Breast Cancer: Understanding the Latest Diagnostics and Treatment

Lexington Medical Center is pleased to present its monthly physician lecture on Monday, October 27 at 6:00 p.m. inside the Lexington Medical Park 1 Auditorium on the hospital campus. This month’s topic is “Breast Cancer: Understanding the Latest Diagnostics and Treatment.” Ronald G. Myatich, MD, FACS, of Southern Surgical Group at Lexington Medical Center will give the presentation. It’s free and open to the public. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and light refreshments will be served.

Myatich_RonaldDuring the lecture, Dr. Myatich will discuss the history of breast cancer treatment, current screening and treatment options, and the future of breast cancer treatment.

breast x-rayStatistics show that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Lexington Medical Center diagnoses approximately 250 breast cancer patients each year. The hospital’s breast program has accreditation from 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 also has accreditation with commendation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

Lexington Medical Center is pleased to present a monthly lecture series featuring physicians speaking out medical topics that are important to our community. For the calendar of future events, visit LexMed.com.

Preventing Cancer With A Healthy Diet

by Morgan Robbins, RD, LD at LMC

Research suggests that one-third of all cancers are preventable. Through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes you can protect yourself from developing cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) suggests nine ways to reduce your risk for cancer:

belly1. Maintain a healthy weight- Visit the Centers for Disease Control’s Healthy Weight Assessment to see what weight category you fall under. Keep in mind BMI is not a suitable indicator for all populations.

2. MOVE- Participate in some type of physical activity at least 30 minutes daily. Try parking at the opposite end of the parking lot, or squeeze in a walk on your lunch break.

3. Choose less calorie-dense foods- Low calorie-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, contain little added fats and sugar.

4. Follow a plant-based diet- Plant based diets can help lower your risk for cancer; focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes.

wine glass15. Eat less red and processed meats- Aim for less than 18 ounces of cooked red/processed meats such as bologna, hot dogs, bacon, sausage and deli meats per week.

6. Cut down on alcohol- One drink per day for women, two drinks per day for men and no- you cannot save all of your drinks for the weekend.

7. Eat less salt- Limit processed foods and foods that contain excess salt, get rid of the salt shaker and replace it with fresh herbs and spices.

8. Don’t rely on dietary supplements- Chose a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants rather than relying on vitamins and supplements.

breastfeeding_29. Breastfeed your baby if possible- Breastfeeding can help protect Mom from cancer while baby reaps all the benefits.

Breast Cancer With Help From Our Friends

Patti Handel is a four-time cancer survivor.

“’Cancer’ is the scariest word in the English language,” she said. “But it’s only part of us. It doesn’t define us.”

The 61-year-old from Irmo shares words of wisdom at monthly meetings of Woman to Woman, Lexington Medical Center’s support group for breast cancer survivors.

Handel started attending Woman to Woman meetings after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2007, just one month after she and her husband moved to Irmo from Long Island, New York.

Patti Handel and Brenda Osteen at the West Columbia Riverwalk

Patti Handel and Brenda Osteen at the West Columbia Riverwalk

“I didn’t have a South Carolina driver’s license yet and I needed an oncologist, surgeon and other doctors. It was overwhelming.”

So, she found comfort – and new friends in a new town – at the support group, which is designed to offer companionship to women who are recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

At Woman to Woman, cancer survivors share their experiences, learn about the latest treatment options and swap tips including how pickle juice seems to help cure chemotherapy-induced nausea.

That’s where Patti met Brenda Osteen in 2010.

Brenda, age 67, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 after a mammogram. The Lexington resident endured a mastectomy, chemotherapy and reconstruction.

At the meetings, Patti and Brenda hit it off.

“Patti’s been where I’ve been,” Brenda said. “You can’t explain cancer to someone who hasn’t gone through it. It’s like trying to explain a migraine to someone who never had a headache.”

When you see Patti and Brenda together, you can tell they’re close. Both impeccably dressed, they laugh like college friends and share jokes and stories that make you laugh from your belly.

From trading bestsellers they’ve read to talking about their grandchildren while sipping a cocktail at a weekly dinner, they understand each other well.

Brenda and Patti

Brenda and Patti

“When it came back, I was mad as a hornet,” Patti said.

“We need friends to hold hands with, laugh with and cry with,” Patti said.

Patti especially needed Brenda’s support after a cancer recurrence in her leg in 2010, and another in her abdomen and pelvis one year ago.

Patti has had chemotherapy three times and lost her hair twice. She’s monitored every 8 weeks, with scans every three months.

Brenda has inspired Patti to stay positive.

“We get up, put on our makeup, lipstick and earrings – and head out. Life is too precious to waste,” Brenda said.

Kelly Jeffcoat, breast cancer nurse navigator at Lexington Medical Center, runs the Woman to Woman support group at the hospital. As a breast cancer survivor herself, she has a first-hand understanding of the group’s experience.

Kelly Jeffcoat

Kelly Jeffcoat

“This crazy, horrible thing called breast cancer ends up giving you these beautiful relationships,” she said.

Having a cheering section during cancer is important. Studies have shown that women with friends who support them through their cancer journey may experience better outcomes.

Patti and Brenda count Kelly as a big part of the cheering section.

“Kelly is instrumental in the treatment, care and recovery of women going through breast cancer,” Patti said. “Kelly can really say, ‘I know how you feel. I understand.’”

Patti and Brenda will attend Women’s Night Out on October 14, Lexington Medical Center’s annual dinner that recognizes October as breast cancer awareness month and honors cancer survivors and their families. More than 900 people attend each year.

Kate Larsen

Kate Larsen

The event includes a silent auction, physician exhibits, fashion show featuring models who are breast cancer survivors, dinner and a talk with keynote speaker Kate Larsen. A breast cancer survivor, Larsen will talk about the importance of friendship during cancer treatment.

For more information about Women’s Night Out or to purchase tickets, visit LexMed.com or call Lexington Medical Center Community Outreach at (803) 936-8850.

The Woman to Woman support group at Lexington Medical Center meets on the 4th Thursday of each month at 5:00 p.m. inside the Women’s Imaging lobby at 2728 Sunset Boulevard in West Columbia. That’s Lexington Medical Park 1 on the hospital campus. The support group is free and open to any woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, regardless of where she has received her treatment.

For more information about Lexington Medical Center’s cancer services, visit LexMed.com.