A DOCTOR’S GUIDE TO FIGHTING BREAST CANCER
You’ve probably seen the billboards. You’ve seen the pink ribbons and the pink signs all over town. Each year, October not only signals the beginning of pumpkin-flavored everything, it’s also the time to break out your favorite pink blouse in support of breast cancer awareness month. No one wants to believe they will get breast cancer. But the truth is, the disease is the most common cancer in women worldwide.* The highest rate of new cases is found right here in the United States,* and nearly 2,000 women in the Tri-county area are projected to be newly diagnosed in 2018.** So, don’t just put your pink on.
Learn what it takes to reduce your risk and what to do if you get diagnosed.
*According to the World Cancer Research Fund International
**1,966 cases projected by Truven Health Analytics
It’s time to PINK OUT!
“Breast awareness month works.” exclaims Olga Ivanov, Medical Director of the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Florida Hospital Celebration Health. “Every October women are coming in for their mammograms, and every November they’re scheduling their treatments if cancer is found.” But, Dr. Ivanov knows there’s more work to be done when it comes to educating women about the importance of catching breast cancer early. “I see it every day.” says Ivanov. “Some women complain about being too busy to get a breast cancer screening. If you think you’re busy now, imagine six months of chemotherapy, plus surgery and recovery time. There’s really no excuse. At Florida Hospital a mammogram takes 30 minutes and costs the same as getting your nails done or having cappuccino with your friends.”
Not Your Grandmother’s Breast Cancer Treatment
Breast cancer treatment has come a long way in the last generation. The disease is no longer a death sentence. Thanks to medical advances, it can be treated and cured when caught early in most cases. Dr. Ivanov helped pioneer a new, breast cancer treatment — intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) — that’s a perfect example of what is now possible.
For patients who are eligible for a lumpectomy, a traditional treatment involves surgery, followed by threeto- six weeks (15 – 33 treatments) of radiation therapy. IORT has changed all of that. IORT delivers one, highly targeted, 10-minute radiation treatment at the time of surgery. It’s that simple.
The benefits are obvious. The precise nature of the radiation spares the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. The cost savings are substantial— one treatment versus 15-to-33 treatments. Plus, the recovery time is amazing. “I’ve literally performed surgery and IORT on a patient on a Wednesday, and they were dancing at their daughter’s wedding on Saturday.” explains Ivanov. “Plus, the cancer has less than a three-percent chance of coming back.”
The Skinny on Breast Cancer
According to Dr. Ivanov, it’s important to know the facts about breast cancer.Research shows that obesity is on the rise all over the world. Additionally, obesity is linked to breast cancer — especially in post-menopausal women. As a result, a healthy diet and exercise can drive down your risk for the disease. According to Ivanov, “If you’re a woman over the age of 40, you probably should be getting an annual mammogram.” Of course, some women should start much earlier if they have a family history or risk factors. She continues, “Every woman is different. Every cancer is different. Just because Angelina Jolie got a mastectomy, doesn’t mean you should. If you have been diagnosed, you have time to figure out the best option for your individual situation. Get a second opinion. Get a third opinion. When it comes to breast cancer treatment, you want to follow the old saying measure twice, and cut once. 95-percent of the time, there’s a happy ending.”
How to Choose a Doctor
The care team you choose is most important. You want experienced doctors who are well versed on the latest treatments. “Make sure the doctors you select are certified by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).” Ivanov explains. “You want quality care and specialists that work well together.” Dr. Ivanov believes in the power of people. “Any hospital can buy the latest equipment. It’s the people that make a hospital great. We have great doctors at Florida Hospital. We are a team of friends. We are a family taking care of family. We talk to one another. When I walk into a room, I already know this patient before I even meet her. Patients feel that and know they’re in good hands.”
The Florida Hospital Difference
• Lunchtime, evening and weekend appointments
• Same-day availabilities
• Onsite parking
• 13 nationally accredited locations in Central Florida