Breast cancer is still one of the most common types of cancer affecting Americans. Although more common in women, breast cancer can also affect men.
With substantial support for breast cancer awareness and increased funding for research, the breast cancer survival rate has dramatically improved for the past decade.
Medical experts still agree that early detection is the key to successfully treating breast cancer.
To learn more about breast cancer, we interviewed one of our general surgeons, Dr. Jessica Vinsant.
Dr. Vinsant is one of Premier Surgical Associate’s breast cancer surgeons.
What are some of the things women and men should know about a breast cancer diagnosis?
“ It’s okay to ask a lot of questions; it’s okay to take time to process everything before making a decision. We generally take a multi-disciplinary approach and a lot of things can happen quickly after the diagnosis. We know that it can be overwhelming.
We are here to help explain these things and we’re here to come up with the best treatment plan for that specific patient.
I also recommend bringing 1 or 2 more people with you to serve as extra ears. There’s just too much information for one person to remember.
What do you tell your patients about breast cancer?
“When we catch things early, there’s a 95% chance of being cured of breast cancer, especially when it’s in its early stages.
Although there are many factors that affect what treatments are recommended, many women are under the impression that mastectomy is necessary. If they are a candidate for partial mastectomy, I tell them that the long-term outcome of total mastectomy and partial mastectomy with radiation therapy are the same. We have very good results with partial if that’s what the patient wants.”Is early detection important?
“It is. It gives the patient and the treatment team more options especially on how to proceed.”
What are the signs and symptoms that they should look for?
“They should look for a palpable lump, skin changes, bloody nipple discharge from one breast, pain in the breast, pain in the armpit, and other new changes to the breast.”
Is there a way to determine the risk level of patients for breast cancer?
“We offer genetic testing for patients, based on their personal and family histories. The test does not just determine one’s risk for breast and ovarian cancer, but also look for genes that increase one’s chance for other types of cancer.
Genetic testing gives us an idea of treatment options and what to recommend to patients.”
There’s a constant change in breast cancer treatment and recommendations. Patients these days are getting more results with less invasive procedures.
Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville has surgeons like Dr. Vinsant who are experts in diagnosing and treating breast cancer. Our goal is to treat our patients through highly-individualized care.
To learn about Premier Surgical’s Breast Services, visit https://www.premiersurgical.com/premier-surgical-services/breast-cancer-surgery/