Early Breast Cancer Detection and Support

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is held every October. During this month there is a campaign to help educate on the screening and prevention of the disease. Sports teams wear pink, you will see lots of commercials and promotional material, and some of your friends and loved ones may participate in fundraising events. This is because one in eight women are impacted by breast cancer every year in the United States.

Breast Cancer Detection

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. The majority of these women have no family history of breast cancer. Because of this it is important to start screening by age 45 or earlier if your doctor recommends. Healthstar Physicians runs a promotional event during October to make these mammograms more accessible. Self-pay patients can receive a 3D mammogram for $99 during this month. If you are a bit nervous about having your first mammogram, visit Healthstar Physicians’ annual Health Fair on October 5th. They will be giving a tour of the 3D mammogram machine to show how it works and what to expect.

The University of Tennessee Medical Center also offers another great resource to the community with the Mobile Mammography Unit. This is a bus that travels to different locations to help make mammograms more accessible. To see the travel schedule and make an appointment, please visit: https://www.utmedicalcenter.org/mobile-mammography-unit-locations-and-appointments.

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast tissue. Doctors find this technology to detect early signs of breast cancer.

To conduct a mammogram, you will stand in front of the specialized x-ray machine and a nurse will assist you in placing your breast on a flat plate. A second flat plate will press your breasts from above. This flattens your breasts while keeping them perfectly still for the x-ray picture to be taken. Although this process can be a bit uncomfortable, early detection of breast cancer before it metastasizes is key. When breast cancer is detected early and is localized, the 5 year survival rate is 99%.

Breast cancer diagnosis

You’ve followed the process only to hear the dreaded words: “I’m sorry, but you have breast cancer.” Now what?

Your medical team will put together a customized treatment plan. Taking care of your physical symptoms are important but you need to also invest in your emotional and spiritual health. Covenant Health provides resources to help you through the process. You can be paired with a cancer survivor and access a multitude of educational material on your cancer diagnosis and treatment options. If you are going to lose your hair during the treatment process, there are wigs available to help you feel more positive about your appearance during this difficult time.

There are churches in the area who offer emotional and spiritual support. You can also find cancer support through organizations like Cancer Support Community of East Tennessee.

If you are going through a breast cancer diagnosis, you don’t have to do this alone. There are a multitude of community organizations who can support you with transportation to your appointments, assist with meals, and support you and your family emotionally and spiritually. If you don’t know where to start to find these resources, JJ Beans has Community Health Workers at College Park Pharmacy and Howard’s Pharmacy. These individuals serve as liaisons between health/social services and the community and are free resources to the public.

Our local pharmacies are here to support your family as you make strides to maintain and improve your health. The staff and owners are part of the community and are invested in your success. If you are currently not with a small pharmacy, now is the time for you to check out one of our local pharmacies. College Park Pharmacy, Howard’s Pharmacy, Mooney’s Pharmacy, and P&S Pharmacy are small businesses here in East Tennessee who pride themselves in customer service. They want to gain your trust and build a relationship with you. We strive to put patients first and help you improve your health. Please come by and see us.