Supporting You to Survivorship and Beyond
Our support doesn’t end with your treatment. If you have breast cancer, you may want to talk to someone who knows what you’re feeling – someone who has been there. There are many programs available to support you throughout treatment. Connecting with others can be a source of comfort and knowledge.
•Reach To Recovery,® an American Cancer Society sponsored program, puts you in touch with a woman who has been diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer. To talk with or receive a visit from a Reach to Recovery volunteer, call our local American Cancer Society office or 1-800-227-2345.
•Look Good. Feel Better. This is a free service provided by the American Cancer Society. Volunteer beauty professionals lead small groups through practical, hands-on experience. Women learn about makeup, skin and nail care, and managing hair loss with wigs, turbans and scarves. Each woman gets a free makeup kit to use during and after the workshop. For a schedule of upcoming workshops, go to www.samc.org or call 334-793-8006. Free self-help materials can be ordered through the Look Good Feel Better toll-free number, 1-800-395-LOOK (1-800-395-5665).
•The Pink Ambassadors Support Group is an active mix of new and longtime breast cancer survivors. They meet the first Friday of every month, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Women’s Center, 3rd floor Staff Conference Room. To attend, call the Medical Call Center at 334-712-3336 or 1-800-735-4998.
•I’m 2 Young 4 Breast Cancer Support Group is for patients under 40 diagnosed with breast cancer. They meet the third Tuesday of every month, 6-7:30 pm, Women's Center, third floor. Call Ladonna Danford, RN, Breast Health Navigator at 334-699-8111, ext. 8459.
•Patient Care Connect is a free patient navigation service for patients 65+ on Medicaid/Medicare. In addition to your personal Breast Health Navigator, a lay navigator will assist you with overcoming any obstacles related to staying on your prescribed treatment plan including medication management, transportation and problems encountered between appointments.
Additional Personal Resources
•The Women’s Center Boutique has a variety of women-specific products, such as mastectomy apparel, hair pieces, clothing and gifts. The Boutique is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 334-699-4811.
•Southeast Regional Health Screening Services provides underserved women the opportunity to receive breast cancer screenings with a mobile medical vehicle. All tests are insurance filed. To schedule an appointment in your area, call 334-793-8006 or 800-524-1537.
•Sandi McCool Champions of Hope is held each October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 100 percent of the proceeds from the event stays in the Wiregrass to support the expansion of cancer services and programs offered by SAMC. For more information about how this event, its participants, sponsors and volunteers are helping to win the battle against breast cancer please call the SAMC Foundation at (334) 673-4150 or visit www.samc.foundation.org.
What to Expect
•Schedule your annual screening mammogram. Appointments are available within five days.
•Results within 24 hours or less by your choice of text, email or personal phone call. Two to four screening mammograms of every 1,000 lead to a diagnosis of cancer.
•If your results are abnormal, a diagnostic mammogram is scheduled promptly. Results are available the same day. Being called back for more testing does not mean that you have cancer. In fact, less than 10 percent of women who are called back for more tests are found to have breast cancer. This is more common for first mammograms and in mammograms done in women before menopause.
•A biopsy can be performed the same day as a diagnostic mammogram using ultrasound guidance. For a stereotactic needle biopsy, computers map the exact location of the mass using mammograms taken from two angles. This helps the doctor guide the needle to the right spot.
•Biopsy results are available within 48 hours. Our Breast Health Navigator will contact you regarding these results. Eighty percent of breast biopsies are benign.
A Team of Specialists Working Together to Help You
A cancer diagnosis can leave a patient confused, so we developed a team approach of skilled specialists to advise you of your treatment options. This team consists of a surgeon, a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist. Within one week of diagnosis our Breast Health Navigator coordinates a meeting with you and the specialist team at the Comprehensive Breast Center. This patient-centered, collaborative process is unique to our center, saving you time by eliminating visits to individual specialists.
Prior to arriving for your consultation, the specialist team meets to discuss your medical options. Once the best plan is developed, they present their recommendations to you and your family. You leave with a full understanding of your diagnosis, a treatment plan and the support of a team of specialists ready to start you on a path to survivorship. Your Navigator will be there every step of the way, assisting you and your family through the treatment and recovery process.
Your Partner for Good Health
Our top priority is your good health. The Comprehensive Breast Center delivers top quality services, quickly and conveniently. We will partner with you to:
• Educate you about your breast health risks
• Remind you when to get screened
• Offer the latest technology in digital mammography
• Provide fast and accurate results within 24 hours
• Provide comprehensive treatment for beating breast cancer
To assist women in rural, underserved areas, we offer the services of our Cancer Screening Mobile Unit. This 40-foot medical van is equipped with a digital screening mammography suite, a lab and an education area. The van travels the Tri-State area serving residents with limited access to healthcare services.
Early Detection Saves Lives
Beginning by age 20, women are encouraged to perform breast self-exams every month. 40 percent of all diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump.
The American Cancer Society recommends these screening guidelines for most women:
Age 20 – 39
• Clinical breast exam (CBE) about every three years for women in their 20s and 30s. These are typically performed at routine OB /GYN visits.
• Yearly mammograms and CBE are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other risk factors – should have an MRI in addition to a mammogram. Talk with your doctor about your medical history and whether you should have additional tests at an earlier age.