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Breast Cancer—the Path You Will Take

Breast Cancer—the Path You Will Take

Local surgeon presents seminar on early breast cancer detection

You felt a lump in your monthly breast exam, or your yearly mammogram wasn’t clean as it has been in past years. Now what?

Washington Hospital surgeon Dr. William Wood will discuss “Early Stage Breast Cancer: What You Should Know” on Tuesday, April 18, at 1:30 p.m. The Health & Wellness seminar will cover risk factors, treatment options and survival rates of early stage breast cancer. The seminar also will include a special presentation from the HERS Breast Cancer Foundation, a community-based breast cancer support organization.

The first experience for the newly diagnosed patient is the Washington Hospital’s Breast Cancer Program, a comprehensive program designed to guide the incoming breast cancer patient through all the steps along the path she will be undertaking through diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.

“The Breast Cancer Program offers comprehensive care for women with breast cancer (whether early stage or more advanced) — from the initial visit all the way through surgery, treatment, recovery and ongoing follow-up,” Dr. Wood explains. “A relief to most patients, every step in the process is undertaken here in Fremont, so there is no need to go elsewhere for treatment. Once the patient comes in the door, a program designed specifically for her will begin and she will be led through the steps necessary to deal with the breast cancer.”

The program’s team includes (in order of the patient’s process through treatment): a surgeon specializing in breast cancer; an oncologist specializing in hematology and medical oncology; a radiation oncologist; a radiologist; a pathologist for diagnostic purposes; a genetic counselor for the patient and her family; a nursing coordinator to provide guidance to the patient throughout the entire process; schedulers; the comprehensive breast tumor board; the lymphedema clinic; and finally the Women’s Center for support groups and other follow-up.

“Every single patient we see will be given a customized treatment plan, matching what they require. It simplifies a patient’s life to have all in one location, locally,” notes Dr. Wood.

By definition, early stage breast cancer means the cancer is contained within the breast and has not spread. Treatment options may include breast-conserving surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Breast cancer risk factors include a history of estrogen exposure (which can include an early menstruation age, frequent pregnancy), obesity and other factors. The seminar also will include an enactment from the patient’s perspective of the program’s process.

“Survival rates are very high with early stage breast cancer,” Dr. Wood stresses, “so it’s very important to see your physician as soon as you suspect a lump or receive a positive mammogram diagnosis.”

“The Early Stage Breast Cancer” seminar can be viewed live on Facebook and YouTube. For Facebook, sign in to your account and go to YouTube does not require an account. See

To learn more about Dr. Wood, visit: