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Sunday, October 1, 2017  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 1D

“THINK

PINK”

Libby Winn’s ‘winning’ spirit

PHOTO BY CLAY NEELY

Ten years after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Libby Winn, center, is surrounded by her co-workers at Newnan City Hall. Despite the ups and downs of chemotherapy, Winn said the support she received at work was always unconditional and played a large role in her battle.

By CLAY NEELY

clay@newnan.com

L ove , l a u g ht e r a n d prayer are the foundation upon which Libby Winn said she beat one of the greatest challenges in her lifetime. In January 2007, Winn was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram had doctors suspicious enough to order an ultrasound. “ My mother d ie d of breast cancer at 65, which is just a year older than I am now,” Winn said. “But hers was diagnosed much later and as a result, she had to undergo radical surgery. Treatment options have progressed a great deal since then.” Winn’s lump was very small, so she only had to have a lumpectomy. However, a central node biopsy found it had spread, although it was still very small. “They found a microscopic cell in my lymph nodes and removed those as well,” she said. “I had surger y on Valentine's

Day, and they put a port in, which was a wonderful thing. It kept me from getting poked every time!” The surgery went well, although Winn said the biopsy was not pleasant – “but it was important,” she said. The oncologist scheduled her for eight rounds of chemo every other week with a Neulasta shot to prepare her for each next session. Winn said the chemotherapy was tolerable, but mainly because she was able to keep working. “Because I had a great support system here, along with my family and church friends, most of the time I was able to work and that was really good for me,” she said. "Some days I had to leave early, or I missed them entirely.” Winn had her chemo on Thursday and was able to work until Sunday – a day when she began to feel the effects of the treatment. As a child of the ‘60s, she referred to them as “The Blue Meanies.” “It’s such a strange feel-

ing,” she said. "I felt really odd, and it was so painful. It felt like your bones are pulling and you’re not part of yourself anymore.” She also began losing her hair. “I never thought I was vain, but it did bother me,” she said. "As soon as I realized I had to shave it, I got a wig and would not go around without it.” However, the world of wigs was entirely new to Winn and she did a lot of “learning on the job.” “You know, wigs are synthetic and when you’re baking something, you don’t realize it but it singes those hairs,” she said. “I kept wondering what was wrong with my wig and someone wised me up on that.” Despite the ups a nd downs of chemotherapy, Winn said the support she received at work was always unconditional and played a large role in her battle. “I had a lot of cheerleaders around here,” she said. “They brought food, stuff and cards, flowers, toys." One relative who lived in

West Virginia sent Winn a gift, almost akin to an advent calendar – something to open each day. “That was really special to me,” she recalled. “Little stuff like that you really look forward to.” Positivity surrounded Winn wherever she went – at home, work and church. “A large group prayed over me, which was a very humbling experience and gave me great comfort,” she recalled. “During the whole ordeal, I never felt alone. My creator was with me, and my faith made a big difference in how things went." Even her oncologist, Dr. Vasileios Assiskis at Piedmont New n a n , a lways made her feel like she was his only patient. “He always talked to me in a way I could understand and realize what is going on,” she recalled. “When someone can treat you in a way that makes you feel unique and special, it goes a long way.” O nc e che mot he r a py ended, coworkers presented her cake with a sunflower

design that read, “You are radiant.” N e w n a n Cit y Cle rk Della Hill was one of many co-workers who said they were inspired by Winn's optimism in the face of adversity. "Ms. Libby is truly special and always has a smile on her face,” Hill said. “You never knew when she was having a bad day. She was a true fighter with great attitude during her battle with cancer. She is always very pleasant, positive and caring." City Manager Cleatus Phillips echoed Hill’s statements, citing her as a valuable member of the team at City Hall. “Too often her role gets overlooked or undervalued, but the personality, dedication and knowledge that she brings to our team is undeniable,” Phillips said. “Whether she is coordinating council efforts or assisting our citizens, she always goes above and beyond to make certain that everyone is treated with the utmost respect. “Ever yone loves Ms.

Libby, and she has certainly earned that reputation.” Winn underwent daily radiation treatments for six weeks. By September, she was finished and cancer-free. “Prayer got me through,” she said. "You have to smile, laugh and move. It’s important to smile and laugh and love on other people. That’s what helps.” Winn said making it to the five-year mark gave her confidence, but said the 10-year mark felt even better. As a mother of two and grandmother to three, she said her family understands the value of being checked regularly. The power of love and positivity helped guide her through what was easily one of her darkest periods of life. “A lw ay s c ou nt you r blessings, because someone else is going through something worse,” she said. “Remember, you’re not alone." C l ay Neely: cl ay@ newnan.com

Breast cancer looms large in Ramsey’s life By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL sarah@newnan.com

Brea st ca ncer looms large in Alice McKnight Ramsey’s life. Her father, Paul McKnight, died of it. Ramsey a nd her sister, Joa n ne Under wood, have both battled it, and their niece, Monica L ovett, passed away from it. Ramsey is the founder of The Pink Posse, which helps pay bills for those in Coweta and Fayette who are undergoing chemother-

WHERE PINK IS POWERFUL

apy. Originally, the charity was for those with breast cancer, but it has been expanded to cover all of those taking chemotherapy. R amsey’s cancer was discovered by chance one day – just two months after she’d had a mammogram that came back clear. Ramsey was getting out of the shower and pulling her hair up when her husband noticed something that looked different. “He said, ‘Turn around and look in the mirror,’” she

said. And there is was, on the side. He suggested she call her sister. That was two years before Underwood herself was diagnosed. “ She sa id – ‘I thin k we need to ma ke a n appointment.’” The tu mor wa s sti l l small. “If I hadn’t raised my hands up, he wouldn’t have seen it,” Ramsey said. Ramsey had a mammogram that confirmed the cancer, and began eight rounds of chemotherapy. Her cancer was estrogen-

positive. After chemotherapy, she had a mastectomy to remove the affected breast. “I’ve got one that is fake and one that is not. I have one that is 12 years old and one that is 64 years old,” she said. Her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer two years later, and her cancer has recently come back. People ask Ramsey if she worries about her cancer returning. “I can’t worry about that.

You really can’t … I never know.” Ramsey said she would love to build a women’s health center in eastern Coweta. Before Piedmont Newnan consolidated its imaging centers, women would have to drive to Newnan to get the mammogram and then drive back again to see their doctor and get results. “We need it on this side of town,” said Ramsey, who lives in Brooks. “If there were 3,000 people

who would give us $1,000, that’s $3 million. We can do that,” she said. Ramsey said she recently asked her oncologist if he feels that researchers are moving towards a cure. He said yes. Fewer people are dying from breast cancer than 10 years ago, but there are 15 different types of breast cancer. “I just want a cure in my lifetime,” Ramsey said.

READ ABOUT PINK POSSE • 2D

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2D — The Newnan Times-Herald |  Sunday, October 1, 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness

THE PINK POSSE:

GOOD GOES

AROUND

COURTESY OF PINK POSSE

All ages participate in the Pink Posse walk, held every September.

BY SARAH FAY CAMPBELL sarah@newnan.com

While she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, Alice McKnight Ramsey and several of the other ladies she got chemo with raised money to help another chemo patient buy a refrigerator. After buying the refrigerator, she had a good bit of money left over and wasn’t sure what to do with it. One day, she was with her mother, Totsie McKnight, and Julie Humphrey, Joyce Smith and Eleanor Wilkinson, and they were talking about the money she had raised. “They said: God is talking to you,” Ramsey said. “I said, ‘What is he saying? Because I can’t hear him.’” They told Ramsey she could raise more money and start some kind of charity to help people. And so she did – The Pink Posse. “My mom used to have Unicef carnivals in our yard. I said I could have a little carnival in my yard. She said, ‘Well, maybe a walk,’” Ramsey said. “I was just joking, I was being funny like my daddy. But it just started from there.” That was in 2006. Since the organization has been in existence, it has helped 475 families in Coweta and Fayette counties, Ramsey said. The Pink Posse will pay the electrical bill of someone undergoing chemotherapy for three months. “We used to pay everything, but that got real expensive real fast,” Ramsey said. The Pink Posse started out helping people with breast cancer, but it has expanded to cover anyone getting chemotherapy. Ramsey said she’s never been one to donate to giant organizations such as Susan G. Komen or Relay for Life. She wants to see exactly where the money is going. Her mother had always said, “You can’t change the world,

but we can change our corner,” Ramsey said. “I just saw a need.” Even though people may have insurance to cover their medical care and possibly disability or longterm care insurance, going through cancer treatment is still a financial struggle. She’s talked to ladies who will say, “I’ll be OK.” She tells them, “If you were sick, I’d send you flowers.” And pretty soon they’ll often call back and say they do want to apply for funds from the Pink Posse, after all.

It’s like a big carnival in my yard.

— Alice Ramsey

“We’re the worst about asking for help,” she said. Ramsey said she gets most of her referrals from local hospitals. “Usually a nurse will call me,” she said. The Pink Posse ladies have fun. The annual “walk” is a fundraiser at Ramsey’s home in Brooks. The walk itself is mostly for fun and camaraderie, because it’s in the raffles that the real money is made. Donations of valuable items pour in for the Pink Posse, and all the raffle items are set up in Ramsey’s garage. “People just drop donations off at my house… I’ll come home and there will be two rocking chairs at the back door,” she said. For the raffle, “You buy $20 worth of tickets or $50 or $100,” Ramsey said. Participants then place their raffle tickets in the jars or baskets in front of individual items. A handmade farm table was the most popular item at this year’s event, with some 1,200 tickets, Ramsey said.

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When people arrive and sign in, there is a memory board where people can put down names in honor or in memory of someone. There is a survivors’ quilt that every survivor signs, and is displayed every year, and a balloon release. There is also a photo booth, music, food and the pink shop. And pink flamingos everywhere. “It’s like a big carnival in my yard,” Ramsey said. Last year, there were 420 attendees. This year, it was down to 326, but Ramsey attributes that to the event being just a few days after Hurricane Irma rolled through. Ramsey and her friends and family had a lot of cleanup to do to get ready for the event. Though the walk, which is held the third week in September, is the focal point of the year for the Pink Posse, the organization also gets funding from the “pink out” events at East Coweta High School and East Coweta Middle School, and employees from Winpak in Senoia can have $1 taken out of each paycheck to benefit the Pink Posse. “ That’s huge. This is the fifth year they have done that,” Ramsey said. And the Fayette Women’s Council of Realtors puts on the “Bras for a Cause” fundraiser each year. Ramsey said she always tells people that no donation is too small. “It may not be my dollar or your dollar that finds a cure, but somebody’s dollar is.” The woman that Ramsey and her friends and fellow patients had bought a refrigerator for ended up selling the refrigerator so she could take her children to Disney World. She later passed away from cancer. “She said she’d live without a refrigerator, but her kids had never been to Disney.” Her daughter, now a young adult, helps out every year at the walk. “Good goes around,” Ramsey said.

