Posts in "breast-cancer/"

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A one-dose, targeted treatment for breast cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 10/29/2014 4:00:00 PM

Dr. Chase Lottich is a certified MD Anderson® physician and breast surgeon who specializes in treating breast cancer. 

After a breast cancer diagnosis it is important to understand all of the treatment options available to you.

"Breast cancer care has evolved since I became a breast surgeon 25 years ago," said Dr. Chase Lottich, breast surgeon at Community Physician Network. "Our approach to treatment used to be ‘one size fits all’. Now, each individual has options for treatment that not only consider their tumor, but their perspective on treatment and healing."

For women interested in the ability to receive a single, concentrated dose of radiation therapy targeted at their tumor at the time of their cancer surgery intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) can be a treatment option.

IORT is a targeted form of radiation therapy given at the time of a lumpectomy surgery that kills microscopic cancer cells at the tumor site with minimal damage to the surrounding healthy cells in the breast, skin, lungs and heart.

The therapy is delivered in a single dose of radiation to the lumpectomy cavity at the time of breast surgery and allows women to complete their local therapy in a single day as opposed to weeks of outpatient therapy. 

Current IORT treatment guidelines offer therapy to women at least 45 years of age, with early stage breast cancers that are less than 3.5 centimeters in size, and negative lymph nodes. continue reading ...


When should I get a mammogram?

Written by Community Health Network on 10/6/2014 12:30:00 PM

Claudia Davis, RN, OCN, CBCN, is an oncology nurse navigator at Community Health Network.

Claudia DavisThere is a lot of information about mammograms available to women, but sorting through the information can be overwhelming. Claudia Davis, registered nurse and manager of the nurse navigator program at Community Healthy Network, answered some of the most common questions about mammograms.

What exactly is a mammogram?
A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray exam of the breasts to look for abnormalities. The results are recorded on x-ray film or directly into a computer for a radiologist to examine. A mammogram allows the doctor to have a closer look for changes in breast tissue that cannot be felt during a breast exam.

How is a mammogram performed?
A mammogram is performed on an x-ray machine. A radiologic technician, places your breasts, one at a time, between an x-ray plate and a plastic plate. These plates are attached to the x-ray machine and compress the breasts to flatten them. This spreads the breast tissue out to obtain a clearer picture.

Most often, two pictures are taken of each breast — one from the side and one from above. A screening mammogram only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.

When should I start getting mammograms?

The American Cancer Society and American College of Gynecology recommend women get their first screening mammogram at age 40. continue reading ...


Put on your pink: It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Written by Community Health Network on 10/1/2014 9:30:00 AM

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month - dedicated to increasing awareness about one of the biggest cancer threats to women. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2014 alone, 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States. Additionally, 62,570 cases of carcinoma situ (a non-invasive and early form of breast cancer) will be diagnosed.

Although the disease is predominantly seen in women, men are not immune. In fact, in 2014, more than 2,300 men are expected to be newly diagnosed with the disease.

Risk factors
  • Increasing age (risk almost doubles after age 60)
  • Inherited genetic mutations (BRCA1 and/or BRCA2)
  • Personal or family history of breast cancer
  • Extremely high breast-tissue density as seen on mammograms
  • Biopsy-confirmed atypical hyperplasia
  • Having Li-Fraumeni or Cowden syndromes
  • Never having children or having one's first child after the age of 30
  • Being overweight or physically inactive, or becoming obese after menopause 

Discovering breast cancer in its early stages greatly increases treatment options and survival rates. Regular screening mammograms and breast self-exams are extremely important. Simple lifestyle changes can also help you defend your body against breast cancer. continue reading ...


Early detection saved her life

Written by Community Health Network on 8/12/2014 6:00:00 AM


Chances for survival vary by stage of breast cancer. Non-invasive (stage 0) and early stage invasive breast cancers (stages I and II) have a better prognosis than later stage cancers (stage III and IV). And, cancer that has not spread beyond the breast has a better prognosis than cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes.

Catching cancer at its earliest stage only increases a patient's chances for survival. Courtney Larson, a Community Cancer Care patient, knows a thing or two about the importance of early detection of breast cancer: It saved her life.

Larson was performing a breast self-exam when she discovered a suspicious lump. Concerned, she followed up with her physician. A diagnostic mammogram was performed and revealed Larson had breast cancer.

After surgery to remove her cancerous tumor, six rounds of chemotherapy and thirty rounds of radiation treatment, Larson was declared cancer-free. But her passion to keep fighting cancer did not end there. continue reading ...


Navigating your cancer journey

Written by Community Health Network on 7/3/2014 6:00:00 AM

A cancer diagnosis can be extremely emotional, and making sense of health information can also be overwhelming. That is why Community has a dedicated cancer care team and oncology nurse navigators to help cancer patients on their journey.

Sharon Bronnenberg, breast health navigator We sat down with breast health navigator, Sharon Bronnenberg, RN, BSN, OCN, CBCN, to talk about the role an oncology navigator plays in a cancer treatment.

What does a oncology nurse navigator do?
I act as a guide, resource, advocate, educator and liaison for newly diagnosed cancer patients and their family. As an oncology navigator with a focus on breast health, my goal is to get answers to all of their questions so that we allay their fears.

I am a consistent caregiver throughout the cancer journey, coordinating appointments and schedules, and providing resources and information. But the most important thing I do is provide support and hope.

What should a cancer patient expect the first time they meet you?
When I meet with a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient I make sure they know their plan of care, as well as the other doctors that they will be seeing. continue reading ...


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Appointments available!

To make an appointment with an MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician at Community, call 800-777-7775 today!



October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Screening mammograms help detect cancer early and determine cancer risk. Ladies, schedule yours here.


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