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A Unified Team Fights Breast Cancer at GBMC

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Laura Zabriskie

October 19, 2017
Finding out that you have breast cancer is something no one wants to hear, and many women avoid scheduling a mammogram for fear of the diagnosis and potential treatments. GBMC’s primary care practices and the Sandra & Malcolm Berman Comprehensive Breast Care Center at GBMC want to change the way people think about breast cancer because getting an annual mammogram screening is one of the most important things you can do for your health.

October is breast cancer awareness month, but any time of year is a good time to talk about the disease with your primary care provider. Your physician will work with you to decide how often you should be screened depending on your individual risk factors (age, family history, body mass index, etc.). If necessary, a mammogram will be recommended for you, which can be performed at the Advanced Radiology practice located conveniently on the GBMC campus.

In the event a breast cancer is diagnosed, one should remember that most breast cancers are curable when detected early and when small. GBMC’s Breast Care Center offers a multidisciplinary approach to treatment that is tailored to each patient’s needs in a healing and supportive environment. A team of experts in surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, plastic surgery, lymphedema, nutrition, and genetics works together closely to get patients the information and care they need. If your doctor determines that you meet clinical criteria for genetic testing, you will have access to a full evaluation with our specialists at The Harvey Institute for Human Genetics. A nurse navigator and Oncology Support Services staff members are also available onsite to guide patients through the journey.

Fear of needing multiple or complex surgeries is another reason why some people may avoid breast cancer screening. In the past, a breast cancer diagnosis almost always resulted in a mastectomy, but that is no longer the case. Improved surgical techniques have made it so that the majority of breast cancer surgeries are small outpatient procedures. It is now the standard of care that women undergo breast-conserving therapy defined as a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy for small tumors in the breast. Reconstructive surgery is often not needed.

Dr. Sara Fogarty, DO, Associate Director of the Sandra & Malcolm Berman Comprehensive Breast Care Center, recently sat down with Gina Crash, Co-host of Today's 101.9 Morning Show, to share updates in breast cancer care and the many services her team provides.
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