Awareness is Key in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

By Elizabeth Lewis, WHNP-BC, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

Elizabeth LewisNearly all of us have known someone with breast cancer, and had our lives affected by that diagnosis. Breast cancer is something that affects all women and some men. Knowing your risk and getting the right screening test is important.

We know that mammography is the most effective tool used today to find breast cancer in most women. There is some disagreement from organizations on when that screening should start (Below you will find recommendations for women of average risk).

American Cancer Society

Informed decision-making with a health care provider from age 40-44
Every year starting at age 45-54
Every 2 years (or every year if a woman chooses to do so) starting at age 55, for as long as a woman is in good health

National Comprehensive Cancer Network

Every year starting at age 40, for as long as a woman is in good health

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Informed decision-making with a health care provider from age 40-49
Every 2 years ages 50-74

HPC Can Help

Women Supporting Women - Breast CancerAt HPC, we have help paying for screening mammograms for women age 40-64 years old. Call 1-877-277-1368 to see if you are eligible or look online at https://www.khconline.org/files/PTN/EDW.pdf.

The above recommendations are for average risk women. Your risk level is often just as important as knowing when to start screenings. The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is 12.4 percent for women of average risk, 15-20 percent for women of moderate risk and greater than 20 percent for women of high risk.

The majority of breast and ovarian cancers are sporadic; however, 6 percent of breast cancers and 15 percent of ovarian cancers are caused by harmful mutations in the BRCA genes. We suggest genetic counseling in patients with no personal history of breast cancer if any of the following are true:

  • A pathogenic variant in BRCA1or BRCA2 in a biological relative, usually a first- or second-degree relative
  • At least two individuals with breast cancer primaries on the same side of the family with at least one diagnosed at 50 years of age or less
  • A first- or second-degree relative with any of the following: breast cancer at 45 years or younger, ovarian cancer, male breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, metastatic prostate cancer or 2 or more breast cancer primaries in a single individual or on the same side of the family with at least one diagnosed at 50 years of age or younger
  • Family history of three or more cancers linked to hereditary cancer syndromes

Be sure to talk to your health care provider about your risk level and the appropriate testing for you. To schedule an appointment to see a provider at HPC, call 913-648-2266.

Join the fight against Breast Cancer: Education and Awareness Key for Women

EDW logo plain (2)Post written by Catherine Rice, VP of Marketing and Outreach

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer.

About one in eight women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.

The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. A mammogram – the screening test for breast cancer – can help find breast cancer early when it’s easier to treat.

This October, Health Partnership Clinic (HPC) is proud to participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.

Portrait of confident women supporting breast cancer awareness at parkHPC will host a Think Pink Day on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 (click here for more information) at their Olathe campus, 407 S. Claiborne Rd., Olathe, Kan. for women age 45-64 who haven’t had a mammogram in more than a year.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Women are encouraged to call 913-648-2266 for an appointment, however, walk-Ins are welcome.

Breast health information will be available at all clinic sites, and staff are invited to wear pink on Fridays. Staff may also participate in a crossword puzzle and word search contests.

At the Olathe location, patients are invited to enter their name into a door prize drawing. One winner will be drawn on Oct. 31.

Participants will receive a clinical breast exam, enroll in Early Detection Works (EDW), schedule a mammogram appointment, learn more about breast health and enjoy refreshments. Patients and staff are encouraged to wear pink!

HPC providers offer the following advice to women:

  • If you are a woman age 40 to 49, talk with your provider about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them.
  • If you are a woman age 50 to 74, be sure to get a mammogram every two years. You may also choose to get them more often.
  • Talk to a provider about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours had breast or ovarian cancer. Your provider can help you decide when and how often to get mammograms.

Resources:

National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides access to breast cancer screening services to underserved women in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 5 U.S. territories, and 12 tribal organizations. Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/.

National Cancer Institute

Information about free or low-cost mammogram screening programs is available through NCI’s Cancer Information Service at 1-800-422-6237.

American cancer SocietyThe American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society provides lists of resources where you can receive a free or low-cost mammogram based on your location.  When you go to their website, Cancer.org, look for the blue “My ACS” in the top right corner.

When you click on that, you can enter your zip code.  Scroll down to the Local Resources section and click on Health Care and Screenings.  You can search these resources for free or low-cost mammogram screenings in your area.  Learn more at https://www.cancer.org/.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation

The National Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1991 by breast cancer survivor, Janelle Hail. NBCF continues to grow every year to help more and more women around the world by educating them about breast cancer and providing free mammograms to women in need. Visit https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org.