Palmetto Health recognizes October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted on 10/26/2018

Surgeon emphasizes breast cancer treatment has improved and is more personalized

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Palmetto Health Breast Center wants to remind women that early detection still is the best protection. Palmetto Heath recommends that women always consult with their physician to make a personal decision about the appropriate time for a mammogram. The general guidelines are:

  • Women younger than 40: Consult with a physician about when to have your first mammogram.
  • Woman age 40 to 49: Get a mammogram every year.
  • Woman age 50 to 74: Get a mammogram every two years.
  • All women: If breast or ovarian cancer runs in your family, talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer.

Julian Kim, MD, senior medical director of oncology services with Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group, wants to offer women encouragement about the advancements in breast cancer treatment. Kim believes that breast cancer treatment has improved significantly and become more personalized. He said, “Over the past five years, there have been major research advancements that have made care much better for women. The research has shown us that less is more and that we can be even more specific with the treatment that women are receiving and it doesn’t affect long-term survival rates.”

Kim supports woman being an advocate in their own care. He added, “We want our patients to be involved in their care. We know that sometimes patients want an additional opinion on their case and we want them to feel comfortable seeking that. They should as ask as many questions as they need to and make sure they get their questions answered.”

He also wants to reassure women that cancer care is more comprehensive than ever. “When our multi-disciplinary team meets in the breast conference they are working together for the very best outcome for that person. We use the expertise of the entire team to decide what the very best option for the patient is.”

Kim also wants to emphasize to women that they should have a personal conversation with their physician about their family history and other factors regardless of what the latest guidelines are and that women should be screened according to that conversation. He said, “The guidelines were designed to give us a general outline of what women should do, but I never want that to be a barrier. Don’t just skip screenings based on a conversation you’ve heard or a news story. Always have a conversation with your physician, figure out your best schedule for screenings and have them done. There is very little risk in getting a mammogram but enormous benefits.”

Palmetto Health Breast Center performs more than 40,000 mammograms a year. Palmetto Health offers mammograms at Palmetto Health Baptist, Palmetto Health Richland, Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, Palmetto Health Tuomey and Northeast Diagnostics - Northeast Medical Park. To schedule a mammogram in Columbia, call 803-296-8888. To schedule a mammogram in Sumter, call 803-774-9188.


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