Backus Hospital Breast Program

The Backus Hospital Breast Program is part of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, which is the charter member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance. We offer the latest treatments and technology, outcomes that exceed the state and national average, and a wide range of services close to home for patients.

mother and daughter together-478171298.jpgOur patient-focused care, coupled with our clinical expertise, our nurse navigator and our convenient location, help our patients feel at home while being treated close to home. We offer support and guidance throughout the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer into survivorship and recovery.

Programs and Services

Our team includes primary care and OB GYN physicians, radiologists, pathologists, breast and oncologic surgeons, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurse navigators and a wide range of support staff that provides everything from counseling, nutrition and physical therapy to financial advice. At the center of it all: patients and their families.

We offer:

  • Highly trained, caring physicians, nurses and other clinicians specially recruited for their expertise and qualifications
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • An integrated, multidisciplinary approach to ensure efficient, comprehensive care
  • Regular Breast Cancer Case Conferences attended by a multidisciplinary core team of surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, radiologists and pathologists to discuss breast cancer cases, and collaborate on developing the most effective treatment plans
  • Personal attention from a registered nurse who will coordinate your care
  • Access to a variety of clinical trials
  • Genetic counseling and testing services

Breast Cancer Risk Assessment and Surveillance Program

The Backus Hospital Breast Program provides an array of breast care services starting with a program to identify people that may be at increased risk for breast cancer. Our approach to risk assessment and surveillance engages a team of experts including specialists in radiology, pathology, surgery, medical oncology and cancer genetics. 

We offer a comprehensive risk assessment based on nationally approved criteria, and we provide the most appropriate personalized surveillance plan for patients at increased risk of breast cancer, based on the specific risks identified. Patients have the option to be followed by our Risk Assessment and Surveillance Program clinicians.


Like many breast programs, we offer the latest in 3-D mammography, ultrasound, diagnostic imaging and MRI. Our breast radiologists are fellowship trained to ensure that breast images are evaluated by experts. 

Our services are conveniently located and we offer a comfortable setting for care whether it’s for an annual screening mammogram or sophisticated diagnostic imaging services.


Our experienced pathologists are expert clinicians, reviewing samples, making diagnoses and providing fast and accurate reports to physicians that will be used to manage patients’ care. 


Our surgeons care for patients with a variety of needs: those who may want a risk assessment consultation, patients with benign breast disease such as cysts or other non-cancerous lumps and those who have been diagnosed with cancer. They work with each patient to discuss the most effective approach to treatment as well as each patient’s personal preferences.

Procedures offered include:

  • Breast Conservation Surgery/Lumpectomy
  • Mastectomy
  • Axillary Node Dissection
  • Sentinel Node Biopsy
  • Breast Reconstruction
  • Medical Oncology

Our medical oncologists have extensive expertise in breast cancer treatment, and provide the very best care, right in the community. They treat patients with chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and when appropriate, new immunotherapy regimens. Treatment may be provided before surgery in some cases or after asneeded. Our infusion center offers the latest treatments in a comfortable, relaxed setting with onsite access to clinical trial medications. Medical oncologists stayin touch with primary care providers and other physicians on the patient’s care team to ensure that they are kept informed on their patient’s progress. 

Radiation Therapy

Our state-of-the-art services include hypofractionation breast radiation, which for eligible patients, reduces the overall number of treatments for certain breast cancers. We also offer the latest linear accelerator technology, which allows us to pinpoint tumors with great precision, and limit radiation exposure to healthy surrounding tissue. The radiation oncologists work closely with all members of the patient care team to ensure comprehensive, coordinated care.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials offer treatments that may be the best option for many patients. Through local physician practices and the Institute’s membership in the  Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, Backus breast cancer patients have access to these clinical trials, close to home.

To view our clinical trials, visit


After active treatment ends, breast cancer survivors naturally have concerns about ongoing wellness. Our survivorship program is designed to care for patients beyond their cancer treatment. Patients stay connected to supportive care with a comprehensive summary of their medical records, post-cancer surveillance recommendations and detailed wellness care plans. Our program focuses on easing the transition from active treatment to recovery.

