LIVING WELL Sentara Makes Comprehensive Breast Health Accessible and Convenient Cancer doesn’t wait. One out of every eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. The American Cancer Society recently published a troubling study estimating the impact of delayed preventative screenings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Early detection means better outcomes, so women should not delay their annual mammogram. The Sentara Martha Jefferson Comprehensive Breast Center focuses on early screening and detection using innovative technologies like 3D Mammography to catch breast cancer early. If results are abnormal, the center provides timely, accurate results so patients don’t have to wait to know if there’s a problem and treatment can begin immediately if a breast disease or cancer diagnosis is confirmed. In addition, Sentara Martha Jefferson provides support through the entire breast cancer journey, from diagnosis through treatment and survivorship, as well as a breast health navigator to help guide patients through the experience. 3D MAMMOGRAPHY: IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE Overtheyears,mammogramtechnology has been greatly enhanced, yielding more useful data for caregivers to consider in making diagnoses. First came the conversion from film to digital mammography, and now, thanks to new advances, an imaging process known as tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography. This new method enables doctors to examine breast health in three dimensions, more efficiently and in greater detail than ever before—providing major benefits to both patients and caregivers. Sentara Martha Jefferson has offered tomosynthesis since 2014. Since then, doctors have been able to catch more cancers using 3D mammography, and callbacks have decreased due to better visibility of the breast tissue. The process of acquiring imagery through tomosynthesis isn’t much different from that of a traditional mammogram, except that an additional set of multiple, lower-dose radiation images are taken of each view of the breast, resulting in threedimensional views of the breast tissues that in a traditional two-dimensional mammogram normally overlap. Several published studies involving hundreds of thousands of patients have shown that tomosynthesis imaging offers better detection of invasive breast cancer and ultimately fewer “false alarms” as compared to a traditional mammogram technique used alone, says Dr. Scott Pease, radiologist at Sentara Martha Jefferson. “If a woman is called back from a tomosynthesis screening study, we often know fairly specifically where in the breast the questionable area is located,” he says. “Because tomosynthesis provides information more clearly than a standard 2D screening study alone, many times we can proceed to a targeted ultrasound exam and skip additional diagnostic mammogram pictures.” NAVIGATING THROUGH THE JOURNEY Whenever a woman goes in for a mammogram, there is at least a minor undercurrent of anxiety as she wonders “will they find something?” About 12 percent of women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, and for most of those women, that undercurrent of anxiety becomes a flood as they begin the journey through their cancer treatment. Enter Deanna Tinsley, RN, Breast Health Navigator at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital. Tinsley’s full time job is to support these women from the moment they receive the call back for additional diagnostic testing through their ongoing support following their treatments. “A navigator is a coordinator of care. Someone who helps guide people through their care, is familiar with the resources available to patients, and is able to help a patient to understand her options,” said Tinsley. “Most patients would meet me at the time of a diagnostic mammogram, and then again if there were any abnormal findings. That can be a scary time, and I am here to help them through that time as well as through their entire treatment journey.” HELPING THOSE AT HIGHER RISK In addition to traditional screening diagnostic services, Sentara Martha Jefferson offers a High Risk Breast Program, a program developed to serve patients that are identified as being at a high risk of developing a breast cancer in their lifetime. When a patient has her annual mammogram, a letter goes home with her results. Included in that letter is the patient’s estimated lifetime risk factors. Any patient with an estimated lifetime risk factor of 20 percent or higher would be instructed that they could contact the team at Sentara Martha Jefferson to get more information about our high risk breast clinic. After doing a more in depth assessment and determining what risk factors the patient may need to address, the nurse practitioner of the high risk breast program may recommend such resources as exercise and nutrition counseling, genetic counseling, or increased screenings. TAKING CARE OF THE WHOLE PERSON Sentara Martha Jefferson offers an array of services for its cancer patients. The halls of the hospital are often full of music Early detection saves lives. Schedule your screening mammogram online at or by calling 434-654-7130. from the lobby. Free exercise classes are available to cancer patients and survivors, as are a number of support groups. Nutrition counseling, a social worker and a financial counselor are all also available. And image recovery specialists are available at Marianne’s Room and the Something Special Shop. The ultimate goal is to help patients feel at least a little better during a time when they are not feeling well. The better people take care of themselves the better they do over all. CARE IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 With the novel coronavirus now a part of our daily lives, we are faced with a level of uncertainty that was previously unimaginable. As a result, healthcare providers across the nation have seen an increase in the number of individuals delaying care and putting off preventative screenings that are so critical to identifying health problems early. We want you to feel safe at Sentara so there is nothing in between you and getting the best care possible. We are screening and masking everyone who comes to our facilities, wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, ensuring social distance and have increased our already robust cleaning for infection prevention. We are committed to always keeping our patients, employees and community members safe. Sponsored by

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