Spring 2016

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PATRONS | Spring 2016 8 Miracle of Living at the Beach: When the Diagnosis is Cancer, You are Not Alone WRITTEN BY CARLIE RICHMAN R eceiving a breast cancer diagnosis is a frightening and difficult experience. Many are overwhelmed by the vast number of decisions and treatment options ahead. At the latest Miracle of Living at the Beach program, a panel of breast cancer experts followed a patient's journey through a maze of decisions. Each shared their expertise about every step, from diagnosis to treatment and reconstruction. is discussion helped to answer questions individuals diagnosed with breast cancer have, and provided them with a variety of support systems. Although the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends getting a mammogram beginning at age 50, and then every two years, Torrance Memorial's breast cancer specialists disagree. Patricia Sacks, MD, radiologist, urges women to begin at 40, and continue every year thereafter, given that an early diagnosis is critical. Dr. Sacks highlighted digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), a new $400,000 machine recently added to the Torrance, Manhattan Beach and Rolling Hills offices of Torrance Memorial's Vasek and Anna Maria Polak Breast Diagnostic Center. According to Dr. Sacks, the technology is changing the world of mammography. With a traditional 2D mammogram, the breast can only be seen from two sides. With 3D technology, doctors can see through all breast tissue layers, enabling the discovery of more elusive cancers. e DBT mammogram is able to diagnose an additional 41 percent of invasive cancers. When breast cancer is detected, a nurse navigator is there to guide the patient with every step. "We not only make patients' appointments and find doctors who take his or her insurance," says nurse navigator Linda Maynor- Gardea, RN. "We take them by the hand after their diagnoses and provide emotional and psychological support throughout their journey." It is important to note that each patient's situation is completely different. No breast cancer is the same, and treatment options are based primarily on the personality of the tumor. Vanessa Dickey, MD, oncologist/hematologist, shared insight about the four receptors that drive the tumor: estrogen, progesterone, ki-67, and HER2 neu. e types of receptors help determine the best treatment option, which can range from radiation to a double mastectomy. PROGRESS NOTES 1 2 3

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