Mount Sinai Hospital is made up of world-class leaders in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. We ensure each patient is cared for in a comprehensive manner, from the physical to the psychosocial.

A radiologist is a doctor that specializes in interpreting images of the body to diagnose and treat medical conditions. In the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre, radiologists play a very important role in the care of patients. Radiologists specializing in breast imaging focus on mammography and diagnostic breast procedures. Our breast imaging radiologists also perform diagnostic procedures, including breast ultrasound, biopsies, MRI and MRI guided procedures as well as preoperative localization procedures. Our radiologists have extensive training and expertise in medical imaging, and specifically breast imaging, and provide the highest level of quality imaging services to all patients and healthcare providers as part of our collaborative multi-disciplinary team. They are also involved in research and training the next generation of radiologists.

Our Radiologists

  • Dr. Frederick Au
  • Dr. Meaghen Beresford
  • Dr. Karina Bukhanov
  • Dr. Hemi Dua
  • Dr. Vivianne Freitas
  • Dr. Sandeep Ghai
  • Dr. Allison Grant
  • Dr. Rachel Fleming
  • Dr. Supriya Kulkarni
  • Dr. Anabel Scaranelo

Our radiologists work with highly skilled mammography and ultrasound technologists to complete the imaging studies in our Breast Centre. The technologist is typically the individual who patients will meet during their imaging appointment.

Dr. Alexandra Easson

Dr. Alexandra Easson is an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto. She specializes in the surgical treatment of cancer of the breast, melanoma and gastrointestinal tract. Her research uses her training in clinical epidemiology to study the clinical management of breast cancer. Her research interests include surgical perspectives on palliative medicine, clinical surgical oncology and sentinel lymph node biopsy.

Dr. Jaime Escallon

Dr. Jaime Escallon received his medical degree from the University of El Rosario, Bogotá Colombia in 1974, came to Toronto and trained in the Gallie Program in General Surgery and became Fellow of the Royal College in 1981. He then went back to Colombia to practice General Surgery in an Academic Institution, the Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogota, where he was Head of the Division of General Surgery, Chair of the Department of Surgery and later Chief of Staff. In 2002 he was invited to come back to Toronto and offered the position of Head of General Surgery at the Toronto Western Hospital and Coordinator of the Breast Cancer program at the Marvelle Koffler Center at Mount Sinai Hospital. He was also Co-director of the General Surgery residency program at the University of Toronto and he has been involved with Cancer Care Ontario in the Surgical Oncology Program. Dr. Escallon has served in many editorial boards. His current interests are in education and breast cancer clinical research.

Dr. Wey Leong

Dr. Wey Leong is an Assistant Professor, General Surgery. After his medical school at Dalhousie Medical School in 1994, Dr. Leong continued his General Surgery residency in Halifax during which time he also completed his master degree in Molecular Pathology. In year 2000, he moved to Toronto for his breast/melanoma surgical oncology fellowship. He became a Staff Surgical Oncologist at Princess Margaret Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital 2 years later. He is currently an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. His research laboratory is within the Ontario Cancer Institute and his primary research interests include genetic epidemiology of breast cancer and novel techniques and technologies in the diagnosis of breast cancer and melanoma.

Dr. Christine Brezden-Masley

Dr. Christine Brezden-Masley is a practicing Medical Oncologist and the Director of the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital as well as the Medical Director of Cancer Program for Sinai Health System in Toronto, Canada. She obtained her PhD in Medical Biophysics at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto and her Medical Degree from the University of Toronto. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto and senior scientist for the same Clinical Research Group at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute for Sinai Health System in Toronto, Canada.

Dr. Brezden-Masley is the founder of the COMET (Community Oncologists of Metropolitan Toronto) Clinical Trials Consortium, a web-based virtual network promoting cancer clinical trials throughout the Toronto region. She treats both breast and gastrointestinal (colorectal and gastric cancers) malignancies, which are her major areas of research interest. Her main area of clinical research is cardiotoxicity from cancer therapy and she has been the Co-Chair of the Annual Canadian Cardio-Oncology Network meeting, a collaborative national meeting improving cardiac heath in patients with cancer and is currently the President of the Canadian Cardio-Oncology Network.

