18 Breast Cancer Awareness

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Breast Cancer Awareness

Sunday, October 7, 2018 | The Newnan Times-Herald — 1D

Neighbors support each other through separate battles

“” It’s a sisterhood that no one really wants to be a part of or knows about until you go through it. — Bridgette Major

BY MELANIE RUBERTI melanie@newnan.com

When Bridgette Major, 42, moved into a home on West Wedgewood Circle, little did she know she’d make a new friend – and find a new sister – in Robinette Newson, 64. W h i l e t h e t wo nei g hb or s h ave a close bond, it ’s a sisterhood neither woman wanted to be a part of. Major moved across the street from Newsom in 2007, just three years after Newson’s first battle with breast cancer. “I was lying in bed one night and felt a lump the size of a lima bean under my arm,” Newson said. After rounds of tests, scans and a biopsy, Newson was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. She said doctors took out six lymph nodes. Newson then went through six rounds of chemotherapy and four weeks of radiation before being declared “No Evidence of Disease,” or NED. She stayed in remission for almost 12 years, until an annual mammogram



Breast cancer survivors Robinette Newson, left, and Bridgette Major helped each other through their separate battles with breast cancer.

In the US, 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer. Schedule your mammogram today. Call: 678.237.4601


— The Newnan Times-Herald |  Sunday, October 7, 2018

Breast Cancer Awareness

Information crucial when it comes to breast surgery options

Women now have more ability to empower themselves with information.

— Dr. Elizabeth Min-Hui Kim


More women diagnosed with breast cancer are doing their research and turning to Cancer Treatment Centers of America for advanced surgical care so they can get back to their normal lives as soon as possible.

BY REBECCA LEFTWICH becky@newnan.com

More women are arming themselves w ith technology, keeping up with the latest medical adva nces a nd dema nding more and better options for breast cancer surgery. A nd they’re going to need them. According to www.breastcancer.org, 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer dur ing their l i fet i me s , w it h ne a rly 270,000 new cases expected to be diagnosed in 2018 alone. Dr. Elizabeth Min-Hui K i m of C a nc er Tre atment Centers of A merica in New na n says many women diagnosed w ith brea st ca ncer a re doing their research and t u r n i n g t o C T CA f o r advanced surgical care so they can get back to t h e i r n o r m a l l ive s a s soon as possible. “ We look at not only their surgical needs but thei r over a l l ne e d s s o their goals are achieved,” s a id K i m , d i r e c t or of C T C A’s B r e a s t C a n cer Institute. “ Women now have more ability to empower themselves with information. These women a re look ing for ex p er t s who t hey c a n pa r tner w ith t o g u ide them through the maze of thei r d ia g nosis a nd


Dr. Elizabeth Min-Hui Kim.

wh at tre atment wou ld yield the best outcome for them.” N ew a dv a nc e s m a ke it possible for surgeons increasingly to conserve breast tissue or skin to u s e i n r e c on s t r uc t ion surgery. The remaining breast tissue af ter a large lu mpectomy c a n of ten be scu lpted to rea lig n the nipple a nd a reola for a more n at ura l shape, when in the past a patient may have had to resign herself to a m is sh ap en bre a st . A sk i n-spa r i n g m a ste ctomy removes breast tis-


New advances make it possible for surgeons increasingly to conserve breast tissue or skin to use in reconstruction surgery at Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

sue and glands but leaves the skin intact, making r e c on s t r uc t ion e a sier. And nipple-sparing mastectomy surger y keeps t he n ipple a nd a r e ol a i nt act , a lon g w ith the breast skin. Minimally invasive su rger ie s , shor ter

radiation times and an enhanced recovery program mean breast cancer patients can get back on their feet more quickly than in the past. Some surgical techniques that hide scars and fit blood vessels together for f a st er he a l i n g weren’t


available five years ago, Kim said. Still, there’s no onesize-fits-all option. “ No woman goes through the same journey the same way,” Kim said. “As physicians, we approach each person as a unique individual with

her own values and emot ion a l ne e d s , a nd t he roles they serve in their community and family. My role is to be a compa s sion ate l istener, to hear exactly what goals, fears and concerns they have and address them at every level.”


Breast Cancer Awareness Month Connecting for a cure


– Survivor

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Sunday, October 7, 2018  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 3D


— The Newnan Times-Herald |  Sunday, October 7, 2018

Breast Cancer Awareness

3-D mammograms, genetic screening offered at Piedmont Newnan


At the Faye Hendrix-Ware Breast Health Center are, left to right: Dr. Frank Powell, breast surgeon; Rhonda Winkles, clinical manager– imaging; Jason Smith, former chief nursing officer at Piedmont Newnan; and Mike Robertson, CEO of Piedmont Newnan.


