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Article via VIP Murfreesboro


Being tossed into the category of “breast cancer patient” is on no woman’s wish list. Breast cancer is really something that all women hope to be spared of in their lifetime, because they’ve seen the tough battle that their friends, moms, sisters, and daughters have fought. The journey of a breast cancer patient is difficult, and it not only affects the individual, but every member of the family as well. In honor of those families being affected by breast cancer, Murfreesboro Medical Clinic (MMC) has established the Crystal Scholarship to assist the children of MMC breast cancer patients in continuing their education beyond high school.

“As a new mom myself, I know that the one person I would worry about most, should I ever develop a life threatening condition, is my daughter,” said Dr. Lisa White, a provider at MMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center. “This new scholarship is our way of showing our patients that we care about not only them, but those people who are dearest to them.”

Crystal Brown, the MMC Comprehensive Breast Center patient after whom the scholarship was named, was diagnosed with a very unusual and aggressive breast cancer that has required care far beyond that of a typical patient. Of course, this diagnosis was difficult on the Brown family, but they always held out hope. Crystal remembered her son, Michael, now a freshman at Murray State, would always encourage her with words of strength.

“When he found out I was sick, he took it like a champ,” Crystal said. “He told me I was strong and that we could beat this.”

Like Crystal, Amanda Sterner was diagnosed with breast cancer at MMC. After considering all of her options, Amanda decided to delay her own surgery so that she could be a part of a special clinical trial to help other breast cancer patients. This selfless move ended up being successful, but she did not get through it alone. Throughout the fight, Amanda’s daughter was by her side.

“Erin was there with me every step of the way,” Amanda said. “She always had a brave face. I couldn’t have done it without her.”

Erin had always planned on going to school to study marketing. Her experience with the clinical side of the diagnosis of her mom changed those plans. She is now attending University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in pursuit of a degree in nursing.

Breast cancer not only affects the individual, it affects the whole family.

 The Browns and the Sterners are fighting their battles as families, and it was for families like these that the Crystal Scholarship was established. Deservedly, both Michael and Erin have each been awarded MMC’s inaugural Crystal Scholarship.

The Brown Family The Sterner Family

On Tuesday, October 23rd, MMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center hosted its 2nd Annual ‘Stronger TogetHER’ event. The evening featured entertainment and education, with an expert panel of MMC physicians sharing the latest recommendations for breast health and answering several questions from the audience.

Below, you will find some follow-up questions and answers that the physicians were unable to get to during the event. 

Q: Does the size of the breast increase/decrease the odds for breast cancer?

A: The size of the breast actually does not appear to play a role in the risk of developing breast cancer.  While you might think that larger breasts would be more likely to develop breast cancer, no large, peer-reviewed studies have supported this assumption. With that being said, we do know that obesity does play a role in the development of breast cancer.  Other risk factors for developing breast cancer include smoking, heavy alcohol use, and having a positive family history of breast cancer. – Lisa White, M.D.

 

Q: When using tools such as the Tyrer Cuzick model or Gail model, what factors are surgeons looking for?

A: Risk assessment tools, like the Tyrer Cuzick model or Gail model, help us to better understand a woman’s personal risk of developing breast cancer.  We input many factors such as your age, weight, height, family history of breast cancer, personal history of breast biopsies, age at first menstrual cycle, and age of first childbirth into these models. Then, the computer generated model calculates your individual risk of developing breast cancer.  If your lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is greater than 20%, you qualify for a high risk screening protocol, which means coming in every six months for a breast exam and imaging.  – Lisa White, M.D.

 

Q: More women seem to be diagnosed than ever before. What could be causing this?

A: We aren’t quite sure why more women seem to be developing breast cancer.  So many environmental and genetic factors could be playing a role.  At this time, our best way of protecting women against breast cancer is to encourage a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, good nutrition and smoking cessation. Also, please seek professional care right away if you have a new breast lump, unusual nipple discharge, new changes on the breast skin or any abnormalities on your mammogram or ultrasound. – Lisa White, M.D.

 

Q: How long is the reconstruction process?

A: No reconstruction process is exactly the same, and therefore there is not one straightforward answer here. There are many determining factors that affect the length of the reconstruction process, such as the drain duration, toleration of sizers and setbacks during recovery. – Brad Medling, M.D.

 

MMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center is comprised of MMC’s Radiology, General Surgery and Plastic Surgery departments. From detection to restoration, it is the MMC Comprehensive Breast Center’s promise to walk hand in hand with every patient through each individual’s health journey. To learn more about Murfreesboro Medical Clinic’s Comprehensive Breast Center visit our website, mmclinic.com, or call 615-867-8040.

 


Murfreesboro Medical Clinic’s Comprehensive Breast Center was proud to host its 2nd ‘Stronger TogetHER’ event on Tuesday, October 23rd. The evening featured entertainment and education, with an expert panel of MMC physicians sharing the latest recommendations for breast health. Guests were welcomed into a comfortable environment where they could directly engage with physicians and staff, even tour the mammography units.

MMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center is comprised of MMC’s Radiology, General Surgery and Plastic Surgery departments. The expert panel included 5 of the 9 physicians who make up the Comprehensive Breast Center department:  Jimmy Carter, M.D. (General Surgery), Heather Dunlap, D.O. (General Surgery), Andrew Fong, M.D. (Radiology), Brad Medling, M.D. (Plastic Surgery), and Lisa White, M.D. (Breast Surgery). Rachel Holder, local real estate agent and previous segment host for Nashville’s NBC television station, emceed the evening for the second year, gracefully facilitating conversation between physicians and guests.

Two MMC patients shared their testimony about how a breast cancer diagnosis changed their lives and what role MMC physicians and staff played. Laura, an MMC patient, encouraged women to get a yearly mammogram, “because early detection is truly the best; mammograms aren’t fun, but I do believe in early detection.” Laura continued to say, “I have kids, grandchildren, a new granddaughter - only 6 months old, and I want to be here for their future.”

MMC Surgeons have seen a higher volume of younger women being diagnosed with breast cancer. While the cause is not known, one contributing factor is the improved screening and diagnostics tools used. MMC Radiology is proud to offer Genius 3D Mammography. ‘This technology delivers a series of detailed breast images, allowing doctors to better evaluate the breast layer by layer, and over 200 clinical studies support the benefits of this technology,’ according to Genius 3D mammography. ‘Greater accuracy means better breast cancer detection and a reduced chance of being called back for additional screenings.’

When asked how many patients with cancer our surgeons treat, Dr. Carter shared that many abnormal mammograms they see aren’t cancer and most masses in the breast are found to be benign. Again, this is attributed to better imaging and the ability to see dense breast tissue more clearly.

This is why educational events like ‘Stronger TogetHER’ are important. Being proactive in breast health education and scheduling regular mammograms is the key to early detection.

 From detection to restoration, it is the MMC Comprehensive Breast Center’s promise to walk hand in hand with every patient through each individual’s health journey. To learn more about Murfreesboro Medical Clinic’s Comprehensive Breast Center visit our website, mmclinic.com or call 615-867-8040.

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