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Think Pink in October

Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Offers Prevention Tips for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Leslie Simon Breast Care and Cytodiagnosis Center staff members wear pink in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (Photo Courtesy: Englewood Hospital)
 

(Englewood, NJ, October 1, 2013) – October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and experts with The Leslie Simon Breast and Cytodiagnosis Center at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center (EHMC) are offering tips for prevention and early detection.

“Every year we learn more about the disease,” said V. Merle McIntosh, Chief of Breast Surgery at EHMC. “Last year, the focus was on working to develop more effective, individualized treatment plans based on four distinct sub-types of breast cancer. This underscored the fact that not all breast cancers are created equal. This year, more women are considering genetic testing, after actress Angelina Jolie opted to undergo a double mastectomy when she tested positive for the BRCA 1 gene mutation. All of this information is helping to increase awareness and emphasize the importance of prevention and early detection.”

The American Cancer Society reports women have a 12-percent (one in eight) lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. That risk nearly doubles if there is a family history of breast cancer among first-degree relatives, such as a mother, sister or daughter. If a woman tests positive for the BRCA 1 gene, her average risk increases by 55 to 65-percent, while testing positive for BRCA 2 increases her risk by 45-percent.

The Leslie Simon Breast Care and Cytodiagnosis Center offers a comprehensive High Risk Breast Cancer Program for women who may face a greater risk of breast cancer. The program provides patients with breast cancer risk assessment, genetic counseling and testing, a breast exam and a personalized screening and prevention plan.

When a patient enrolls in the program, she will fill out a detailed questionnaire, reporting family and medical history used to assess her potential increased risk for developing the disease.  If a family history of breast cancer and other factors have been identified, genetic counseling and testing will be provided to determine if the patient is carrying the breast-ovarian predisposition genes, also known as BRCA genes. The Center’s High Risk Manager will then work with the patient and their family to develop an individualized plan of action for screening and prevention.  Englewood Hospital offers one of the few highly specialized High Risk Programs in the region, staffed by a team of Advanced Practice Nurses certified by the Genetic Nursing Credentialing Commission and awarded the credential of Advanced Practice Nurse in Genetics.

Women can also take a proactive role in their breast health by using the checklist below as guide to aid in prevention and early detection.

Know Your Risk: Discuss your medical history with your family and share it with your doctor to better assess, understand and manage your personal risk for breast cancer.

Don’t Skip Your Screening: Follow your doctor’s suggested screening schedule. The American Cancer Society recommends a yearly mammogram for women ages 40 and older and a clinical breast exam about every three years for women between the ages of 20 and 39.

Breast Self-Exams: Doctors advise all women to begin performing the self-exam in their early twenties, at least once a month. Know what is normal for you – the usual size, shape and color of your breasts. Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you feel any lumps or notice any other changes, including swelling, a rash, bumps on the outside of the breast, or itchy, irritable skin.

Live a Healthy Lifestyle: Make healthy choices, starting with eating right and staying active. Balanced meals, a regular exercise routine and limited alcohol intake can all help to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Try to limit alcohol and avoid smoking.

The Leslie Simon Breast Care and Cytodiagnosis Center at EHMC is known worldwide for its high success rates in detecting early stage breast cancer, earning recognition from Congress as a national model for the diagnosis and treatment of breast disease.

To schedule an appointment, call Radiology: 201.894.3641; The Leslie Simon Breast Care and Cytodiagnosis Center: 201.894.3151; AMI of EHMC: 201.262.0001. To access the Breast Care Center’s new “Self-Scheduling” feature, visit www.englewoodhospital.com and click the “make an online appointment” icon on the left-hand side of the homepage.

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About Englewood Hospital and Medical Center
 
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center provides the highest level of compassionate, patient care and safety through a broad range of advanced clinical programs, treatments and diagnostic services. It is renowned for its bloodless medicine and surgery program, cardiac and vascular programs and its leadership in breast care, oncology and joint replacement services. Through its affiliation with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Mount Sinai Consortium for Graduate Medical Education, this acute-care and community teaching hospital trains medical residents in many disciplines, including internal medicine, critical care medicine, surgery, pediatrics, podiatry, and pathology.  Its Vascular Fellowship Program has trained a generation of world-class vascular surgeons.  Additionally, many members of Englewood Hospital’s medical staff serve as faculty at Mount Sinai. Englewood Hospital has earned numerous accreditations from the Joint Commission and other organizations and is among the six-percent of hospitals nationwide honored with the prestigious Magnet nursing award, a distinction that has been earned three times by its nursing staff.