COURTESY OF MONICA MILLANS

Before the walk begins, all cancer survivors meet, pray, and release balloons in the Circle of Surviving. Left to right are Jo Anne Underwood, Robin Bushman, Alice Ramsey, Maddie Maddiet and Leroyce Wright.

COURTESY OF MONICA MILLANS

Kristin Harris and Monica Millians enjoy the photo booth at the walk.

COURTESY OF PINK POSSE

Stacey Pillow Lester hosts a Zumba class at this year’s Pink Posse walk, with the help of Johnny Mac.

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Sunday, October 1, 2017  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 3D

LOCAL OBITUARIES

LFT From page

— Newnan Police Chief D.L. “Buster” Meadows

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4D — The Newnan Times-Herald |  Sunday, October 1, 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness

Organization helps survivors find ‘new normal’

PHOTO BY MELANIE RUBERTI

Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network Volunteer Synthia Cole, left, speaks with President and Founder Janet Beebe inside the organization’s Hope Closet.

By MELANIE RUBERTI melanie@newnan.com

The color pink decorates the walls and drapes every inch of furniture inside the offices of the Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network in Peachtree City. The ambiance is warm and inviting. It also provides a sense of hope for breast cancer survivors who walk through the door. "We try to hold their hand, give them hugs and let them know they're not alone,” explained Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network President and Founder Janet Beebe. “We want them to know there is life after breast cancer. We encourage them and let them know what to expect on their journey through treatment. We give them hope … and show them they can beat it and come out on the other side." Beebe knows her clients’ journeys all too well. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 33 years old in the early 1980s. Beebe was also pregnant with her third son. She remembered feeling alone and scared. “I had no one to talk to,” Beebe said. “I had to fight with my health insurance to even get the mammogram approved. I say, ‘It felt like I had to fight city hall to get a mammogram.’ Then the ma mmogra m didn't show anything. My gynecologist told me to go home and forget about it." Beebe eventually found another doctor in Atlanta who confirmed she had breast cancer. By that point, the disease had progressed into her lymph nodes. S h e i n it i a l ly h a d a lumpectomy and radiation. When the cancer returned a few years later, Beebe opted for a mastectomy and chemotherapy. She has been cancer-free for 34 years.

Beebe worked for other breast cancer nonprofit organizations in Atlanta but decided to st a r t her own 12 years ago in Peachtree City. The Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network opened their doors in 2005. "Our mission statement is we provide free programs, services and supplies for breast cancer patients and

the community to pick a name off the tree and replace it with a $50 gift card. In addition, Beebe and volunteers hold a monthly support group and host several health fairs in Coweta and Fayette counties. The Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network also reaches out to the Latino communities and brings in a translator to

My main message is if you find breast cancer early, it is going to save your life.

education for the community,” Beebe explained. “We provide help for survivors before, during and after a breast cancer diagnosis.” That help begins as soon as patients walk through the doors of the BCSN’s office at 1401 Georgian Park, Suite 110. Beebe and a staff of volunteers – also breast cancer survivors – talk to patients one-on-one to discuss their diagnosis and offer educational material and support. The organization also provides a Hope Closet. The ro om h a s shelve s stocked with bras, wigs, hats, scarves and prostheses for women who have had a mastectomy. T he clo s e t i nclude s purses for survivors to hide portable drains or treatment bags, plus plush pillow cases for clients who are bedridden. The items are given to survivors at no cost. During the month of December, BCS N puts up a pink Christmas tree and places patient’s names among the branches. The organization encourages

— Janet Beebe

one was there for them. We grew the compa ny to help the needs of our community.” "This is the only brickand-mortar building in this area that actually helps cancer patients,” said Becky Holt, a breast cancer survivor and BCSN volunteer. “There are charities and groups that raise money … but our money stays right here in the community and helps local survivors." The Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network holds several events a year and relies on donations to continue their mission. The nonprofit organization has the largest volunteer support group in the state of Georgia, stated Beebe. Synthia Cole, a breast cancer survivor and volunteer for BCSN, said the large numbers of volunteers and clientele is because of Beebe. "She is a survivor and is always ready to help people with any questions they may have, especially with (breast cancer) patients. She has a way of making light of the subject, even though it is a serious disease,” Cole explained. “She helps you to put things into perspective, and I think that's why people are so drawn to her and the organization." The Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network will host their eighth annual Breast Cancer 1-day Run / Walk on Oct. 14. The event will take place at the McIntosh Trail Recreation Complex at 202 FieldHouse Drive in Peachtree City. For more infor mation about the event or the organization, contact BCSN at 770- 487- 4396. You can also visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com / The BCSN.

speak with women. "We push self-breast exams when we’re at health fairs,” Beebe said. “I'll talk to women in their 30s, look them square in the eye and say, ‘I have something to tell you that may scare you. It's up to you to find your cancer.’ Health insurance won't pay for mammograms until you’re 40 or 45 years old. "My main message is if you find breast cancer early, it is going to save your life,” she continued. “If you don't know how, we're here to show you. We're here to save lives." The Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network will help pay for mammograms for women who have little to no insurance. Currently, the nonprofit organization provides services for close to two thousand clients – both men and women. A large number of those are from Coweta County, Beebe said. "The biggest area where people call in for help is in the Sharpsburg and Senoia Melanie Ruberti area,” she stated. "I wanted to make sure that some- melanie@newnan.com

PHOTO BY MELANIE RUBERTI

Above: From left, Synthia Cole, Leigh Anne Walker, Janet Beebe and Becky Holt stand in the Hope Closet inside the offices of the Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network. Left: Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network President and Founder Janet Beebe stands beside a shelf of inspirational books and educational material for their clientele.

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Sunday, October 1, 2017 | The Newnan Times-Herald — 5D

Breast Cancer Awareness

Church, sorority collect wigs for cancer patients

By KANDICE BELL

kandice@newnan.com

Jones Hill Chapel United Methodist Church a nd the Newnan Alpha Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. are helping cancer patients overcome hair loss by collecting wigs during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was founded on the campus of Howard University on January 16, 1920. The Alpha Alpha Kappa Zeta Chapter of Newnan was chartered on April 1, 2014. Susette G ooden with the sorority said each October, Zeta chapters throughout Georgia collect and donate wigs to the Atlanta Cancer Society. This will be the be the second year in a row that Jones Hill UMC and the sorority have partnered. “I spoke with Pastor Elder, and he wanted to do it for the community,” Gooden said. Jarmaine Elder is the pastor of Jones Hill UMC. “We are happy to do anything to help the sick and those in need,” Elder said. “This is just our way of helping those who are battling cancer. I hope the wigs

help bring back a boost of confidence for the patients and lets them know there is still hope.” The two organizations also partner up for other ministry activities in Coweta. Hair is lost when chemotherapy drugs damage hair follicles, making hair fall out, according to cancer.org, a cancer education site maintained by the American Cancer Society. It can be hard to predict which patients will lose their hair and which ones won’t, even when they take the same drugs. Some drugs can cause hair loss on the scalp and the loss of pubic hair, arm and leg hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. Some drugs cause only the loss of head hair. Radiation therapy to the head often causes scalp hair loss. Sometimes, depending on the dose of radiation to the head, the hair does not grow back the same as it was before. If hair loss is going to happen, it most often starts within two weeks of treatment and gets worse one to two months after starting therapy, according to the American Cancer Society. “The majority of the wigs actually benefit cancer patients at

the Cancer Treatment Centers of America,” Gooden said. “Last year collectively, Zeta Phi Beta donated over 1,000 wigs to the American Cancer Society. Our goal this year is to do over 800.” “We start collecting wigs around September, and the campaign ends on Oct. 24. We then send the wigs to our state director to be donated.” Gooden said the organization collects new wigs and prefers wigs that are subtle in color. “We like to collect professional-looking wigs for a woman who doesn’t have hair,” she said. Anyone who wishes to donate a brand new wig(s) can bring the wigs to the Jones Hill Chapel, located at 421 Walt Carmichael Road, in Newnan. Gooden said she is willing to meet donors or schedule pick-ups as well. “We will have a ‘pink’ church service on Sunday, Oct. 15 in commemoration of breast cancer,” Gooden said. For more information, contact Susette Gooden at aakz1920@ gmail.com or through the soror ity’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ groups/286870638340036/

SUBMITTED PHOTO

On the back row, from left, are Pastor Jarmanie Elder, Milrinette Nelson, Susette Gooden, Sabrina Boges-Krull, Tamica M. Williams and Valerie Todd. Tequilla Pittman is in the front. Elder and the Newnan Alpha Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority hold wigs that were collected last October during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to donate to cancer patients who suffer from hair loss.

Piedmont Newnan Breast Health Center offers advanced care

The entire facility is designed with the patient in mind – from the comfortable lounge area to the private screening rooms and exam rooms.

PHOTOS BY PIEDMONT NEWNAN BREAST CENTER

The inviting lobby of the Breast Center at Piedmont Newnan Hospital is designed with patients in mind. A mammography dressing area is part of the Breast Center at Piedmont Newnan Hospital. The center also has an on-site breast health nurse.

“I never felt like I needed to be anywhere else for my breast care.” -Kristi, breast cancer survivor

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By MADELINE SCHINDLER madeline@newnan.com

A new facility in the Piedmont Newnan Medical Plaza offers comprehensive breast care services to patients in Coweta and surrounding areas. The Piedmont Newnan Breast Health Center, located within Piedmont Newnan Oncology Services, houses advanced technology including 3D screening and diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound, stereotactic breast biopsy and ultrasound guided core biopsy. Us i n g C o mp ut e rAssisted Detection (CAD), the staff of breast radiologists and mammography technologists are able to detect breast cancer in a timely manner and devise a plan for treatment.