The Faye Hendrix-Ware Breast Health Center at Piedmont Newnan Hospital now offers a high-risk program with genetic counseling.

BY SARAH FAY CAMPBELL sarah@newnan.com

For just over a year, Piedmont-Newnan Hospital has been offering women state-of-the-art 3-D digital breast tomosynthesis mammograms at t he Faye Hend r i xWa r e B r e a s t H e a l t h Center. And in September, the center launched a new telegenetics program for patients at high risk for breast cancer. The P ie d mont H i g h R isk Breast Cancer P rogram star ts w ith a scre en i n g of ever yone who comes to the center for mammogram. The screening takes the form of a questionnaire. If a woman’s answers to the questionna ire identif y her as high risk, she will then be connected with a genetic counselor for a more in-depth screening, said Nicole Dillon, c o m mu n i c a t i o n s s p e cia l ist w ith P ied mont Newnan. Women who are high risk can meet with genet ic c ou n s elor s i n person, and telemedicine visits are also available. “By incorporating telemedicine capabilities, we are now able to expand our high-quality, personalized care to even more patients, close t o home ,” s a id L i nd a Va n der Mer we, P iedmont’s executive director of clinical oncology services. A f ter evaluation and ex a m i n ation , a n e a rly detection plan is developed based on each patient’s risk. " S o m e r i s k f a c t or s , such a s gene mut ations passed from a parent, may result in large increases in breast cancer risk, so a patient may need a more comprehensive detection plan,” said Kelly Teed, one of the board-certified genetic counselors at Piedmont Newnan. “O ther r i sk f act or s ,

By incorporating telemedicine capabilities, we are now able to expand our high-quality, personalized care to even more patients, close to home. — Linda Van der Merwe

such as age or hormone ex posure, may on ly c ause mode st ch a n ge s i n r i sk , a nd therefore m ay on ly c au s e m i n im a l a dju s t me nt s i n a patient’s current detection plan,” Teed added. The h i g h-r i sk pro g r a m , l i ke t he c ent er itself, is made possible by a donation from Holland Ware and Faye HendrixWare of Hogansville. The 3-D tomosynthesis m a m mog r a m s pro vide a better picture of bre a s t t i s s ue a nd c a n both reduce false positives and provide better detection of cancer, particularly in dense breast tissue, according to The Society of Breast Imaging (SBI). The 3 -D m ach i ne s a re sim ila r to 2-D machines, and the positions a nd compression is the same, though the f lexible paddles on the 3-D machines may make compression more comfortable for some women, according to SBI. I n s t e a d o f t h e s i ngle f lat picture of each breast provided by 2-D m a m m o g r a p hy, 3 -D ma m mog raphy creates pictures of thin slices of the breast tissue. I n den s e bre a s t ti ssue, 3-D mammograms c a n f i nd c a nc er s th at wou ld h ave other w ise been hidden, according to SBI, a nd dete ction

of invasive breast cancers is improved by 40 percent. There are also benefits for women who do not have dense breast tissue. Many insurance providers will pay for 3-D tomosynthesis, though not a ll, sa id Dillon. Piedmont Newnan still o f f e r s 2 -D m a m m o g raphy at the Piedmont New na n O utpatient Center. The Brea st Hea lth Center of fers appointm e nt s , b ut o f t e n h a s r o o m f o r w a l k-i n patients, said Dillon. So if women a re going to be at Piedmont Newna n’s me d ic a l pla z a for an appointment or other rea son a nd k now they a re due for a ma m mogram, they can drop in and see if there are any openings, Dillon said. In addition to improved ea rly detection methods, Piedmont Newnan also is adding a se cond l i ne a r accelerator in the radiation oncology department. The new machine will be up a nd r u n n in g by the end of the year, Dillon said. The radiation device can shorten the length of radiation treatment that is required. “It a lso a llows us to hone in on the specific a rea that treatment ne e d s t o b e del ivere d to,” Dillon said.


The 3D tomosynthesis mammography machines at the Faye Hendrix-Ware Breast Health Center provide a higher quality image than 2D machines, which improve detection and reduces false alarms.

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Sunday, October 7, 2018  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 5D

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month FROM THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY

As National Breast Canc er Aw a rene s s Month begins, the American Cancer Society says remarkable progress against the disease should not obscure the significant challenges remaining.

