Tag Archives: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Ask the Doctor: Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A woman has a one in eight chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

Elizabeth S. Lambert, MD, FACOG, OB/GYN with Carolina Women’s Physicians, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. We asked her some important questions about the disease. Here’s what she told us.

Dr. Elizabeth Lambert

Q: What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?
A: Signs and symptoms may include a new, palpable lump, peau d’orange (skin changes that resemble the surface of an orange), nipple drainage or discharge, skin dimpling or puckering, and nipple retraction that is new.

Q: When should I see a doctor?
A: Call your doctor when you discover something new or different in your breast.

Q: Are there particular risk factors?
A: Age-related risk as well as personal and family history are important. nA family history of breast cancer could mean that patients need further evaluation and possibly genetic testing. Your doctor can evaluate your specific risks and facilitate further testing when pertinent. If you have a personal history of breast cancer, then you will be watched very closely by your oncologist.

Q: What are the best prevention methods?
A: Maintaining or adopting a healthy lifestyle is beneficial in prevention of many cancers — healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining a normal BMI and not smoking. In addition, a monthly self-breast exam is recommended along with beginning mammography at a time that is appropriate for you as determined by you and your doctor.

Q: Following a diagnosis, what are the best ways for finding support and coping?
A: At Lexington Medical Center, the nurse navigator program is a comprehensive patient care program that guides patients with breast cancer from diagnosis through treatment and recovery. Patients are assisted in finding emotional support groups, practical support groups, health and exercise resources as well as holistic therapies.

Q: Cancer can also form in men’s breast tissue. What should they know?
A: If men have close relatives with breast cancer, particularly if those relatives carry a breast cancer gene (BRCA I and II), they should be screened by their doctors. Approximately 1% of all new breast cancer diagnoses are in men. If a man notices a new lump in his breast, he should see his doctor.

Carolina Women’s Physicians provides comprehensive care for women, by women. The physician practice has offices in West Columbia and Irmo. Learn more at CarolinaWomensPhysicians.com

Women’s Night Out 2017

More than 850 guests attended Women’s Night Out on Tuesday, October 17. It’s Lexington Medical Center’s annual event honoring breast cancer survivors and their families. Proceeds benefit the Crystal Smith Breast Cancer Fund, which provides breast cancer patients in need with financial assistance, resources and supplies during their treatment. Women’s Night Out included a health and wellness expo with our physician practices, a silent auction, dinner, fashion show featuring breast cancer survivors and keynote speaker Jina Moore. Did we catch you in any photos? Check them out below.

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Shall We Dance? Pink Glove Dancer Update

Five years ago, a group of women danced in Lexington Medical Center’s Pink Glove Dance because they had a tomorrow. They had survived breast cancer. In this blog series, find out where they are today. First, Amy Kinard.

Amy Kinard
River Bluff High School Nurse

At just 34 years old, Amy found a lump during a routine self-breast exam. At the time, she was a nurse at Lexington Women’s Care, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

amy-k“That self-breast exam helped me detect my cancer early, which made my treatment and prognosis better.”

She was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in-situ, stage 1 with no lymph node involvement. While her cancer was not progesterone or estrogen driven, she tested positive for an overexpression of HER2-Nu, a protein that makes cancer more aggressive. Amy had no family history of cancer, and her genetic testing was negative.

amy-kinard009b“I strongly encourage all women to do self-breast exams, get their annual mammogram, be familiar with their bodies and see their doctor immediately if they notice the slightest change. You have to be your own biggest advocate.”

Amy has been a survivor for nine years now. Today, she’s a nurse at River Bluff High School.

“Five years after filming the Pink Glove Dance, people still recognize me and make the connection with the video. I am proud of the work Lexington Medical Center did to bring awareness to breast cancer and the impact it had on our community. These are memories I will cherish for a lifetime.”

To watch Lexington Medical Center’s Pink Glove Dance from 2011, visit this link on the hospital’s You Tube channel.