The entire facility is designed with the patient in mind – from the comfortable lounge area to the private screening rooms and exam rooms. Members of the Breast Health Center staff will advocate for the patient throughout treatment and follow-up procedures. Unlike some other mammography imaging centers, the Piedmont Newnan Breast Health Center is able to provide patients with support of an on-site breast health nurse and immediate mammography results following a diagnostic mammogram. For more infor mation about the facility or services offered, contact 770400-4300, or visit www. piedmont.org. To schedule a mammogram, call 770-400-4040.


6D — The Newnan Times-Herald   |  Sunday, October 1, 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness

IBC: a rare form of breast cancer you and your physician should know about

Ricardo H. Alvarez

BY DR. RICARDO H. ALVAREZ

Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual observance to raise awareness of the insidious disease that affects approximately 12 percent of U.S. women in their lifetime. Among the many types of breast cancer is a rare, aggressive and sometimes termi-

nal form of which all women need to be aware. Inflammatory Breast Cancer, or IBC, is often referred to as an “orphan” disease because it is so rare it only represents one to three percent of all breast cancer cases in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute. However, it’s a complex disease that differs from other types, particularly in its symptoms, rapid evolution, prognosis and treatment. For these reasons, women and their physicians, need to be acutely aware of what to observe in order to make informed decisions. IBC is triggered by cancer cells that block the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast, causing the breast to become swollen, red or inflamed by fluid buildup. The following have been more characterized as high risk for IBC development: • Young, African-American women compared to Caucasian women; and • Obese or overweight women compared to women of normal weight. Classical symptoms include pitting or ridging of the skin, making the breast appear like an orange peel, as well as tenderness, pain or itchiness in the breast. The affected breast can also swell, becoming larger and may include a feeling of warmth. The breast may be physically heavier. It’s important to know that if you experience these symptoms, it does not automatically mean you have IBC, as infection or physical trauma to the breast may pro-

duce similar changes. Because it’s difficult to differentiate between an infection and what could be a more serious issue, you should consult a physician immediately to explore the potential causes, especially if the symptoms last longer than seven to 10 days and are not eliminated by antibiotics. Given that the aforementioned symptoms can be falsely attributed to other causes, IBC can be difficult to properly diagnose. It is not always characterized by lumps or tumors in the breast that are more easily discovered by a physical exam or mammogram. In fact, a mass is typically discovered in mammography in only 10 percent of cases. The deceptive and aggressive nature of IBC makes early detection difficult. In fact, IBC is already a minimum stage 3 cancer when diagnosed, meaning it may have already spread to nearby lymph nodes and the skin surrounding the breast. Undetected, it can spread to other parts of the body, affecting its ability to be treated effectively and promote positive survival outcomes. For these reasons, affected women and their physicians need to act swiftly if they recognize the symptoms of this cancer. Physicians can take advantage of different diagnostic tools, including a mammogram, breast ultrasound, MRI scan, CT scan or PET scan in order to investigate fully. Once diagnosed, the patient may be

treated in a multidisciplinary team composed by a medical oncologist, radiation therapist, breast surgeon and plastic surgeon. Nowadays, there are a number of treatment options, but the most important is to start initially with chemotherapy – systemic treatment – for at least six months followed by surgery and radiation therapy. In addition, the clinical care team may also include dietitians, naturopathic providers, mind-body therapists and other supportive care clinicians to help patients manage fatigue, nausea, diarrhea and other side effects. Depending on a patient’s clinical staging, the treatment team may also include taking advantage of carefully selected standard of care treatment and/or clinical trials in areas such as immunotherapy, genomically targeted chemotherapy and other innovative research. It’s critically important for women to pay attention to their bodies, not ignore symptoms and reach out to their doctor right away if they notice anything different. Dr. Ricardo H. Alvarez is a medical oncologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America ® (CTCA) at Southeastern Regional Medical Center (Southeastern). He serves as medical director of the Breast Center and director of cancer research, mainly focusing on the treatment of advanced breast cancer and inflammatory breast cancer.

Potential side effects of breast cancer treatments comfort after lumpectomy, mastectomy or lymph node removal surgeries. This discomfort may be characterized by pain, swelling, tenderness, or numbness. The numbness may result when nerves in the armpit are cut during surgery, while tenderness or swelling may occur when surgeons have to remove some of the tissue under the surface of the skin. Patients who receive radiation therapy may develop irritation or soreness in the armpit because the skin of the armpit is so close to the breast.

NTH STAFF REPORTS news@newnan.com

Treatments for breast cancer have evolved considerably in recent years. When breast cancer is detected early enough to be categorized as stage 0 or stage I, the five-year survival rate is 100 percent. That’s a testament to the hard work of cancer researchers who continue to develop effective ways to treat and defeat breast cancer. As effective as cancer treatments can be, breast cancer patients may still experience some side effects during treatment. • Constipation Side effects may depend on which course of treatment cancer patients and their Some breast cancer patients experience physicians pursue, but the following are constipation because their eating and some potential side effects breast cancer exercise habits change during treatment. patients may encounter during treatment. Constipation is a side effect of pain medications such as ibuprofen, so breast • Armpit discomfort cancer patients relying on medication to According to Breastcancer.org, a non- alleviate some of the pain associated with profit organization dedicated to provid- their disease and treatment may experiing up-to-date information about breast ence constipation as a result. Chemothercancer, patients may develop armpit dis- apy and hormonal therapy are two breast cancer treatments known to cause consti-

pation as well.

• Dry skin During treatment, breast cancer patients may experience dry skin that is uncomfortable and itchy. This side effect has been linked to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormonal therapy. Dry skin tends to last as long as patients are in treatment, gradually subsiding once treatment has been completed.

• Endometriosis Endometriosis occurs when the cells that make up the endometrium, or the lining of the uterus, grow outside of the uterus. Hormonal therapy may stimulate the growth of endometrial cells, triggering endometriosis, which is most often found on or under the ovaries, behind the uterus or on the bowels or bladder. Endometriosis may cause pain, fertility problems or heavy menstrual periods. Physicians who suspect their patients

have developed endometriosis may perform a laparoscopy, a surgical procedure in which a small cut is made over the abdomen. Once that cut is made, the surgeon will insert a thin tube equipped with a viewing instrument so he or she can look inside the uterus to determine if endometriosis has developed.

• Memory loss Breast cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormonal therapy may contribute to memory loss. Ovarian removal or shutdown may also result in memory loss. Memory loss may also result from medications taken during breast cancer treatment. Breast cancer patients who plan to continue working during treatment should discuss with their physicians how to manage potential memory loss and may benefit from informing their employers about the potential for treatment-related memory loss.

Risk factors for breast cancer outlined can get breast cancer, but the risk for men is substantially smaller than it is for women. According to Breastcancer.org, Cancer is a formidable foe. Among women, no cancer poses a roughly 190,000 women are diagnosed greater threat than breast cancer, which with invasive breast cancer each year in the World Health Organization reports the United States alone. is the most often diagnosed cancer both • Age in the developed and developing worlds. Gaining a greater understanding of breast The American Cancer Society notes cancer may not prevent the onset of this that about two out of every three invasive disease that kills hundreds of thousands breast cancers are found in women ages of women each year, but it might increase 55 and older, whereas just one out of every the chances of early detection, which eight invasive breast cancers are found in can greatly improve women’s chances of women younger than 45. The WHO notes survival. that instances of breast cancer are growThe following are the established risk ing in developing countries, citing longer factors for breast cancer. life expectancies as one of the primary reasons for that increase.

NTH STAFF REPORTS news@newnan.com

• Gender

Being female is the single biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer. Men

tory of breast cancer increases a woman’s risk factor by two or three. Women who have had one first-degree female relative, which includes sisters, mothers and daughters, diagnosed with breast cancer are at double the risk for breast cancer than women without such family histories. The risk of developing breast cancer is five times greater for women who have two first-degree relatives who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

• Menstrual history

Women who began menstruating younger than age 12 have a higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life than women who began menstruating after their 12th birthdays. The earlier a woman’s breasts form, the sooner they • Family history are ready to interact with hormones and According to the WHO, a family his- chemicals in products that are hormone

Bra fitting a challenge after mastectomy NTH STAFF REPORTS news@newnan.com

Bra manufacturers insist that millions of women wear the wrong size bras. According to an international survey of 10,000 women from Swiss lingerie company Triumph, 64 percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra. Other studies suggest that figure is closer to 80 percent. While it can be challenging for women with healthy breasts to get the right fit, a well-fitting bra is essential, especially for those who have undergone mastectomy or reconstruction after breast cancer. Post-mastectomy and lumpectomy procedures vary. Some women opt for a prosthesis, which is essentially a breast form – silicone, foam or fiber-fill – that is placed inside of a bra or attached to the chest wall. Other women choose to undergo surgical reconstruction that will involve the insertion of an implant.

Depending on the procedure they undergo, women may need to purchase special bras called “mastectomy bras.” John Hopkins Medicine advises that mastectomy boutiques and specialty shops carry a variety of prosthetics and garments. Such shops also may employ certified fitters who are skilled at fitting women who have undergone treatment for breast cancer. Women should know that their bodies may change after undergoing a mastectomy. It may be necessary to get sized after surgery and frequently thereafter to accommodate for weight loss/gain and other changes as one ages. The Pink Bra, a mastectomy bra specialty retailer, advises every woman should have her bra and breast form fitting checked at least once per year to allow for changes in weight or body shape that may occur as a result of post-surgery treatment. Certain bra styles may feel and look better to women than others,

depending on the type of surgery and reconstruction they had. For example, a camisole bra may help cover surgical scars while a conventional strap bra might be suitable when no tissue has been removed under the clavicle. It may take some trial and error to find a brand, style and size that is most comfortable. A surgeon will recommend the appropriate time to start wearing a prosthesis or undergo further reconstruction. He or she also can advise when substantial healing has occurred so that bra fittings will be most accurate. A physician may write a prescription for any prosthetic device or mastectomy bra so patients’ insurance companies will cover them. John Hopkins says that, in the United States, most insurance companies will cover up to four mastectomy bras per year. When properly sized and fitted for a woman’s needs, post-mastectomy bras will look natural and feel comfortable.

disruptors. Longer interaction with hormones and hormone disruptors increases a woman’s risk for breast cancer.

