Sentara Expands High Risk Breast Cancer Program to Southside
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Sentara Expands High Risk Breast Cancer Program to Southside 

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Now offered at Sentara Leigh Comprehensive Breast Center

October 31, 2008 – Norfolk, Virginia – It’s been two years since Jillian Breitwieser found a lump in her right breast.

“I knew in my gut right away it was cancer,” says the 27-year-old, who did weekly self exams because of her family history with breast cancer. Breitwieser had already researched options for a preventative mastectomy, but finding the lump sped her decision.

“I knew I had to have a double mastectomy, especially since I watched my mom and aunt battle breast cancer two times each,” she said without hesitation.

Breitwieser feels genetic testing is good information for herself, her daughter and the rest of her family since learning that mutations in the genes called BRCA1 and BRCA 2 (short for breast cancer 1 and breast cancer 2) are related to other cancers in both men and women.

Sentara recently expanded its high risk breast cancer assessment program from the Greater Williamsburg area and Lower Peninsula to Southside Hampton Roads with the addition of the newest location at the Sentara Leigh Comprehensive Breast Center. A new breast cancer risk assessment is now available to Southside women who feel they are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.

When Breitwieser learned of the new assessment program at Sentara Leigh she said, “It would have been so much easier with an advisor. It would have been better to have someone to talk to who knew all of the options and could have helped me understand them. These are life-changing decisions.”

Now women who feel they are at higher risk of developing breast cancer can refer themselves for a free risk assessment administered by a cancer patient navigator. Once admitted into the program, women are offered participation in a surveillance plan to help guide further evaluation and care. If necessary, these women will have immediate access to services and a team of breast cancer specialists such as a breast imager, breast surgeon, medical oncologists, genetic counselors and testing, and cancer patient navigator.

“Until we find a way to prevent breast cancer, early detection is key. By arming high risk breast cancer patients with the information and appropriate screenings they need, we will hopefully catch breast cancer at earlier stages when the cure rate is high,” says Dr. Jenny Reed, fellowship trained breast surgeon. “Now area women have a specialized team of resources ready and assembled for their breast health,” concludes Reed.

Sentara High Risk Breast Cancer Assessment Locations:

Sentara Leigh Comprehensive Breast Center in Norfolk 757.261.5404

Dorothy G. Hoefer Comprehensive Breast Center at Sentara Port Warwick in Newport News 757.594.1899

Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center in Williamsburg 757.345.4204

About the Sentara Leigh Hospital Comprehensive Breast Center:

Sentara Leigh opened its comprehensive breast center in the newly renovated 880 building on Kempsville Road in September 2008.

Now patients have access to an array of physicians and breast specialists such as a fellowship-trained breast imager and breast surgeon, cancer patient navigator, and multidisciplinary team of breast specialists to prospectively guide patients care at this new facility.

The center is equipped with some of the latest imaging capabilities such as digital mammography; breast MRI and MRI guided biopsy, ultrasound, and a computer-aided detection system that highlights potential tumors to improve diagnostics.
Sentara Healthcare is the area’s leading not-for-profit health care provider. 

Learn more about Sentara’s cancer services or Sentara Leigh Comprehensive Breast Center..


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