The Facts: Thanks to largely stable incidence rates, improved treatment , a nd ea rlier detection through screening and increased awaren e s s , a wo m a n's r i s k of dying of breast cancer dropped 39 percent between the late 1980s and 2015. That translates into more than 300,000 breast cancer deaths avoided during that time. Despite that progress, there's much more to be

done, according to experts. Breast cancer is still the second-leading cause of cancer death in women, second only to lung cancer. A large racial gap still exists in mortality rates, with African-American women having higher death rates compared to whites, even as incidence rates are similar. The A mer ic a n C a ncer Society's estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2018 are: •About 26 6 ,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. •About 63,960 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed. CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer. •About 40,920 women will die from breast cancer. •While black and white

women get breast cancer at roughly the same rate, the mortality rate is 42 percent higher among black women than white women. •At this time, there are more than 3.1 million people with a history of breast cancer in the United States. This includes women still being treated and those who h ave complete d treatment.

Risk factors: Numerous studies have confirmed that alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer in women by about 7-10 percent for each drink of alcohol consumed per day on average. Women who have 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day have a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to non-drinkers. Obesity increases the risk

of postmenopausal breast cancer. The risk is about 1.5 times higher in overweight women and about two times higher in obese women than in lean women. Growing evidence suggests that women who get regular physical activity have a 10-25 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who are inactive, with stronger evidence for postmenopausal than premenopausal women. Limited but accumulating research indicates that smoking may slightly increase breast cancer risk, particularly long-term, heavy smoking and among women who start smoking before their first pregnancy. If you or someone you love are concerned about developing breast cancer, have been recently diag-

nosed, are going through treatment or are trying to stay well after treatment, the American Cancer Society provides important information on these topics.

What the American Cancer Society is doing The ACS currently funds 15 5 mu lti-ye a r g r a nt s focused on breast cancer totaling $60.2 million. The society has played a key role in many of the advances against breast cancer, including funding early work that eventually led to the development of tamoxifen and Herceptin. People can join the society and help save lives from breast cancer: Fundraise and participate in one of more than 250 Making Strides events or participate virtually at www.mak-

ingstrideswalk.org . The American Cancer Society's nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), also is working to make fighting breast cancer a national priority. ACS CAN is committed to ensuring that all women have the opportunity to receive lifesaving cancer screenings and services. Working in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., ACS CAN advocates for adequate funding for early detection programs that provide access to affordable breast cancer screenings and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured women. To learn more about ACS CAN's advocacy work, visit www.acscan.org/makingstrides .

Grassroots initiative aims to address fears, empower women NTH STAFF REPORTS news@newnan.com

When pink season a r r ive s e ach O ctober, much attention is focused on encouraging women to know their risk of breast cancer and get annual breast screenings, but fear can deter some women from taking the first step. Breastcancer.org is a nonprofit organization and the world’s leading online resource for breast cancer and breast health information and support. The site has launched “Take the Fright Out of Breast Cancer,” a national grassroots initiative to turn Hallow-

een into a celebration with a purpose: To replace the fear of breast cancer with knowledge that will help women reduce their risk of the disease or its recurrence, and to learn what they need to know about early detection and testing options. “In my opinion, being diagnosed with breast cancer is one of every woman’s greatest fears. And as a breast oncologist and breast cancer survivor, I also know the fear of cancer coming back is always there,” said Marisa Weiss, M.D., founder and chief

medical officer of breastcancer.org. “Far too often, women miss the opportunity for potentia lly life-sav ing treatments because they fear going to the doctor, ignore a lump or avoid getting an annual mammogram,” Weiss said. “We launched Take the Fright Out to empower women with the knowledge, clarity, and confidence they need to make health decisions assuredly and lessen the fears and anxieties women associate with this disease.” During this Halloween

season and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Take the Fright Out of Breast C a nc er a i m s t o m a ke orange the new pink by encouraging people to host grassroots events across the country. Breastcancer.org is asking people to join Take the Fright Out this fall by hosting an event and raising funds that will allow the site to expand its reach and support to women who have been diagnosed with or are worried about breast cancer. Participation is easy, organizers say. It could be a bake sale at the

office, a Halloween-themed ladies night out, or raising funds at a fall festival. “Many women believe there is nothing they can do to protect themselves from this disease, even though most breast cancers are due to factors we can change or avoid,” Weiss said. “Only 10 percent of breast cancers are largely due to an inherited genetic mutation, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2. Even if you start changing key lifestyle factors at age 50, you can lower your risk of breast cancer by 50 percent. Providing the everyday steps

to lower our lifetime risk will empower women with the knowledge they need to break those barriers of fear and anxiety.” The program will be supported by a number of leading companies that have partnered to extend the message of the campaign. Anyone interested in hosting or participating in a local event can visit www. TakeTheFrightOut.com for more information. Breastcancer.org is a patient-centric resource for breast health and breast cancer information and support.

