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Then and Now: Breast cancer detection and treatment in the High Country [Infographic]

Then and Now: Breast cancer detection and treatment in the High Country [Infographic]

Few things in life are more unifying than a breast cancer diagnosis. Of course, the diagnosis itself is devastating, but it also has a way of bringing together family, friends and medical staff in unexpected and life-changing ways.

At Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) patients have come to expect and appreciate the family-first team approach used to diagnose and treat breast cancer in the High Country. Thanks to advanced technology, a collaborative medical community, innovative surgical techniques, and a first-class regional cancer center located right here in our backyard, patients are choosing now more than ever to stay in our community for their cancer treatment.

 

1993: Regional Cancer Center is established

Watauga Medical Center established the Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center in Boone, bringing cancer care – previously unavailable in the High Country – close to home. Patients and their caregivers are seen as family by the highly-trained and compassionate staff. Since its founding, the Cancer Center has continually improved access and quality of care.

2002: Wilma Redmond Fund begins providing mammograms for local women

The Wilma Redmond Mammography Fund is dedicated to the memory of Wilma Redmond, who for more than 20 years managed Watauga Medical Center’s Imaging Department and courageously fought her own breast cancer. When she died in 2002, a fund was established by Watauga Medical Center Foundation (currently Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation). The fund provides free first-time mammograms for uninsured women 35 years and older.

2003: Stereotactic breast biopsy is introduced at Watauga Medical Center

A breast biopsy obtains a sample of breast tissue in order to test for signs of breast cancer or other disorders. Stereotactic is a clinical word for a technique using a mammography machine to precisely locate where the sample should be taken. In 2015, The Wilma Redmond Breast Center, located in the Outpatient Imaging and Lab Center, began performing stereotactic breast biopsy.

2008: The first digital mammogram is performed

Breast diagnostics advanced even further in the High Country with the addition of digital mammography. Instead of mammograms producing x-ray film, a digital image is created that can be manipulated in order to see more clearly.

2015: 3D Mammography comes to the Wilma Redmond Breast Center

With a traditional mammogram, radiologists were tasked with reading the complexities of the breast in a flat image. 3D Mammography builds images into very thin layers, or slices, making details more clear and unobstructed by overlapping tissue.

Because 3D Mammography allows the radiologist to better assess the size, location and shape of any abnormal tissue, more cancers are found at earlier, more treatable stages. The Hologic Three-D mammography technology accounts for 41% increase in the detection of invasive breast cancers and a 40% decrease in a callback rate for a false positive finding.

Even so, some insurance companies still only cover the standard mammogram. Because ARHS felt so strongly about making the latest diagnostic technology available to all of our community, the healthcare system decided to perform all mammograms with 3D technology and not to ask patients to pay out of pocket for any additional costs not covered by their insurance.

2015: Local genetic testing expanded to provide an extensive panel of genetic mutations to be checked

Cancer Genetics counseling and testing is available to our patients. At the no-cost initial visit, patients can meet with a genetic counselor who reviews the patient’s personal and family history, discusses the risks and benefits of genetic testing, and provides support in healthcare decision making. Further testing and evaluation are also available.

2015: The Wilma Redmond Breast Center institutes a fast-track breast program and a breast navigation team

Patients with an abnormal breast screening are sent to a fast track for surgical consultation so doctors can diagnose cancer early and immediately begin to treat it. The breast navigator, Gloria Payne, RTRM, walks patients through the process of receiving abnormal results, scheduling additional imaging examinations, and sending patients for surgical consultation.

2018: The Together We Fight collaborative coordinates many local events for maximum impact

The Together We Fight collaborative includes community events and fundraisers such as Tanger Outlets PINK campaign, Doc’s Rocks Mining for a Purpose, Pink Day at ARHS, CrossFit event Kilograms for Mammograms, and the High Country Breast Cancer Foundation’s Walk/Run for Breast Cancer.

2018: Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery is introduced at Watauga Medical Center

Hidden Scar is an advanced surgical technique used to hide the scars of cancer surgery as best as possible with an oncoplastic approach. If surgery is recommended to remove breast cancer, patients can take comfort in the fact that Watauga Medical Center is one of only a few hospitals in North Carolina to offer Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery. Both Dr. Anne-Corinne Beaver and Dr. Paul Dagher of Watauga Surgical Group have been recognized as Hidden Scar® Trained Surgeons for Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery.

