Have you seen the latest edition of Lexington Woman magazine? Dr. Jaime Brown Price, OB/GYN at Lexington Women’s Care, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, talks about new pap smear guidelines. See the “Ask the Doctor” article on page 34.
FROM WIS TV
A Midlands woman’s fight against breast cancer led to a discovery that may save the lives of her sisters and daughters.
Click for Video: wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina
Kathryn Robinson’s cancer battle started more than two years ago. ”I was preparing to go to work, and while I was in the shower I just accidentally felt a lump in my breast,” said Robinson.
It had been less than two months since Robinson’s yearly mammogram, but she knew something wasn’t right. “I called the doctor and went in that afternoon,” said Robinson. “He sent me in for an ultrasound that next Monday.”
Just a few days after the ultrasound Robinson was diagnosed with breast cancer and life immediately changed for her and her family.
“When my mom was diagnosed and she talked about getting genetic testing done, that’s the first time I had ever heard of the gene,” said Robinson’s 24 year-old daughter, Ashley Lyons.
Robinson’s family quickly learned about the BRCA gene malformation. It’s hereditary and when present greatly increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. In the midst of chemo, Kathryn tested positive for the gene.
“I had eight rounds of chemotherapy, and I was scheduled to do radiation after that, but because I was positive with the BRCA2 gene, they did a bilateral mastectomy,” said Robinson.
Doctors at Lexington Medical Center recommended the mastectomy and a hysterectomy in hopes of eliminating Robinson’s future cancer risks. They also advised her family to get tested for the gene.
“I had one sister that wasn’t interested in getting tested and a younger sister that I can usually persuade to do just about anything… she went and got tested,” said Robinson.
As it turned out, Robinson’s sister Kelly Moore also tested positive for the gene malformation. “I feel like I’m the lucky one,” said Moore. “Kathryn helped to educate me, and I had all of her valuable information for what she had gone through.
Moore chose to have her ovaries removed as a preventive measure, and is now getting more frequent breast exams. For Robinson’s daughter Ashley, the decision was more difficult.
“At first, I did not want to know,” said Ashley. “I did not want to be tested.” But Ashley says her older sister talked her into being tested for the gene. While her older sister does not have the BRCA malformation, Ashley does.
“At first I was like how do you test positive and do nothing about it…so that was kind of hard in the beginning,” said Ashley.
But medical oncologist Dr. Steve Madden at Lexington Medical center says at Ashley’s young age it’s okay not to undergo preventive surgery as long as she’s pro-active. “As long as you’re aware, you’re going to be on top of anything and catch it much earlier if it develops at all,” added Dr. Madden.
Kathryn has been a survivor now for two years. Her family calls her a lifesaver. “She was very positive, and she inspired all of us to take a fighting approach to it,” said Moore.
Dr. Madden says doctors usually advise anyone diagnosed with breast cancer who is under the age of 50 to be tested for the gene. They also advise immediate family members of breast cancer patients to be tested, as well.
Click for the full video: WIS TV VIDEO
Lexington Medical Center will host its annual Women’s Night Out on Tuesday, October 15 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The event recognizes October as breast cancer awareness month and honors cancer survivors and their families. More than 900 people attend each year.
Join the hospital for a silent auction and physician exhibit while enjoying a signature cocktail, then proceed to a dinner featuring a fashion show by Belk highlighting breast cancer survivors. Attendees will enjoy keynote speakers Heidi Marble and Jen Curfman, telling their story Skin Tight Genes. Heidi was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, which is rare and aggressive.
Adopted as a child, Heidi began a search to learn about her birth family’s health history and found her biological sister, Jen Curfman, and found out that she and her sister carried the BRCA2 gene. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that play a role in an increased risk for developing breast cancer.
Heidi and Jen will tell their story in matching designer jeans and guests are encouraged to wear their finest and dressiest jeans as a show of support.
Proceeds from Women’s Night Out benefit the Crystal Smith Breast Cancer Fund, a program through the Lexington Medical Center Foundation that supports women undergoing cancer treatment. Each year, Women’s Night Out raises more than $25,000 for this important fund. This year, the funds raised will cover the cost of genetic screening for women that are uninsured.
“Women’s Night Out is an inspiring evening that recognizes resilient women in our community,” said Barbara Willm, vice president of Community Relations at Lexington Medical Center.
Tickets for Women’s Night Out cost $35 each. Exhibits and the silent auction begin at 5:00 p.m. Dinner begins at 6:45 p.m. Call 803-791-2445 or visit LexMed.com to purchase tickets. You can also sponsor a table honoring a breast cancer survivor for $300.
Lexington Medical Center diagnoses approximately 250 breast cancer patients each year. The hospital’s breast program is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and the American College of Radiology (ACR). Lexington Medical Center has four Women’s Imaging centers and a mobile mammography van, all offering digital mammography. Lexington Medical Center’s cancer program is also accredited with commendation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.