• Lifestyle choices A 2005 comparative risk assessment of nine behaviors and environmental factors published in the U.K. medical journal The Lancet found that 21 percent of all breast cancer deaths across the globe are attributable to alcohol consumption, overweight and obesity and physical inactivity. Women can do nothing to control breast cancer risk factors like gender, age and family history, but making the right lifestyle choices, including limiting alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight and living an active lifestyle, can reduce the likelihood that they will develop breast cancer.

HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Newnan; Rehabilitation to Get You Back to What You Love

We proudly support individuals and organizations making a difference by raising awareness for breast cancer research, prevention and finding a cure.

2101 E. Newnan Crossing Boulevard • Newnan, GA 30265 Admissions 678 552-6202 • Fax 855 591-1896 healthsouthnewnan.com ©2017:HealthSouth Corporation:616754


Sunday, October 1, 2017 | The Newnan Times-Herald — 7D

Breast Cancer Awareness

Crew Mobile aiding 2017 Pink Posse

Treatment, prevention focus at CTCA BY MELANIE RUBERTI melanie@newnan.com

NTH Staff Reports

The Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Newnan has several programs designated towa rd the research, treatment and prevention of the disease. One of those programs in the Breast Center is providing stateof-the-art care for patients diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, or IBC. Inflammatory breast cancer occurs when cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin of the breast, according to the CTCA website. This type of cancer may cause the breast to look swollen or inflamed. The program is led by Dr. Ricardo Alvarez, director of cancer research. He is also the Medical Director for CTCA’s Breast Center. “Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare and complex disease,” said Alvarez. “I have focused on IBC treatment and research for more than a decade. I know the importance of staying on top of clinical advances, especially when it comes to clinical trials.” Because of the aggressive nature of IBC, Alvarez and his staff try to properly diagnose and stage the disease in a timely manner, so patients can decide which course of treatment is right for them. Treatments at the CTCA

news@newnan.com

Crew Mobile Sof tware Solutions, maker of the iCrew Mobile App, a mobile experience for flight crew on the go, has been helping the Pink Posse breast cancer charity. C omp a ny of f ici a l s announced Crew Mobile would donate $ 3 for every new PPR download of its app to the Pink Posse organization. The promotion ended at midnight on Sept. 15. Over the last eight years, the Pink Posse has helped 475 local families while their family members were undergoing treatment for cancer. Founded in 2006, The Pink Posse Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit comprised of local people serving local people in Coweta and Fayette counties during their cancer treatment. T h e A n nu a l P i n k Posse Walk is held in Brooks in September. The walk raises funds for ongoing support of area breast cancer patients and families. After the walk, survivors are honored. The walk is the Pink Posse’s main fundraiser for the year. “ We we l c o m e t h e opportunity to support such a wor thy cause and unique organization,” said Caylen Perry, event coordinator with Crew Mobile Software Solutions. The iCrew Mobile App is for flight crew members like pilots, flight attendants and their families, many of whom live in Coweta and Fayette Counties.

Breast Center may include radiation, surgery and reconstruction. The staff also provides patients with dietitians, naturopathic providers, physical therapists, chiropractors, mind-body therapists, spiritual counselors and other supportive care clinicians, according to their website. Q u a l i f ie d b r e a s t c a n c e r patients also have an opportunity to enroll in carefully

nosis, stated the CTCA website. Doctors and staff provide screening, education, structured surveillance and treatment for women who are at increased risk for breast cancer based on factors beyond their control. The High-Risk Breast Cancer Prevention Program is designed to address the concerns of women who: have a close relative who has been diagnosed with breast or ovarian can-

Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare and complex disease,” said Alvarez. “I have focused on IBC treatment and research for more than a decade. I know the importance of staying on top of clinical advances, especially when it comes to clinical trials.

selected clinical trials in areas like immunotherapy, genomically targeted chemotherapy and other innovative research. The Breast Center also focuses on prevention of the disease with their High-Risk Cancer Prevention Program. The program is designed to screen high-risk patients and implement risk-reducing strategies aimed at helping them avoid cancer or at getting an early diag-

women the opportunity to learn about treatments designed to lower the risk of breast cancer and provides them with up-todate information on risk-reducing surgery. The High-Risk Breast Cancer Prevention Program at CTCA Southeastern is led by breast cancer expert and fellowshiptrained breast surgeon Dr. Anita Johnson. Both CTCA programs help doctors and patients decide the best course of action to beat breast cancer, stated Alvarez. “The participation of multiple physicians around the table, talking about the patient, seeing the different perspectives, looking at the different options for the patient – I think that has been the most important advance in the treatment of cancer,” he said. “Instead of one voice, you have five. Instead of two eyes, you have 10.” For more information on the Cancer Treatment Centers of America Inflammatory Breast Cancer Program, visit www.cancercenter.com/breastcenter/inflammatory-breastcancer-program. For more information on the High-Risk Breast Cancer Prevention program, visit www.cancercenter.com/breast-center/highrisk-breast- cancer-prevention.

cer, have multiple family members with breast or ovarian cancer, have had a breast biopsy with atypical cells or have a known genetic mutation that predisposes them to breast cancer, such as BRCA1. According to the website, the program will provide patients with an in-depth evaluation, individually tailored genetic counseling and risk Melanie Ruberti management. Doctors and staff also offer melanie@newnan.com

St. Mary Magdalene women help cancer home NTH Staff Reports

news@newnan.com

The St. Mary Magdalene Council of Catholic Women sold raff le tickets in their church narthex after Masses on Sept. 16-17 to help support the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home. The home is located in Atlanta. It is a nonprofit minis-

try for those suffering from terminal cancer. The Hawthorne Dominican Sisters provide needed nursing care in a loving atmosphere for patients for the duration of their illness. These patients are unable to afford nursing care. Therefore the home’s auxiliary sponsors a raffle to assist with needed finances.

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8D — The Newnan Times-Herald   |  Sunday, October 1, 2017

we

support month Arnall Grocery Company 32 East Washington Street • Newnan 770-253-4556 • arnallgrocery.com

The Barber Shop of Newnan 20 Baker Road, Suite 7 • Newnan, GA 770-254-2227

Bolton's Bakery

Hope Property Management 770-583-8864 • www.hopega.com

Jabaley’s Liquor Store

6825 Highway 29 South • Grantville 770-583-2988

Jeff Lindsey Communities

13 East Broad Street • Newnan 678-673-6680 • boltonsbakery.com

140 Village Circle • Senoia 770-599-8700 • www.jefflindseycommunities.com

Brookdale Senior Living Solutions

Kindred Hospice

355 Millard Farmer Industrial Blvd. • Newnan 770-252-9007

2525 Highway 34 East • Newnan www.kindredhospice.com

Buffalo Rock Pepsi

McKoon Funeral Home

50 North Christopher Court • Newnan 770-253-4564

38 Jackson Street • Newnan 770-253-4580 • www.mckoon.com

C. S. Toggery 6 East Court Square • Downtown Newnan 678-621-0373 • www.cstoggery.com

Morgan Jewelers

14 North Court Square • Downtown Newnan 770-253-2720 • www.morganjewelersnewnan.com

Coweta Cities & County EFCU

Musicology

MEMBERSHIP May Be EASIER Than You Think!

48 Spring Street • Newnan 770-252-7900

770-253-2273 • www.cccefcu.org

Coweta County Library System

Newnan-Coweta Magazine

www.cowetapubliclibrary.org

16 Jefferson Street • Newnan newnancowetamag.com

Crain Oil Company, Inc. 11 First Avenue • Downtown Newnan 770-253-5622

The Newnan Times-Herald

Crossroads Church Being & Building Disciples

www.crossroadsonline.org

Georgia Bone and Joint Setting a HIGHER STANDARD of Exceptional Orthopaedic Care

1690 Highway 34 East, Suite L • Newnan 770-755-6407

Glover & Davis, P.A.

11 Perry Street • Newnan 770-253-3880 • www.sandershaugen.com

Sears Hometown Store Fayetteville Location: 770-626-3943 searshometownstores.com

Soil & Turf 678-519-8336 • soilturf.net

SouthTowne Hyundai 800 Bullsboro Drive • Newnan 770-253-1407 • www.southtownehyundai.com

StoneBridge Early Learning Center Newnan Crossing • 770-253-8104 Bailey Station • 770-304-8857

St. George Catholic Church 771 Roscoe Road • Newnan 770-251-5353 • www.stgeorgenewnan.org

Tidal Wave Auto Spa 5040 East Highway 34 • Sharpsburg tidalwaveautospa.com

United Community Mortgage Services Makinley Fletcher Cook

678-423-5678 • NMLS# 1404774

ValueMax Car Rental 733 Bullsboro Drive • Newnan 404-500-2127

16 Jefferson Street • Newnan 770-253-1576 • times-herald.com

The Venue at Murphy Lane

NuWay Realty

www.thevenueatmurphylane.com 770-262-8241

20 Market Square Way, Ste. A • Newnan 770-252-2585

WC Limousine & Transportation Services, LLC

Phil Aaron State Farm

770-412-3994 • www.wclimousine.com

www.georgiaboneandjoint.org

Glamorous Nails & Spa

Sanders, Haugen & Sears, P.C.

3100 Highway 16, Suite F • Sharpsburg 770-253-4428

Pontoni Hair Design & Skin Care

10 Brown Street • Newnan 770-683-6000 • www.gloverdavis.com

The Heritage School

2093 Highway 29 North • Newnan www.heritageschool.com

Sedan • SUV • Van • Limousine • Limo Bus

Wesley Woods of Newnan 2280 Highway 29 • Newnan www.wesleywoodsnewnan.org

19 Perry Street, Suite 101 • Newnan 770-502-1932

White Oak Golden K Kiwanis Club

The Rutledge Center

Yellowstone Landscape

61 Hospital Road • Newnan 770-253-1189

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770-435-7474 www.yellowstonelandscape.com

and never fighters, giving up

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admiring the

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Sunday, October 1, 2017 | The Newnan Times-Herald — 1E

“THINK

PINK”

Leslie Mullins’ battle with male breast cancer

They gave me options and hope in a long life. They told me I wasn’t at the end of my journey. — Leslie Mullins

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Karen and Leslie said their experience at CTCA has been extremely positive and they’ve found hope and confidence in their approach. “They gave me options and hope in a long life,” he said. “They told me I wasn’t at the end of my journey.”

