Breast Cancer Facts
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women. Statistics indicate that one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in their lives. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 97 percent. Signs include a lump or an area of thickening in the breast.
Women should perform a self-exam every month for signs of breast cancer. In addition, you should have a clinical breast exam every three years from the age of 20 until 40, when you should schedule a mammography every one to two years.
Saint Francis Womancare is designed to focus on the needs of today’s woman and provide you with peace of mind. Our physicians, on site surgeons, specially trained registered nurses and radiologists provide education, examinations, testing and treatments to meet your unique healthcare needs.
Womancare offers several tests to detect breast cancer, including:
- Tomosynthesis mammography
- Stereotactic breast biopsy
After diagnosis, treatment follows quickly at the Medical Center’s Cancer Institute. Anesthesiologists, oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, a genetic counselor and a nurse navigator work collaboratively to provide the latest, evidence-based treatment, including:
- Mastectomy or double mastectomy
- CyberKnife Surgical system
Saint Francis is the only facility in the area to provide genetic counseling. Our board-certified counselor will help you determine your risk of developing breast cancer, promote early detection through screening, and guide you through the decision-making process.
Breast Cancer Support Groups
Saint Francis offers two support groups for breast cancer patients. The Power of Pink is a six-week support session that starts in January and June. Womancare sponsors RESTORE, a quarterly luncheon held in the Healing Arts Center Conference Room. To learn more about the next Power of Pink or RESTORE support group, call Womancare at 573-331-5209, ext. 2.
In addition, Saint Francis Medical Center offers the I Can Cope program to breast cancer patients and their families. This program gives patients an opportunity to share their concerns with others having similar experiences and helps them design ways to cope with the challenges that arise from a cancer diagnosis. Speakers include healthcare professionals in cancer management. Videos, print materials and discussions provide up-to-date information for patients and their families and friends.
I Can Cope meets the third Wednesday of every month from 11:30 am to 1 pm at the Saint Francis Cancer Institute. To learn more about I Can Cope, call 573-334-2230.
Breast Cancer Awareness
Saint Francis participates in several activities to raise breast cancer awareness. Every October, our community-based program, Pink Up Cape, paints Cape Girardeau pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month. We partner with Southeast Missouri State University and private donors to raise funds for Dig For Life. These funds provide mammograms to area women who otherwise would not receive this important screening.