Archive for Wednesday, September 30, 2015

LMH Breast Risk Assessment Clinic helps identify cancer risks

September 30, 2015

Knowing if you are at risk of developing breast cancer is an essential part of breast health. Discovering if risk factors are present is key to preventing or identifying the disease early.

When it comes to fighting breast cancer, early detection is a powerful weapon. In fact, breast cancer survival rates are nearly three times greater when caught early. Family history may put some women at higher risk, but the risk is there for everyone: 85 percent of breast cancers occur in women with no family history of the disease.

Roxy Johanning, clinical coordinator for the LMH Breast Center, said, “The best way to protect your breast health is by following evidence-based guideline recommendations of annual mammograms. And yet, according the American Cancer Society, only one out of every two women in Kansas gets properly screened for breast cancer each year. At LMH Breast Center, we are working hard to change that by making digital mammograms comfortable, quick and convenient.”

Breast health screenings at the LMH Breast Center now include administration of a family health questionnaire based on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines.

If answers on the questionnaire indicate a woman may be at a higher risk for developing breast or ovarian cancer, the LMH Breast Risk Assessment Clinic can provide comprehensive information, clinical services, genetic testing and support.

An initial Breast Risk Assessment screening appointment can be scheduled with Johanning, who is a board-certified nurse practitioner and has certifications as a MammaCare Specialist and Navigator-Breast Provider. She provides collaborative care with Sharon Soule, a medical oncologist at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

“Anyone with a personal or strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer may benefit from a cancer risk assessment,” Johanning said.

The assessment tools are based on statistical risk and probability models and provide women and their health care providers with information to develop individualized breast health care plans.

A Breast Risk Assessment Clinic appointment may involve:

• A detailed review of your family cancer history

• An assessment of cancer risks for you and your family

• Clinical breast examination, if needed

• A discussion of the pros and cons of genetic testing

• Supportive counseling to help you to make the best decision for you and your family

Johanning said, “Deciding to pursue genetic testing is highly personal and requires serious consideration since the result may have implications for your entire family as well as yourself. We appreciate the concerns involved with genetic testing, and will work with you to help you make an informed decision.”

Genetic tests are performed at LMH and require DNA from cells. This may be a blood or saliva test. The sample is sent to a specialized outside laboratory to look for specific changes in DNA. Patients review the results and recommendations with our certified staff to determine individualized breast health plans.

Other options may include increased surveillance with breast MRI and clinical breast examinations, according to guidelines by the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, together with medical management.

A clinical breast exam may be performed in conjunction with any of the Breast Risk Assessment Clinic services. Patients may request a physical examination of their breasts and lymph nodes. This will be performed by Johanning using the MammaCare Method.

The LMH Breast Center is accredited by the American College of Radiology. Services include:

• Digital mammography (three locations: main LMH campus, LMH South, LMH West Imaging)

• Breast ultrasound

• Breast MRI

• Stereotactic-guided core biopsy

To make an appointment or more information, call 785-505-3300 or visit lmh.org/breastcenter.

Janice Early, MBA, is Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, which is a major sponsor of WellCommons. She can be reached at janice.early@lmh.org.

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