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— The Newnan Times-Herald   |  Sunday, October 7, 2018

Breast Cancer Awareness

Cancer Support Group provides financial aid BY JEFFREY CULLEN-DEAN


The Ca ncer Suppor t Group of Coweta County is providing financial aid to people diagnosed with ca ncer who a re str uggling to keep up with their finances because of the disease. “Our mission is to give financial aid to those in treatment because a lot of times people are not able to work when in treatment . S ometimes they need help with their utilities, prescriptions, rent, insurance or house payments,” said Pat Craven, recording secretary of the group. C SG wa s sta r ted by Katherine Massey in 1991 to provide moral support for cancer survivors. The group is open to not only cancer survivors but also caregivers, those in treatment, and those interested in treating cancer survivors, said Craven. T h e g r o up r e c e i ve s don ation s th at en able them to share back with

other cancer survivors in Coweta County. “When people decide they need help, it’s when their gas or electricity is about to be cut off,” said Sue Martin, treasurer of the group. CSG doesn’t give money directly to those who are in need. They require a bill or a payment that needs to be paid and the group receives payment requests through oncologists rather than individuals. “Most other groups have to go through a committee or board meeting. The big thing about our group is we can help immediately. If the request meets our criteria, we go ahead and pay it,” said Martin. Patients seeking assistance must have a diagnosis and be going through cancer at the time said Billie Cloudsdale, coordinator for CSG. Patients are eligible once a quarter to apply for financial aid, and they can re-apply in other quarters for continuous help. “ We h a v e s e v e r a l repeats because a lot of

times cancer comes back and they lose their jobs because they can’t function as they should,” said Craven. The group works d i r e c t ly w it h a nu r s e oncolog i st at New n a n P iedmont to f ind new patients. CSG meets once a quarter – on the first Wednesd ay s i n S e pt emb er, December, and January, The fourth meeting of the year is scheduled for after Relay For Life. Proceeds from the Classic Car Show for the Cure at Mt . G i le ad Un it e d Met ho d i s t Chu r ch go directly to CSG’s financial aid fund. “They’ve helped us for seven years,” Cloudsdale said. In the past, large donations have come from a local veterans group in Newnan. People also make donations in honor of friends a nd loved one s , sa id Martin. “As long as we have the funds, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing,” Craven


said. Since January this year CSG has helped 24 clients. Both Martin and Cloudsdale are cancer survivors. Craven is familiar with the disease as well. Her husband had prostate cancer. “It was very supportive. Sometimes people would bring their friends who

were at the beginning of their diagnosis and you were able to share your experience and journey. It was quite valuable for me personally,” Cloudsdale said. This year’s Classic Car Show for the Cure is coming up Oct . 2 0 at Mt . Gilead United Method-

ist Church from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. On the same day, Mt. Olive United Methodist Church is hosting Slide for the Cure, featuring a group of senior women who perform line dancing from 10 a.m.- noon. P ro c e e d s f rom b oth events will go towards CSG’s financial aid fund.


Nancy Holmes, left, of Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, uses a model of a breast with simulated lumps to demonstrate the correct way to perform an self-examination to Legalman 1st Class Shahnaz Askins during a health fair at the medical facility.

Causes of breast cancer and how to self-check news@newnan.com

Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women during their lives . No one k nows why s ome wome n ge t breast cancer, but there a re ma ny r isk factors . Risks you cannot change include: • A g e – t h e r i s k i ncre a se s a s you get older. • G e ne s - BRCA1 and BRCA2 g r e at ly i nc r e a s e the r isk . Women who have fa mily members with breast or ovarian ca ncer may w ish t o b e t e s t e d for the genes. • Personal factors - menstruation beginning before age 12 or going through menopause after age 55. O t her r i s k s i nclude obesity, using hormone replacement therapy –

also called menopausal hormone therapy – taking birth control pills, d r i n k i n g a lc ohol , not having children or having your first child after age 35, and having dense breasts. Sy mpt om s of bre a s t c a nc er m ay i nclude a lu mp i n t he br e a s t , a change in size or shape of the breast, and disch a rge f rom n ipple s . Brea st self-ex a m s a nd mammography can help find breast cancer early, when it is most treatable. O ne p o s s ible t r e atment is surgery. It could b e a lu mp e ct omy or a m a s t e c t o my. O t h e r treatments include radiation therapy, chem o t h e r a p y, h o r m o n e t he r a py a nd t a r get e d therapy. Targeted therapy uses substances that attack cancer cells without ha r ming nor ma l cells. Source: National Cancer Institute