By CLAY NEELY

clay@newnan.com

As a 58-year-old male, Leslie Mullins isn’t exactly the most common face of breast cancer. However, his story could be that of almost anyone diagnosed with the terrible disease that can also strike the same fear into the hearts of men. Mullins and his family are residents of Morgan County, just outside of Madison, Georgia. They’re a rural bunch who enjoy nothing more than being outside – biking, hiking or doing anything on a mountain. Mullins is also father of three sons, 17, 14 and 10, and a husband to Karen for over 18 years. In 2010, Mullins said he noticed a small spot on his left breast and described it as a knot. “It was more of a worry than anything,” he said. “It didn’t hurt, so I just ignored it for about a year.” However, it was during that year that his wife Karen pestered him about it, imploring him to get it checked out. “She said I needed to have a doctor look at it and if it’s nothing, then it’s nothing,” he said. During an annual physical with a local primary care physician in Morgan County, the doctors looked at the mysterious lump. After examining it, he rendered a verdict. “He said, ‘I don’t like that.’” Mullins recalled. “He didn’t know what it was but ordered an ultrasound and mammogram. It came back as suspicious.”

Despite absolutely no family history, a subsequent biopsy showed Mullins in fact had breast cancer. Less than 1 percent of all breast cancers occur in men. According to BreastCancer. org, in 2017, about 2,470 men are expected to be diagnosed with the disease. For men, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. But while the risk of developing male breast cancer is extremely rare, medical oncologist Dr. John McKnight said a procrastination story like Mullins’ isn’t uncommon. “I think in general, a man is less likely to pay close attention to tiny changes in his breast,” he said. "I often tease that it's a mathematical formula – no pain plus no bleeding is no problem.” McKnight has been practicing since 1987 and is currently employed at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Newnan. “I think most men are not in touch with the risk or potential for a male to develop breast cancer,” he said. “I think the initial and biggest theme is, 'How can this happen to me?'” For Mullins, the game plan was simple – do what it takes to get it out, he recalled. “Since I’m a man, reconstruction or retention was not critical,” he said. “They suggested surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation.” After completing all three, it was just a matter of monitoring. In September 2012, Mullins began experiencing severe pain in his right hip. He initially thought it was a sciatica, but a biopsy confirmed cancer had spread to his bone.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Leslie and Karen

SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Mullins family made the journey from Morgan County to Coweta for the treatment of Leslie’s breast cancer. From left are Aaron, Seth, Karen, Nathan, and Leslie. "The best part of growing old is seeing how God takes care of all the details,” Karen said.

Mullins said his three sons thought they were about to lose their daddy. While in the Loran Smith Cancer Center at Athens Regional Hospital, Mullins said classes were offered to help children answer questions about parents who were suffering from cancer, which he said was extremely helpful. “We also had a family meeting and explained that with prayers, we will get through and prove that not everyone dies when they’re diagnosed with an ailment,” Mullins recalled. “That's how we grew closer.” Specialists gave Mullins a six-month to five-year window, and said most people begin declining rapidly after the two-year mark. “That was not the answer we were looking for,” he recalled. “It may end up taking me, but we’re going to do something.” It was around that time that Mullins was introduced to Cancer Treatment Centers of America. After Karen made contact with CTCA, they performed an evaluation on Mullins. “They gave me options and hope in a long life,” he said. “They told me I wasn’t at the end of my journey.” However, he was feeling like it. With the steady diet of medications he had been on, Mullins had gained a significant amount of weight and felt terrible. The normally avid outdoorsman barely felt like moving. “I got involved with game plan of integrated treatment where if your blood numbers don’t look good, they change up your nutrition,” he said. “I began taking Lupron – a hormone blocker, and a shot for bone strengthening.” After three months, Mullins began feeling better. Six months later, tests showed the growth had slowed down significantly and within a year, it had stopped growing altogether. “Instead of getting worse, I was getting better,” he said. “I started exercising again. And the more you exercise, the bet-

ter you feel. I was walking, riding my bike, and even going to places like Six Flags.” Karen said the journey has been a wild ride. Along with Karen being a band teacher, the couple also homeschool their three sons. Having Mullins being able to take over homeschooling with the youngest has allowed Karen to return to work. "The best part of growing old is seeing how God takes care of all the details,” she said. "We’re not as in control as we like to think we are.” During his battle, Mullins said the prayers and constant contact of support from a multi-state prayer list, to emails and texts from those reminding him that he was not alone played an enormous role in staying upbeat. And when things got overwhelming, the unwavering love from Karen helped guide him through the darkest times. “There was many a time when I broke down, and didn’t think there was a whole lot left for me, but she was strong when I couldn’t be,” he recalled. "She was the notetaker during sessions where I was overwhelmed with information. She categorized it and was able to let me be me a patient, rather than being multiple things at once.” Karen said their experience at CTCA has been extremely positive and that her husband has found hope and confidence in their approach. “They’ve made a huge difference in our lives and in many others,” she said. "As a male, if you notice something and it's not right, that’s your body telling you something,” he said. “Try to find out and don’t wait like I did.” Mullins is continuing to fight but remains in an entirely different frame of mind than he was five years ago. “I sincerely thought I wouldn’t be here,” he said. “Now, I have hope for a long life and dying from something else. There is hope, even when you think there’s no hope or are told there is no hope."


2E — The Newnan Times-Herald |  Sunday, October 1, 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness

Jeff Lindsey Communities donates thousands to SAIH

COURTESY OF JEFF LINDSEY COMMUNITIES

For the past three years, Jeff Lindsey Communities has donated $500 per contract written in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month during the month of October to Southeastern Assistance in Healthcare, a nonprofit that helps cancer patients with non-medical expenses. Earlier this year, the company donated $9,500 to the nonprofit. On the front row, from left, are Sue Butcher, Katie Brady, Katie Guy, Donna Malon, Alexis Brooks, Haley Freeman and Linda Jarvis. On the back row, from left, are Cindy Luckie, Nancy Mader, Elizabeth Harrish-Watkins, Ashley Close, Carol Sprayberry, Michelle Kent and Don Phillips.

By KANDICE BELL

kandice@newnan.com

For the past three years, Jeff Lindsey Communities has donated thousands of dollars to Southeastern Assistance in Healthcare to help cancer patients with the expenses of everyday life. JLC builds new homes in various parts of Alabama and Georgia – including Newnan, Senoia, Fayetteville, Columbus, Ga., and Phenix City and Fort Mitchell, Ala. Southeastern Assistance is a 501c3 organization that provides assistance to cancer patients currently being treated at hospitals in the Greater Atlanta area by providing grants to help with non-medical expenses. The company’s $9,500 gift that was donated earlier this year came from donating $500 for every contract writ-

This particular organization relieves stress for cancer patients when they’re already in a stressful situation,” Donna Malon said. “Also, the reason Jeff Lindsey decided to donate to Southeastern Assistance in Healthcare is because Jeff believes in giving back to his community.

ten in October 2016 during National Breast Cancer Awareness month. A total of 19 contracts were written. “We just want to show how much JLC cares about the community,” said Donna Malon with JLC. “We chose that month because it is an important month.” Malon said she researched the nonprofit, and JLC decided it was a good fit for their donation. “This particular organization relieves stress for cancer patients when they’re already in a stressful situation,” Malon said. “The reason Jeff Lindsey decided to donate to Southeast Assistance in Healthcare is because Jeff believes in giving back to his community, “ said Malon. “He believes in what SAIH is doing to help patients battling cancer. We look forward to presenting Southeastern Assistance in Healthcare with another check for 2017 to

help families during a very stressful time.” Cindy Luckie with SAIH said the donations are very helpful, especially since the organization is rapidly growing. “Last month we helped 156 families,” Luckie said. “Ninety-eight percent of our donations go back to families.” Luckie said any cancer patient in the metro-Atlanta area in treatment can fill out an application to determine their eligibility. Checks are made payable to the patients. “We can probably help about 50-75 families or more in month with Jeff Lindsey’s donation,” Luckie said. “We have families every day going through cancer and they can’t pay their power bill or when school starts have a huge need to help with school supplies. This is great and we are happy we are able to help.” For more information about SAIH, visit http://newnan.aih.org/

” Local testing identifies risky genes

NTH Staff Reports

news@newnan.com

A simple test available at Piedmont Newnan Hospital is helping people learn whether they are at increased risk for cancer, with results typically coming back in less than two weeks. “More and more, we’re seeing people come in for genetic counseling who don’t have cancer but are aware of their family’s history and are concerned about it,” Kelly Teed, board-certified genetic counselor at Piedmont, said. “Genetic testing can give patients the answers they seek as they take charge of their health.” Teed, who has worked at Piedmont for two years, says the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes made famous by Angelina Jolie’s op-ed in the New York Times in 2013 aren’t the only genes linked to cancer that people need to know about. “People who have a mutation in the PALB2 gene, for example, have almost as high of a risk for breast cancer than those who test positive for one of the BRCA genes,” Teed said. “There are nearly 20 genes linked to breast cancer, 10 linked to colon cancer and still dozens of others that increase one’s risk for cancer.” Other genes with links to cancer include: •

PTEN: PTEN GENE MUTATIONS CAUSE

COWDEN SYNDROME. COWDEN SYNDROME IS ASSOCIATED WITH AN INCREASED RISK FOR BENIGN AND CANCEROUS TUMORS OF THE BREAST, UTERUS, THYROID, KIDNEY AND COLON. •

STK11: MUTATIONS IN THE STK11 GENE

CAUSE PEUTZ-JEGHERS SYNDROME (PJS). INDIVIDUALS WITH PJS TEND TO DEVELOP SPOTS IN THEIR LIPS OR IN THEIR MOUTH AND UNUSUAL TYPES OF POLYPS IN THE STOMACH, SMALL INTESTINE, AND COLON. PJS IS ALSO ASSOCIATED WITH AN INCREASED RISK FOR BREAST CANCER,

education website. Teed said genetic testing for cancer has been going on for over 10 years, but has become more advanced in the last few • CDH1: CDH1 GENE MUTATIONS CAUSE years in regard to learning more about HEREDITARY DIFFUSE GASTRIC CANCER genes related to cancer. (HDGC). INDIVIDUALS WITH HDGC HAVE A As far as the cost, Teed said the testing is covered by insurance as long as there’s HIGH RISK FOR DEVELOPING A SPECIFIC sufficient concern for conducting the test, TYPE OF STOMACH CANCER AT A YOUNG such as a history of cancer in family AGE. HDGC ALSO IS ASSOCIATED WITH AN The genetics counselor said the test INCREASED RISK FOR LOBULAR BREAST can be administered by drawing blood or a saliva swab, depending on patient CANCER AND POSSIBLY COLON CANCER. preference. “I recommend testing for people who “It is important to know that even if someone has a gene mutation, that does have young cancer in their family, such not mean you will develop cancer,” Teed cautioned. “Additionally, if the predictive gene tests indicate that a patient does not have a gene mutation, it does not mean they will never develop cancer. Genetic predisposition is just one of the many factors we look at when determining a patient’s overall risk of developing cancer.” GASTROINTESTINAL CANCER AND PANCREATIC CANCER, AMONG OTHERS.

as under the age of 50 or people or people with more rare types of cancer or families with a history of breast cancer in males,” Teed said. “This testing has saved lives and people are excited to take control of their risk and to learn there are preventive, proactive steps to take,” Teed said. Those interested in genetic testing should consult with their physician about a referral to a genetic counselor. For more information, visit www.piedmont.org/ cancer Kandice Bell contributed to this story.