Support Services

Nurse Navigators

Our nurse navigator guides patients throughout treatment and after to help them get back to a normal routine. Nurse navigators help patients arrange appointments with specialists and other care providers, help explain treatments, provide educational information and give emotional support. Backus Hospital’s breast nurse navigator can be reached at 860.425.3870


Individual and family supports are an important part of recovery. Social workers, psychotherapists, nutritionists, and even financial counselors are available to assist patients during their treatment and after as needed.


Our onsite boutique can assist with mastectomy products, lymphedema sleeves, wigs, scarves, hats, caps and gift items. We offer information on local shopping options for a wide range of products for patients during treatment and after.

Genetic Counseling

The role of genetics has become an important part of breast cancer care. Our licensed, certified genetic  counselors, as well as specially trained physicians and nurse practitioners, review family medical history, discuss the role of genetics in cancer and order genetic testing when appropriate. 

They may meet with patients to identify those at increased risk of breast cancer or work with newly diagnosed patients who may carry a genetic mutation. Options for managing genetic risks are discussed by the counselors and patients are navigated to the providers that will help them make key decisions about their care.

Cancer Physical Rehabilitation and Lymphedema Management 

Physical therapy helps patients to understand post-surgery sensations and treats range of motion problems and the restoration of strength and flexibility after surgery. It is also important for the early identification of lymphedema, which is arm and hand swelling that may be caused by breast cancer surgery involving the axillary lymph nodes. Early and careful management of lymphedema can reduce symptoms and prevent it from worsening over time. Our convenient local network of breast cancer physical therapists and lymphedema specialists provides easy access to services. 

Integrative Therapies 

Healing that combines treating the body while caring for the mind and spirit can provide many benefits for cancer patients. We offer a variety of integrative therapies to promote overall wellness and ease side effects from chemotherapy and radiation. Integrative therapies like Reiki, acupuncture and therapeutic touch are available. 

Patient Support 

We offer support options for our breast cancer patients to meet many different needs. They include: 

  • Individual counseling and support groups 
  • Assistance with insurance and financial matters 
  • Dietary guidance 
  • Spiritual support and healing programs through the arts 
  • “LOOK GOOD ... FEEL BETTER” - This American Cancer Society program offers hands-on, self-help instruction and education for woman experiencing cancer treatment related side effects. To register, call 1.800.227.2345

In Our Community

Outreach for Breast Cancer Prevention 

Ultimately, eliminating breast cancer means caring for the entire community through breast cancer prevention and early detection programs. 

Our Breast Health outreach programs emphasize education about: 

  • Maintaining breast health with self-exams 
  • When to schedule mammograms 
  • How to assess personal risks for breast cancer 
  • How to access providers and services to address breast health concerns 

Our cancer institute’s Mobile Mammography Program brings convenient high-tech digital mammography to women in our local communities. Grant funds and charitable donations help pay for the mammograms of those in need.

Meet our Backus Hospital Breast Program Specialists:

Name Specialties Location
Kane, Michael Joel, MD
4.8 /5
194 surveys
  • Medical Oncology
  • Hematology / Oncology
  • Internal Medicine
Show Less
  • Waterford
  • Norwich
  • Norwich
Show Less
Khubchandani, Sapna, MD
4.8 /5
198 surveys
  • Medical Oncology
  • Hematology / Oncology
  • Hospice & Palliative Medicine
Show Less
  • Waterford
  • Norwich
  • Norwich
Show Less
Kurowski, Kathleen, MD, FACS
5.0 /5
175 surveys
  • Breast Surgery
  • Norwich
  • Waterford
Show Less
Spooner, Stacy Lyn, MD 203.949.2700
  • Diagnostic Radiology
  • Wallingford
  • Norwich
Show Less
Stanat, Christy Ann, MD
4.8 /5
122 surveys
  • Breast Surgery
  • Norwich
  • Waterford
Show Less

Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute

Accredited with NAPBC