Nurses Can Empower African-American Women in the Fight Against Breast Cancer



Michelle Wilkes, a certified breast cancer navigator at NHP, explained that women are never too old or too young to get breast cancer and the earlier the cancer is detected the more successful the patient will be with treatment.

Just previous year the SOMC Cancer Center opened its Breast Center addition on the lower level of the facility.

In the meantime, it is known that early detection of breast cancer allows for the discovery of breast abnormalities, sometimes before they develop into breast cancer and/or before it can spread to other parts of the body. This program helps address financial barriers to completing treatment so that those undergoing treatment for breast cancer are able to stay in treatment, which can ultimately lead to better outcomes.

The clinic also features the latest technology for breast cancer treatment, the hospital said.

Celebrating one full year of the Breast Center Facility being in operation, SOMC's Administrative Director of Cancer Services/Community Health and Wellness Wendi Waugh discussed the transition of the different departments coming together to provide comprehensive care, and patient response to the improved facility in the first year of operation. However, women still must be familiar with their breasts and consult with their health care provider for any changes that occur and are persistent.

[1] Increase in cancer detection associated with an overall decrease in false positives. In most cases, women in these high-risk groups should begin screening for breast cancer no later than 30, with a combination of mammography and MRI.

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Taking preventative medicines to lower your risk: According to MD Anderson, your physician can calculate your risk of having a breast cancer in the next five years by using a tool called Gail Model which assesses your medical condition through a series of questions about risk factors. In the meantime, she recommends that women who can afford it ask for 3-D imaging when its time for their annual mammogram.

If you are a woman age 50 to 74, be sure to get a mammogram every 2 years.

These recommendations are for women of average risk. If you notice any bumps or lumps, do not panic, most of the lumps or tumors are usually benign but you should take precautions.

In 1991, pink ribbons were distributed to all breast cancer survivors and participants of the Komen New York City Race for the Cure.

The two main treatment options for breast cancer remain lumpectomy, which removes the lesion, and total mastectomy, which removes all the tissue on the affected side.

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