As the most common form of cancer found in women, breast cancer affects all of us, in one way or another. We#ve all had a friend, family member or co-worker who#s been diagnosed with it, or even gone through it ourselves.
Throughout the years, breakthroughs have been made in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer and studies are continuously being done to find new ways to fight back. The American Cancer Society recently published a report detailing new findings in research and treatment. One of the most important discoveries was that combined estrogen
and progestin postmenopausal hormone therapy increases the risk of breast cancer.
Other findings include chemoprevention, which may prove to lower breast cancer risk in women with certain risk factors; MRI-assisted breast biopsies that allow samples to be obtained through a small skin incision using only local anesthesia; new procedures in breast reconstruction surgery that produce less scar tissue and more natural reconstruction; and dose dense chemotherapy # giving chemotherapy more often at
normal levels to help prevent reoccurrence. Scientists are also studying how lifestyle factors such as exercise, hormone replacement therapy and diet, along with environmental factors, may affect a woman#s risk of cancer. New screening technologies are being investigated along with chemotherapy drugs and drug combinations that attack breast cancer cells but cause less damage to normal cells, according to
October 2004 Breast Health Awareness Activities at Gwinnett
Bosom Buddies Breast Cancer Support Group
Wed., Oct. 13, 7 p.m.
Gwinnett Women#s Pavilion, Dogwood Room, Lawrenceville
Breast Cancer Survivors Celebration
Monday, Oct. 25, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Gwinnett Women#s Pavilion, Rose Room, Lawrenceville Call 678-442-3235 for additional information.
Look Good, Feel Better!
Monday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m.
This free non-medical, brand-neutral program helps women offset appearance-related changes from cancer treatment. Space is limited; to register call 404-816-4994.
The Fight Against Breast Cancer in Gwinnett
On the local level, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and hospitals like Gwinnett Medical are offering various activities to help survivors and increase awareness. A Breast Cancer Survivors Celebration is planned as well as a support group and the #Look Good, Feel Good# program, a free non-medical, brand-neutral program that helps women offset appearance-related changes from cancer treatment. Emory Healthcare also offers mammograms at
their Gwinnett campus, Emory Eastside, while the main hospital#s Winship Cancer Institute houses the Breast Imaging Center and cancer care services.
This past May, Sugarloaf Country Club#s Volley for a Cure, Gwinnett#s fourth annual tennis tournament dedicated to raising funds to help fight breast cancer, raised more than $116,000 that went toward getting and enhancing digital mammography for the Gwinnett Hospital System as part of a phase in their Time Matters in the Fight against Breast Cancer campaign.
It#s through efforts like these on local levels and continued research and testing that great strides are being made in the effort to find a cure. The ACS reports that in 2002 the five year overall survivor rate of those with localized cancer (cancer that has not spread to other sites) was at 96 percent. As we continue the race for a cure, it#s only a matter of time until a cure is found, and that women diagnosed with breast cancer see a greatly improved quality of life.
Breast Cancer Resources in Gwinnett
Gwinnett Medical Center:
Breast Health Education & Resource Center, Gwinnett Women#s Pavilion
An educational resource center for breast cancer patients made possible by a grant from the American Cancer Society.
Women#s Pavilion Boutique
Gwinnett Women#s Pavilion
Products and services for breast ca