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Sunday, October 7, 2018  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 7D

Breast Cancer Awareness

SUPPORT From page 1D showed something suspicious. “The doctors called me at work and told me it was cancer, same breast, but a dif ferent ty pe of t h e d i s e a s e ,” N e w s o n sa id. “But what they found was so small, they didn’t even stage it.” Still, a second breast cancer diagnosis shocked Newson and her family. “ I wa s deva st ate d . I cr ie d . When you he a r t h e w o r d ‘ c a n c e r,’ i t s e em s you aut om atically think it’s a death sentence,” Newson said. “But when I got over the shock, I started to fight. I thought , ‘D ev il, th is is between me and you now, and I’m not willing to give up.’” She had a mastectomy and went through more chemotherapy. Newson is now taking Tamoxifen and must remain on the medication for at least five years. Nearly a year later, in Febr u a r y 2 016 , M ajor lea r ned she wa s in for the fight of her life. She was diagnosed w ith st a ge I I i nva sive ductal carcinoma, a fastgrowing form of breast cancer. M ajor s a id t he f i r s t p er s on she thou g ht of was Newson. Her neighbor and f riend was the first person Major told ab out her d i a g no si s – even before her own family, she said. “I just remember her pushing through all the chemotherapy and how strong she was,” Major sa id . “A f ter I told her I h a d b r e a s t c a n c e r, she told me calmly and firmly, ‘It’s not easy, but you can make it. You can do it.”


Bridgette Major, left, chats with her neighbor, Robinette Newson. The two women are breast cancer survivors.

Major immediately started a harsh form of chemotherapy ca lled Taxotere and had a bilater a l m a s t e c t omy w it h reconstruction. Following a second su r ger y, she went through a year of Herceptin infusions. “ When I wa s going through my chemo and I was so sick, I’d lie on my couch, too wea k to do anything and I would look outside a nd see Miss Robinette tending to the flowers in her garden,” Major said. “One d a y I h a d t h i s o v e rwhelming feeling I was

going to be OK . She is a two-time survivor and look at what she’s doing … I can do that, too. I’ll be up and working in my yard again, too. “Miss Robinette h elp e d m e p ut o n my boxing gloves, so I knew I could beat this cancer,” she added. Wh ile Major battled the disease, Newson checked in on her a nd her two children almost on a daily basis. She presented Major with a pink bracelet to encourage her not to give up. A few mont h s l at er,

Major returned the gesture and bought Newson a necklace. Wh ile each woma n said they treasure their g i f t s , the jewel r y w a s rea lly more sy mbolic of how a deadly disease brought Major and Newson together. “She was my inspiration . Without her, we wouldn’t a ll be sitting here right now,” Major said. “I’m blessed to have Miss Robinette. Everyone needs a Miss Robinette in their lives. “It’s a sisterhood that no one really wants to be a part of or knows about

until you go through it,” Major added. “You have so many questions: Will my hair fall out? Will I be pretty again? But if you’re in the sisterhood, t her e ’s a n u n s p oken understanding between s u r v i v o r s . ‘ I u n d e rstand what you’re going through. You’re going to be OK.’” N e w s on a nd M ajor s sa id their fa ith helped them fight breast cancer and to lean on God and each other when things got rough. “G o d gave me p e ace that surpassed all understanding,” Majors said.

“I knew He would bring something good out of this diagnosis. I cried if I had to, but mainly I was in ‘fight’ mode.” “I put my faith in God, read healing scriptures and meditated,” Newson sa id. “Fig htin g c a ncer is a battle and your attitude plays a big part in it. I would get up every morning and say, ‘Today is going to be a good day. I’m going to f ig ht a nd I’m going to win.’” Both women are currently in remission and say they continue to pray for e a ch ot her t h at it stays that way.

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— The Newnan Times-Herald   |  Sunday, October 7, 2018

1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.

Source: cancer.org

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Have you had your annual mammogram?

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All patient appointments are subject to meeting clinical requirements. It is required that women being screened have a doctor to receive the screening results.