TUESDAYS from 7 – 8 p.m.

This testing has saved lives and people are excited to take control of their risk and to learn there are preventive, proactive steps to take.

Only some people with a gene mutation will develop cancer. For example, a woman with a 75 percent chance of breast cancer may never develop the disease. Meanwhile, a woman with a 25 percent chance may develop breast cancer, according to cancer.net, a cancer patient

The TEXAS TWO-STEP and the LONG BRANCH HUSTLE Classes start

October 10, 2017. Offering new and exciting dance classes at the Sharpsburg Community Center with instructors Rachel, Guy, and Beverly! Call Rachel Ferguson at 770-487-8611 or email her at rsfergus1@gmail.com for more information.

WEDNESDAYS from 7 – 8 p.m.

The SHAG, the BACHATA, and the SHARPSBURG SHUFFLE Classes start

October 11, 2017. All classes are held for six weeks at $25 per session. Get ready for your holiday parties, New Year’s Eve celebrations, cruises, weddings, proms, reunions, or any event where there is music and a dance space available! Join us for more fun and excitement at our Dinner & Line Dancing Party held the first Saturday of every month, and the semi-formal Ballroom Dance held quarterly.

WWW.DANCER236.WEBS.COM


Sunday, October 1, 2017 | The Newnan Times-Herald — 3E

Breast Cancer Awareness

Genetic testing helps Newnan woman eliminate heightened cancer risk from family tree

Courtesy of Piedmont Newnan Hospital: Agnieszka Kirchner

My hope is to eliminate Li-Fraumeni syndrome from my family’s history and give my children the best possible chance to be cancer-free and live a long, happy life. -Agnieszka Kirchner

NTH Staff Reports

news@newnan.com

Newnan resident Agnieszka Kirchner, 25, is one of a few hundred people in the United States living with a rare disorder that greatly increases her risk for developing several types of cancer. Before undergoing genetic testing at Piedmont Fayette Hospital, she didn’t know why her family had a strong history of cancer. “My sister and I underwent genetic testing when I was 19 years old and living in Poland,”

K irch ner sa id. Her mother lost her battle with breast cancer at age 39. “We both were thrilled when doctors told us we tested negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2.” Then, Kirchner’s sister was diagnosed with late-stage colon cancer last May. This prompted Kirchner to schedule a screening for colon cancer and doctors found a polyp that tested positive for cancer. Dr. William Cook, OBGYN at Piedmont Fayette, suggested Kirchner have additional genetic testing done. “The BRCA genes are only

part of the story – there are many other genes associated with increased cancer risk,” said Kelly Teed, genetic counselor at Piedmont Fayette. “There are nearly 20 genes linked to breast cancer, 10 linked to colon cancer and still dozens of others that increase one’s risk for cancer.” Through the genetic testing performed at Piedmont Fayette, Kirchner learned she had Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Caused by changes in a gene known as TP53, which is responsible for preventing cancers from forming, Li-Fraumeni syndrome necessitates more frequent screening for patients like Kirchner. “Approximately half of those with Li-Fraumeni syndrome

Support groups provide financial, emotional aid to cancer patients By EMILY KIMBELL news@newnan.com

E a ch ye a r, appr ox imately 600 Coweta County citizens receive a cancer diagnosis, according to data from the National Cancer Instit ut e a nd t he C ent er s for Disease Control and Prevention. Hearing the word “cancer” can be a terrifying and isolating experience. However, cancer support groups across the county are working to physically and emotionally support those dealing with this disease and letting cancer patients and survivors know they are not alone in their fight. One such group is the Cancer Support Group of Coweta County that provides financial s up p o r t t o r e f e r r e d patients currently undergoing treatment or who have just finished treatment. This year alone, the Cancer Support Group has assisted 21 people with more than $7,000 worth of bills. The Ca ncer Suppor t Group is made up of volunteers, all who have been affected by cancer in some way. The group includes caregivers, health practitioners, current cancer battlers and cancer survivors, including a 30-year breast cancer survivor. Pat Craven, secretary of the group, has been affiliated with the Cancer Support Group for more than 14 years. Craven is a caregiver who helped her brother, who died of lung cancer; her sister-in-law, who passed away from colon cancer; and her husband, a prostate cancer survivor. She believes the Cancer Support Group’s immediate responses to requests for assistance sets the group apart. “One of the most heartbreaking things I see is someone who had a job and develops cancer,” Craven said. Going through treatments while trying to work is burdensome. “When patients are out of

work for any length of time and get behind, someone is needed to pick up the slack there. And that is what we do,” Craven said. When a professiona l group or doctor refers a patient to the Cancer Support Group, Craven and the other volunteers are ready at a moment’s notice to pay a bill, call an insurance company or prevent suspension of utilities. They have helped patients with a range a financial needs including rent, car, house, pharmacy and transportation payments. The Ca ncer Suppor t Group also provides emotional support through the group’s prayer list. Craven acknowledges “many of these people either aren’t able to come to a meeting or as soon as they are able, they go back to work.” The prayer group is a way for individuals to find communal support. “I think all of our members find support in each other,” says Craven. Emotiona l suppor t groups are vital to patient recovery. Dr. Anita Johnson, a 17year practicing breast surgical oncologist at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, recommends participation in support groups to all her patients. She states that engaging with these groups allows people to discuss issues with “someone who has walked in your shoes” and helps lower patient anxiety. Diane Schaab, MindBody Therapist at CTCA at Southeastern, agrees. She believes supports groups can be a “normalizing and validating” experience for patients that provides a “safe forum for people navigating similar challenges to share, listen and collaborate with each other.” D espite the benef its of support groups, some patients are reluctant to attend meetings or ask for financial assistance. Schaab recommends patients “just try it out. You don’t have to

commit. You have a toolbox of coping skills, and this could be one tool.” Schaab, Johnson, and Craven all recognize that cancer is never the patient’s fault and observe that support groups provide an environment where people understand the patient’s situation from a deeper, more personal perspective. Still, Johnson acknowledges that one of the biggest issues facing patients is finances. That’s where resources like the Cancer Support Group of Coweta County step in to help. Craven and the other volunteers of the support group said they want people to know, “There is help available for you if it’s needed. And anyone needing that help needs to go through their doctor or treatment center to get in touch with us to let them know who we are and what we can do.” To continue assisting those battling cancer, the Cancer Support Group requires financial backing from the community. Craven states, “People can make donations in memory, in honor, or just because they want to do something to help somebody in need, and it’s guaranteed that every dime we take in goes directly to a cancer patient.” As long as the funds are available, Craven says she and the other volunteers will keep striving to help local cancer patients in any way possible. The Cancer Support Group of Coweta County is supported solely through donations. Those wishing to financially contribute should send a check to First Baptist Church of Newnan at 15 Washington St., Newnan, GA 30263, designated for the Cancer Support Group. Individuals may also attend the Mt . Gilead United Methodist Church Car for a Cure event or the Veterans of Foreign Wars/ A mer ica n L egion G olf Tournament, which both donate proceeds to the group.

develop cancer by age 30,” Teed said. “We monitor patients like Agnieszka closely so there’s a better chance of catching cancer early when it is most treatable.” In an effort to reduce her risk for developing breast cancer, Kirchner underwent a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery at Piedmont Fayette in January and May of this year, respectively. Going forward, she will have a full-body MRI each year, a scan of her brain every six months and her blood drawn at the hospital every three months. “I’ve found a lot of support at Piedmont Fayette and have had an awesome experience – which is good because I see them so frequently,” Kirchner said. “Getting tested and screened is so important. Sometimes, the only way to prevent things is to keep checking.”

With the risk of childhood cancer so high for those with Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Kirchner was concerned for her young daughter and had her undergo genetic testing at Piedmont Fayette as well. Fortunately, the tests came back negative, and Kirchner and her husband plan to expand the family soon with the help of in vitro fertilization, so the embryo also can be tested for the rare disorder. “My hope is to eliminate LiFraumeni syndrome from my family’s history and give my children the best possible chance to be cancer-free and live a long, happy life,” Kirchner said. For more information about genetic testing and cancer services, visit www.piedmont.org/ cancer

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4E— The Newnan Times-Herald   |  Sunday, October 1, 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness

Stages of breast cancer NTH STAFF REPORTS news@newnan.com

Upon receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, patients will soon receive a pathology report that informs them about the stage their cancer is in. The stage indicates how advanced the cancer is and whether or not it is limited to one area of the breast or has spread to other tissue or even other parts of the body. Understanding the stages of breast cancer can help patients cope with their diagnoses more effectively. The following rundown of the various stages of breast cancer can help breast cancer patients better understand their disease.

• Stage 0

Non-invasive breast cancers are considered to be in stage 0. When doctors have determined the cancer is in stage 0, that means they have not seen any indication that the cancer cells or the abnormal noncancerous cells have spread out of the part of the breast in which they started. Breast cancer patients may hear the term “five-year survival rate” when discussing their disease with their physicians. The five-year survival rate refers to the percentage of people who live at least five years after being diagnosed with cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for women with stage 0 breast cancer is nearly 100 percent.

