Founded more than 30 years ago as a joint trial between the American Cancer Society and a leading cancer drug manufacturer, now known as AstraZeneca, October is the month of every month. The U.Va. Health System uses this month to educate the public about the robust range of care options for breast cancer patients – highlighting its unique team approach to patient care and partnering with companies in Charlottesville to raise funds for research.
The CDC says that breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women of all races and ethnicities. Similarly, factors such as family history of the disease and higher density of breast tissue are cited as influential in the development of an individual for breast cancer ̵
The U.Va. The Breast Care Center treats breast cancer patients of all ages. Doctors at the center say they are committed to taking care of these patients by using a careful team approach that generates diverse opinions and ideas.
Dr. Amy Bouton, Associate Dean of Graduate and Medical Scientist Programs at U.Va. School of Medicine, talked about the importance of this collaborative method – illustrated in teams of doctors and other professionals called tumor boards – in the treatment of patients with serious diseases such as breast cancer.
"We have radiologists and oncologists and nurse practitioners and surgeons and genetic counselors, and they all meet and discuss each case before making any decisions about how best to treat this patient," said Bouton. "And the beauty of it is that our doctoral students have the opportunity to participate in these tumor boards, and they understand how these treatment decisions are made from this team approach."
Researchers like Bouton and their professional and college colleagues are members of these teams who spend their time providing new information that could improve the quality of care for breast cancer patients.
"It's the people who do the basic research that are really critical members of the entire team because they provide the information that then influences the development of new drugs, new biomarkers to understand what types of tumors are being treated should be how and with new therapies, "said Bouton.
Examples of professionals who, like Bouton, do some important research are the doctor himself and his colleagues. Bouton examines macrophages – a type of immune cell – and how they can affect tumors in breast tissue and their response to various medications.
Also in the U.Va. Health System, Dr. med. Melanie Rutkowski is currently investigating the effects of antibiotics on the microbiome, and if this can be associated with breast cancer in some cases, Dr. Sanchita Bhatnagar triple negative breast cancer – a specific form of the disease that lacks three protein receptors that are typically associated with it. Doctors like these women are constantly working to pave the way for new advances in breast cancer, and their work is just one element supported by the donations that the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month donated to the U.Va. Breast Care Center
Currently, Healthline indicates that survival rates for breast cancer depend on factors such as cancer stage, type of breast cancer and age. Advances in research and technology have resulted in a 90.6 percent 5-year breast cancer survival rate for women, as measured in 2008. This statistic was generated through years of work and research supported by donations and awareness every October.
Health experts say that this awareness begins with each individual. Manager of Oncology Programs Tracey Gosse recommends annual mammography after the age of 40, and there are several ways to accommodate different types of breasts in patients. Two-dimensional and three-dimensional mammography are both available at the university and differ in the relative density of breast tissue that they measure well. Gosse also emphasized the importance of monthly self-breast feeding for women, as this careful practice can help with early detection and bring better results for patients.
In the past years the U.Va. Health System has launched a series of events on breast cancer, education and fundraising.
Various events will be held this year in October to show support. Gosse said the health care system is currently working with, among others, Alex and Ani, Kendra Scott and Albemarle Baking Company. When customers buy certain items from these stores in October, part of the proceeds will be donated to U.Va. Health system. Regarding the use of this money, Gosse listed Breast Cancer Research, Clinical Programs for Breast Cancer Patients and Breast Cancer Instruments for the Newly Identified Potential Pathways
Danica Rose, Deputy Development Director for Annual Donations to Cancer Programs at the University, is very concerned about the charitable aspect of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month involved and outlined some of the events and promotions that will take place in Charlottesville in October to help breast cancer patients. Members of Zeta Tau Alpha at the university held their Pink Week event from October 13-10. 20, donates all fundraising proceeds for breast cancer research. On Friday Zoom Indoor Cycling donated all proceeds from rides to the U.Va. Breast Cancer Center. Finally, Panera Bread will offer a Pink Ribbon Bagel this month and donate part of the proceeds from this product to research at the university.
According to Gosse, although it is a month dedicated to awareness raising and awareness-raising with special events like this one every year to benefit breast cancer potential, it is easy to get caught up in a mindset that only transiently affects the breast cancer potential Illness concentrated. She emphasized that individual self-care and effort are just as important.
"We all know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but breast cancer can happen all year round," Gosse said. "So do not stop checking just because you're getting through October."