Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)
October is breast cancer awareness month and everyone has this topic fresh in their mind. With us today on ciLiving are Hannah Dignan, Advance Practice Provider, and Mary VanCleave, RN, breast cancer navigator, from Carle to talk about why you should get in to see your doctor and get your annual screening and new services to help patients with a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Let’s start with you Mary, what can women – and men – do to prevent breast cancer?
• Annual screening mammograms do help with early detection of cancers.
• Monthly self-breast exams.
• Know your family history.
• Lifestyle: good diet, regular exercise, stop smoking and consider your environment.
• Get routine wellness checks with your Primary Care Provider.
And Mary, when should you reach out to if you notice something?
Consult your primary care provider if you notice,
• A lump or swelling in the breast.
• Redness or flaky skin in the breast.
• Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
• Nipple discharge.
• Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
Hannah, can you share what’s the latest that Carle can offer patients facing this diagnosis?
• New High-Risk Breast clinic.
• Access to clinical trials.
• 2-D and 3-D mammography.
• Nurse navigator services.
• Multi-disciplinary approach to treatment.
Hannah, can you tell me more about the High-Risk Breast Clinic? Who can access it and how does it help?
• Carle is currently the only healthcare provider in the region offering this service.
• People with an increased risk of breast cancer due to familial or irregular breast biopsies.
• Referred by Primary Care Provider like OB/GYN or Family doctor.
How – or are – these patients treated differently?
• Depending on their level of risk come up with a customized plan
• Genetic testing
• Preventative medications
• More intense screening
• Breast exams by a healthcare provider
• Coaching on lifestyle changes
• Preventive risk reduction surgeries
Who should be on the lookout for breast cancer and at what age?
• For women, starting at age 40 unless a family history is present and then the screening may be sooner.
• For men, they should become familiar with their skin and their chest – noting any changes. Many men with breast cancer often think it’s skin cancer.
Where can people learn more?
• Call (217) 383-3010