Stage IA refers to invasive breast cancers in which the tumor is up to two centimeters and the cancer has not spread outside the breast. The lymph nodes are not involved in stage IA breast cancers. In some stage IB breast cancers, there is no tumor in the breast but there are small groups of cancer cells in the lymph nodes larger than 0.2 millimeter but not larger than two millimeters. Stage IB breast cancers, however, may also refer to instances when there is both a tumor in the breast that is no larger than two centimeters and small groups of cancer cells in the lymph nodes that are larger than 0.2 millimeter but no larger than two millimeters. The ACS notes that the five-year survival rate for stage I breast cancers is roughly 100 percent.

• Stage II

Stage II breast cancers are also divided into two subcategories: stage IIA and stage IIB. Both subcategories are invasive, but stage II breast cancers are more complex than stage 0 or stage I breast cancers. Stage IIA describes breast cancers in which no tumor can be found in the breast, but cancer that is larger than two millimeters is found in one to three axillary lymph nodes – the lymph nodes under the arm – or in the lymph nodes near the breast bone. But an invasive breast cancer can still be considered stage IIA if the tumor measures two centimeters or smaller and has spread to the axil• Stage I lary lymph nodes or if the tumor is larger Stage I refers to invasive breast cancer than two centimeters but not larger than and is broken down into two categories: five centimeters and has not spread to the stage IA and stage IB.

explained

axillary lymph nodes. Stage IIB breast cancer describes breast cancers in which the tumor is larger than two centimeters but no larger than five centimeters, and there are small groups of breast cancer cells in the lymph nodes. These small groups of cells are larger than 0.2 millimeters but no larger than two millimeters. Stage IIB may also be used to describe breast cancers in which the tumor is larger than two centimeters but no larger than five centimeters and the cancer has spread to between one and three axillary lymph nodes or to lymph nodes near the breastbone. Tumors that are larger than five centimeters but have not spread to the axillary lymph nodes may also be referred to as stage IIB breast cancers. The five-year survival rate for stage II breast cancers is about 93 percent.

to describe breasts cancers in which the tumor is larger than five centimeters and the cancer has spread to one to three axillary lymph nodes or to the lymph nodes near the breastbone. A stage IIIB breast cancer diagnosis indicates the tumor may be any size and has spread to the chest wall and/or the skin of the breast, causing swelling or an ulcer. The cancer may have spread to up to nine axillary lymph nodes or may have spread to the lymph nodes near the breastbone. In stage IIIC breast cancer, doctors may not see any sign of cancer in the breast. If there is a tumor, it may be any size and may have spread to the chest wall and/or the skin of the breast. To be categorized as stage IIIC, the cancer must also have spread to 10 or more axillary lymph nodes or to the lymph nodes above or below the collarbone or to the axillary lymph nodes or lymph nodes near the breastbone. • Stage III The ACS notes that women diagnosed Stage III cancers are invasive breast with stage III breast cancer are often succancers broken down into three categocessfully treated and that the five-year ries: IIIA, IIIB and IIIC. survival rate is 72 percent. When patients are diagnosed with stage IIIA breast cancer, that means doc•Stage IV tors may not have found a tumor in their breast or the tumor may be any size. In Invasive breast cancers that have spread stage IIIA, cancer may have been found beyond the breast and lymph nodes to in four to nine axillary lymph nodes or other areas of the body are referred to as in the lymph nodes near the breastbone. stage IV. Stage IV breast cancer may be Tumors larger than five centimeters that a recurrence of a previous breast cancer, are accompanied by small groups of breast though some women with no prior history cancer cells – larger than 0.2 millimeter of breast cancer receive stage IV diagnobut no larger than two millimeters – in ses. The five-year survival rate for stage the lymph nodes also indicate a breast IV breast cancers is 22 percent. cancer has advanced to stage IIIA. More information about breast cancer is Stage IIIA, however, may also be used available at www.breastcancer.org

Mastectomy refers to several similar procedures NTH STAFF REPORTS news@newnan.com

A breast cancer diagnosis is something no one wants to receive. Dealing with any form of cancer can be overwhelming, but a breast cancer diagnosis can be particularly challenging, especially when physicians recommend mastectomy to their patients. The Mayo Clinic notes that mastectomy is an umbrella term used to describe several different procedures. While it’s largely thought of as removing one or both breasts, mastectomy may also refer to removing lymph nodes under the arms. Lumpectomy is another word that may come up when physicians discuss treatment options with patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Lumpectomies occur when a tumor and surrounding tissue is removed, but most of the breast is left intact. For reasons that are not entirely understood, Susan G. Komen reports that rates of some types of mastectomies are on the rise. A unilateral mastectomy is the removal of one breast, and a bilateral mastectomy is the removal of both breasts. A woman may, however, choose to have a healthy breast removed as a preventative measure called a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, or CPM. Susan G. Komen says that rates of CPM have been steadily on the rise, and women choosing to undergo the procedure tend to be young and well educated. Any mastectomy has its share of risks that women must weigh against the benefits. Doctors or nurses will explain the procedure before patients enter the operating room. Surgical plans may differ depending on whether a modified radical mastectomy, simple mastectomy, skin-sparing mastectomy or nipple-sparing mastectomy will be performed. A mastectomy procedure typically lasts up to three hours, but it may take longer if reconstruction of

PHOTO BY METROCREATIVE

the breast is part of the surgery. Mastectomy is usually performed under general anesthesia, so patients will need to arrange for transportation home from the hospital. Many women find they can go home the same day of the procedure, though women should discuss their options with their physicians ahead of the surgery. Incisions will be closed with sutures after the surgery is completed. In some cases, a plastic drainage tube will be inserted where the breast was removed. This tube helps clear away any fluids that accumulate after the surgery. Women may feel some pain, numbness and pinching sensations in the surgical area. There will be a bandage over the site, and instructions will be given on caring for the wound and changing the dressing. It’s important to keep in mind that some of side effects of mastec-

tomy procedures are permanent and irreversible, whether or not a person undergoes reconstruction. Removing breast tissue eliminates the ducts that produce milk, so breastfeeding will not be possible after surgery. Also, the breast and much of the surrounding area may remain numb due to nerves that are severed when breast tissue is removed. How much sensation returns varies from woman to woman. Women can direct any questions they have regarding wearing bras or breast prosthetics to their surgical teams. Mastectomy is a common treatment option for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Although mastectomy may seem scary, women can rest assured that many have been there before them and there is a wealth of information available to assuage their fears.

Implants carry low risk of causing cancer NTH STAFF REPORTS news@newnan.com

Cosmetic surgery to address anything from wrinkles to abdominal fat has become more acceptable in recent decades. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says that, since 2000, overall procedures have risen by 115 percent. Although procedures like lower body lifts and nose reshaping remain popular, breast augmentation was the most common of the 1.7 million cosmetic surgical procedures performed in 2015. Breast augmentation includes lifts, reconstruction and implants. The safety of breast implants is continually scrutinized, particularly with regard to the potential correlation between implants and cancer risk. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently updated its under-

standing and warnings concerning cancer linked to breast implants. Nine deaths and 359 cases have been reported to the FDA that involved a unique cancer that is associated with breast implants. Extremely rare anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or ALCL, affects cells in the immune system and can be found around the breast implant. It is important to note that ALCL is not a form of breast cancer, but a separate strain of cancer that can be found in the skin or lymph nodes. Women who have had problems with the implant, such as lumps or asymmetry, are at a higher risk for the condition than women who haven’t had problems. However, ALCL is estimated to occur in only one of every 300,000 women with implants. Breast implants remain a generally safe option for those seeking aug-

mentation or reconstruction. Many of the risks associated with the implants will occur soon after surgery, if at all. These may include settling and malpositioning. Leaking and capsular contracture – which occurs when a layer of scar tissue develops around the implant, can occur in the first several years. The FDA suggests that women carefully consider the pros and cons to implants before deciding to go under the knife. In many cases, additional procedures or replacement in the future may be necessary. According to the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, while a few women may keep their original implants for 20 years or more, that is not a common outcome. More information about breast implants and ACLC are available at www.fda.gov.

Mastectomy procedures are frequently used in the treatment of breast cancer. All of those procedures have some side effects.

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Sunday, October 1, 2017  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 5E

Breast Cancer Awareness

PHOTO BY ANN LARIE VALENTINE

Eliminating consumption of cocktails may lessen the possibility of contracting breast cancer, according to more than one medical study.

Curtail cocktails to reduce breast cancer risk?

NTH STAFF REPORTS news@newnan.com

Mixed messages exist regarding the health benefits and implications of frequent, yet controlled alcohol consumption. While some studies suggest a drink or two a day promotes long-term health, other data indicates that even sipping an average of 10 grams of alcohol per day can increase a person’s risk of cancer. According to Anne McTiernan, a cancer prevention researcher at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the equivalent of a small glass of wine, an eight-ounce beer or one ounce of hard liquor is associated with a 5 percent increased risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women and a 9 percent increase in postmenopausal women.

Other data paints a similar picture. Compared to women who don’t drink at all, women who have three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15 percent greater risk of breast cancer. Experts estimate that the risk of breast cancer goes up another 10 percent for each additional drink women regularly have each day. Younger women also are at risk. Teen and tween girls who drink between three and five alcoholic beverages a week increase their risk of developing benign breast lumps. The cancer information and research organization BreastCancer.org notes that research consistently indicates that drinking alcoholic beverages increases a woman’s risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. This is because alcohol can impact levels of estrogen and other

hormones associated with this particular type of breast cancer. Furthermore, alcohol may damage DNA in cells, resulting in increased breast cancer risk. Drinking alcohol does not mean women or men are destined to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Alcohol is just one of many variables that can increase a person’s risk of getting the disease. While curbing excessive drinking is good for health in general, curtailing cocktail consumption may help to slightly reduce breast cancer risk in particular. However, women can take many other steps to reduce their risk for breast cancer. Diet and exercise can benefit overall health in various ways, including reducing a person’s risk for breast cancer. Various reports suggest that vigorous exercise, like

cycling or running, can reduce a woman’s risk of post-menopausal breast cancer by nearly 10 percent compared to less active women. Choosing healthy foods can keep weight in check, helping to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

The Mayo Clinic also lists these steps to help with breast cancer risk: • avoid smoking, • breastfeed children • limit the dose and duration of hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, • avoid exposure to radiation, • adhere to a Mediterranean diet that features legumes and other plant-based foods, and • prioritize breast cancer detection.