Dr. Christine Elser

Dr. Christine Elser is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto with appointments as Staff Medical Oncologist at Mount Sinai Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital. Her specialist areas are breast cancer and cancer of unknown primary. She is the head of the Familial Breast Cancer Clinic at the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre and provides risk reduction counselling and follow-up care for women with a strong family history of breast cancer. She is investigator in many breast cancer trials and involved in research on familial breast cancer. She is involved in teaching undergraduate student and residents and serves as member of the Medical Oncology training committee.

Former Director - Dr. Pamela Goodwin

Dr. Pamela Goodwin is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, with a cross appointment in the Department of Public Health Sciences and in the School of Graduate Studies. She is a Senior Scientist in the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital, and former Director of the hospital's Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre. Dr. Goodwin continues to be actively involved in broad range of research relating to breast cancer.

Dr. Jon Hunter

Dr. Jon Hunter is the psychiatrist who focuses on the psychosocial care of patients undergoing diagnosis and treatment for cancer. As the Head of the Consultation-Liaison Program in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital, he also teaches undergraduate and post-graduate students and conducts research. The research topics include: minimizing chemotherapy side-effects via pre-emptive relaxation training, psychological support for women in high-risk families and the possible interactions between early life experience and coping with illness. In the oncology program (or whatever term you are using throughout) Dr. Hunter sees people for diagnosis and treatment of coping-related issues and distress in cancer, often in collaboration with social work, nursing and oncology colleagues.

An oncology nurse is a nurse who has extra training in the provision of chemotherapy. He or she will administer your chemotherapy and supportive medications, conduct health histories and help you manage any treatment side effects.

Oncology social workers are specially trained to help support patients and their families through their cancer experiences. They help navigate practical supports such as finances and transportation, make referrals to community resources and offer emotional support and counselling.

Some types of genes greatly increase the risk of developing breast cancer. The genetic counsellor at the MKBC provides genetic counselling and genetic testing to people with significant family histories of breast cancer to see if they have one of these genes. If we find that a person is at greater risk of breast cancer we can offer him or her approaches to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

A dietitian can provide nutrition tips and strategies to patients having difficulty eating normally or who are losing weight as a result of their cancer or cancer treatments. Dietitians complete a full medical and nutritional history in order to provide nutrition education and recommendations tailored to patient’s individual needs.

Your treatment plan may include supportive care and/or cancer medications that are not funded by the Government or only partially covered by your private drug plan. A medication reimbursement specialist (MRS) can provide you with access to patient-support programs that can offer financial assistance, compassionate (free) drug or bridging drug supply while you wait for public or private coverage. The MRS also assists patients that do not have any drug coverage, providing information on the Trillium Drug Program and help with the application form. This support is available to help patients navigate the complex drug-support system that includes Government and private insurance and drug companies.

Oncology pharmacists verify and dispense your cancer related medications. The pharmacist will explain how your cancer medication works, its purpose and effects, the usual treatment schedule, how it is administered, what side effects to look out for and how to manage or prevent them. The pharmacist will also review your home medications and natural supplements, screen for drug interactions, and go over any dietary restrictions or medication precautions.

If you are First Nations, Inuit or Métis and screening for cancer or have cancer, our Indigenous Patient Navigator can help: answer your questions about what to expect with upcoming appointments or tests, introduce you to your health care providers, find more information about cancer and treatment, connect you with spiritual support, as well as support in the community and assist with applications for financial and transportation services.

You may ask your health care provider to make a referral.

The clerical team is essential in keeping the clinic organized – from preparing of a patient’s first visit to booking of follow up appointments.

They also work closely with our volunteers to help make sure the clinic day runs smoothly and that patients receive that extra special care and attention.