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6E — The Newnan Times-Herald   |  Sunday, October 1, 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness

Use caution before exercising after cancer surgery

PHOTO BY METROCREATIVE GRAPHICS

Exercise is a good thing after breast cancer surgery, but individuals should talk with their doctors and be careful not to overdo.

NTH Staff Reports

news@newnan.com

Routine exercise is an essential element of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise can help people maintain healthy weights, reduce stress and lower their risk for various diseases. After surviving breast cancer, many survivors wonder if it’s safe to return to the exercise regimens they followed prior to being diagnosed. Breast cancer survivors can benefit from exercise, but it’s important that they prioritize safety when working out. Survivors who have had breast cancer surgery may be at risk of lymphedema, a condition characterized by swelling of the soft tissues of the arm, hand, trunk or breast. That swelling is sometimes accompanied by discomfort and numbness, and some people dealing with lymphedema also experience infection. Breastcancer.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing up-to-date

information about breast cancer, notes that some exercise may be especially risky for breast cancer survivors. These exercises include: • swimming laps using strokes with arm movements • activities that involve the usage of resistance bands • pull-ups and push-ups • certain yoga poses, including downward-facing dog and inversions, that put ample weight on the arms • elliptical/cross-training machines • cross-country skiing • tennis While breast cancer survivors might want to avoid certain types of exercise, it’s important to note that the American Cancer Society recommends exercise after breast cancer surgery. But exercise should be approached with safety in mind, and breast cancer survivors should heed the following tips to ensure their exercise regimens do not compromise their recovery.

• Discuss exercise with your physician and surgeon Before making exercise a part of your post-recovery routine, speak with your physician and surgeon to determine if there any movements you should avoid. Your doctor and surgeon can tell you how you will be affected by medications you might be taking as part of your continued recovery.

exercising after surviving breast cancer. Many breast cancer survivors undergo surgery as part of their treatments, but even those who did not should still prioritize proper form when exercising, even if it means lifting substantially less weight than you might have prior to your diagnosis.

• Don’t persist through pain

If you feel any pain upon returning to exercising, stop immediately and speak with your physician and surgeon prior to If you were an exercise enthusiast prior exercising again. to your diagnosis, you must recognize that returning to your pre-cancer regimen may • Rest between sessions not be possible, or that it’s likely to take You likely won’t be able to exercise on a while before you feel like your old self again. Take a gradual approach, allowing successive days anytime soon, but build yourself to build strength and not expect- off days into your routine so you can rest and recover. ing results to appear overnight. Exercising after surviving breast cancer can promote recovery, but survivors must • Emphasize form be extra careful as they work to get back Place a great emphasis on form when on track.

• Take it slowly

Organization helps survivors find ‘new normal’ PHOTO BY MELANIE RUBERTI

Right: Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network 8: Leigh Anne Walker, left, shows Janet Beebe a new poster design for the organization. Walker works part time with the Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network. She is the only staff member - everyone else volunteers their time to the organization, Beebe said. Below: Becky Holt shows off new merchandise to Janet Beebe in the Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network gift shop. The shop is located inside BCSN’s offices at 1401 Georgian Park, Suite 110, Peachtree City.

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Sunday, October 1, 2017  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 7E

Breast Cancer Awareness

Preparations can make mammograms more comfortable

PHOTO BY METROCREATIVE GRAPHICS

Mammograms are an important health care tool. There are ways to reduce discomfort, which some women cite in avoiding the cancer detection test.

NTH Staff Reports news@newnan.com

Mammograms help to detect breast cancer early, improving women’s prognosis as a result. Susan G. Komen states that mammography is the most effective breast cancer screening tool in use today. When women should begin getting mammograms remains open to debate. The American Cancer Society now recommends that women between the ages of 45 and 54 receive annual mammograms. Despite the benefits of mammograms, many women avoid them out of fear of

the pain and discomfort associated with the procedure. But researchers are examining how much pressure mammogram machines need to apply to get accurate breast images. Until widespread customized mammograms are offered, women can take various steps to reduce the amount of discomfort they feel while undergoing these important screening procedures. • Apply a topical numbing gel. BreastCancer.org says a study found that applying a numbing gel an hour before having a mammogram resulted in less discomfort when compared to placebo and other painreduction techniques.

Be sure to discuss application of the gel with your physician prior to your procedure. • Schedule your procedure for the right time. Do not schedule a mammogram right before or during a menstrual cycle, when breasts already are very tender due to hormonal changes. Waiting until seven to 14 days after a period is a better bet. • Take pain relief pills. A physician may suggest taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen prior to the appointment to reduce discomfort before and after the procedure. • Speak with the technician. Women can express their concerns about pain to the mammogram technician, who

might suggest various ways to minimize discomfort. • Learn about padding. Find an imaging center that uses padding on mammogram plates. MammoPad is a soft, white, single-use foam pad that is invisible to X-rays. • Avoid caffeine. Some women find that caffeine contributes to breast tenderness. Avoid caffeine the week before the procedure. Mammograms are an important health care tool. Reducing discomfort may encourage women to follow guidelines regarding mammograms more closely.

Pregnancy may still be possible after breast cancer

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

NTH STAFF REPORTS NEWS@NEWNAN.COM

More women are diagnosed with breast cancer than any other cancer. For many women, one of the more frightening aspects of a breast cancer diagnosis is the potential impact the disease can have on an area of the body often associated with femininity and motherhood. Cancer.net indicates the five-year survival rate for breast cancer if the cancer is only in one breast is 95 percent. That rate dips to 85 percent if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. Even though this is great news, women may worry about the long-term implications of post-cancer life, particularly how they relate to future pregnancy plans. Early detection and improvements in treatment have markedly decreased the numbers of breast cancer-related fatalities. However, the therapies used to treat breast cancer can affect fertility and a woman’s ability to have a successful pregnancy. While pregnancy after cancer treatment is often safe for both the baby and mother, women should still educate themselves about the potential effects of breast cancer treatment with regard to pregnancy. One of the main concerns women have after surviving a breast cancer diagnosis is the risk of infertility. Susan G. Komen says both chemotherapy and hormone therapy can impact fertility and decrease the window of time a woman has to have children. This is a particular concern for young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Chemotherapy can dam-

age the ovaries, while tamoxifen, a commonly used hormone therapy, can cause irregular periods or stop the menstrual cycle altogether. Both of these treatments also may bring on natural menopause earlier than usual, according to the International Breast Cancer Study Group. Young women can opt to have their unfertilized eggs or embryos frozen and stored prior to starting cancer treatment. It’s important to meet with a fertility specialist early on to discuss options. According to the American Cancer Society, some doctors advise breast cancer survivors to wait at least two years after finishing treatment before they try to get pregnant. No research yet indicates that getting pregnant will make women more susceptible to the cancer coming back, nor will pregnancy increase the risks of birth defects or other long-term health concerns in children born to women who have had breast cancer. Depending on the type of breast cancer treatment they receive, many women are still able to breastfeed. However, if radiation or surgery has affected breast health, milk production may be affected and the baby may have difficulty latching on. Using a breast pump to express milk may be an option. However, commercially produced infant formulas also can provide the nutrition growing babies need. Choosing to have children after breast cancer is a personal decision. Thanks to medical advancements, the possibility to conceive and raise a family is strong.

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8E — The Newnan Times-Herald   |  Sunday, October 1, 2017

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Early Childhood Education A New Approach

Above: CAN kids enjoying fun, educational activities. Right: CAN kids enjoying the outdoors on our cushioned playground.

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we have focused on what the norm of formalized childcare is and researched ways to improve and exceed the traditional approach to early childhood education. In today’s world of social media when our children eagerly assimilate into the commonplace world of the internet, computer games and texting as a primary method of social interaction, it is essential that parents and teachers recognize that face-toface social skills be developed and retained so that our children will become prepared to face life’s challenges. We want our children to not only learn these fast-paced

There have been many studies documenting the incredible benefits of Intergenerational Programs for both children and seniors. electronic skills as they enjoy their day at CAN, we want them to thrive socially, develop selfconfidence and courage while also learning to have sensitivity and empathy for others. These skills are not always inherited. Rather, they are learned within

knowledge and exploring educational background, the social environment of House Assisted Living, our environment with the strong managerial skills, we wanted a name that which they are a part. goal of one day becoming a former youth minister, had a purposeful meanUnique to CAN is our a little more like the wise State of Georgia childINTERGENERATIONAL ing. The monarch mature butterfly. With butterfly is one of God’s PROGRAM. Housed care certifications and this in mind we at CAN, within the same building incredible creatures that most importantly a huge with much thought and has reached maturity in and owned by the same and loving heart. We are consideration, have individual is MONARCH its life span. It has very fortunate that Lee decided that just as the emerged from its cocoon HOUSE ASSISTED has accepted this criticaterpillar transforms and spread its wings to LIVING, soon to be the cally important position into a butterfly, we too become a beautiful home of a small commuand have already seen the will transform our name nity of active and vibrant butterfly. This symbolpositive influence he has izes our seniors. They are to something that seniors that will cherish made on our center. touches our heart and mature, wise, and full of the opportunity to Finally, we want to thank aligns with our mission. beauty and grace. They interact with our chilour beautiful community On November 1, 2017, we have reached a stage in dren. Whether it’s a of parents for all the trust their lives where they are will become THE special holiday program, and support they have CATERPILLAR HOUSE free to float the breeze reading a book to your given us over the past two EARLY LEARNING and enjoy the sunshine child, or simply listening years. We promise to CENTER. We also want on their wings. Childto your child tell them continue to work hard as to introduce its Execuhood much resembles a about their day, the we strive to soar to new tive Director, Lee caterpillar. During seniors at Monarch heights with your precious childhood, we are contin- Oxford. Lee comes to us House and your child with an impressive uously consuming little ones on our wings. will build a truly unique bond. There have been many studies documenting the incredible benefits of Intergenerational Programs for both children and seniors. Children who regularly visit with seniors have higher reading scores, better communication skills, better problem-solving abilities and a more positive attitude towards aging. Children also have a stronger ability to handle delayed gratification and a greater sensitivity toward people with disabilities, thus reducing bullying in school. Our intergenerational programs will elevate the standard of early childhood education beyond just academics. When deciding on the name for The Monarch CAN students listen to their favorite future resident of Monarch House read stories to them.

299 Bullsboro Drive • Newnan, GA 30263 678-658-9488

2017 breast cancer awareness  
2017 breast cancer awareness