2018: Progressive Anesthesia is performed for Breast Cancer Surgery at Watauga Medical Center

The Anesthesia team at Watauga Medical Center began routinely performing ultrasound-guided pectoralis muscle blocks for better pain control during and after surgery. This allows less inhalational agents and less opioid pain medicines to be used, which is believed to improve outcomes— especially for cancer patients.

2019: Breast MRI is used for advanced diagnostics

Breast MRI provides advanced diagnostics for detecting breast cancer, other breast abnormalities, or routine breast screening. This is another important tool in detecting breast cancer early and accurately.

2019: Paxman Scalp Cooling technology available

Thanks to generous donors, Paxman scalp cooling is available to qualifying patients receiving chemotherapy treatments for solid tumor cancer. It helps to prevent hair-loss caused by certain chemotherapy drugs. The goal is to help patients look and feel their best while fighting a difficult battle.

Photo: Dr. Beaver with Paxman

Dr. Anne-Corinne Beaver, a beloved physician and general/breast surgeon at Watauga Surgical Group, learned first-hand that cancer does not discriminate when she was diagnosed with the disease in November of 2017. With experience on both sides of the treatment, she has developed even more of a passion to see advanced breast cancer care in the High Country.

“I can testify as both a surgeon and as a survivor that this community is All In when it comes to fighting breast cancer,” said Dr. Beaver. “I chose to stay close to home for my breast cancer treatment because I know just how good the treatment services are right here in this community.”

Wilma Redmond Breast Center

1200 State Farm Road
Boone, NC 28607
Phone: (828) 268-9037
Fax: (828) 268-9484
Visit website

Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center

Monday-Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm
336 Deerfield Road
Boone, NC 28607
Phone: (828) 262-4332
Visit Website

Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery

Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery

HIdden Scar Breast Cancer Surgery

No visible reminder of your surgery, cancer or risk of cancer

If surgery is recommended to remove breast cancer, patients can take comfort in the fact that Watauga Medical Center is one of only a few hospitals in North Carolina to offer Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery. Both Dr. Anne-Corinne Beaver and Dr. Paul Dagher of Watauga Surgical Group have been recognized as Hidden Scar® Trained Surgeons for Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery.

Breast cancer can be surgically removed with a mastectomy procedure (your surgeon will remove all of your breast tissue) or a lumpectomy procedure (your surgeon will remove only part of your breast tissue). With a Hidden Scar procedure, your surgeon will place the incision in a location that is hard to see, so that the scar is not visible when your incision heals. As a result, you have little to no visible reminder of the surgery or your cancer.

Patients who undergo this approach experience optimal clinical and cosmetic outcomes, and are at no higher risk of recurrence than patients who undergo any other surgical technique.1 You may qualify for Hidden Scar Breast Cancer Surgery based on the size and location of your tumor, your breast shape, and your breast size. Ask us if you are a candidate for a Hidden Scar Breast Cancer Surgery by calling Watauga Surgical Group at(828) 264-2340 to schedule a consultation. Want more information on Hidden Scar Breast Cancer Surgery? Visit breastcancersurgery.com to learn more.

“Survivors tend to worry about how their body will look [post-surgery] and how that might affect their confidence moving forward,” said Dr. Beaver. “Fortunately, thanks to this advanced surgical technique, we are able in most cases to hide the scar and with it remove the reminder of breast cancer for our patients.”

Mammogram and Breast Health

Mammogram and Breast Health

Call Now

Mammogram Scheduling Line
(828) 268-9037

Watauga Surgical Group
(828) 264-2340

Seby B. Jones Cancer Center
(828) 262-4332

Mammogram and Breast Health

The Breast Center of ARHS houses all breast diagnostic services under one roof, resulting in a quicker diagnosis and treatment process. The Hologic 3D Mammography technology (added in 2015) accounts for a 41 percent increase in the detection of invasive breast cancers and a 29 percent increase in the detection of all types of breast cancer. Through this technology, we also report fewer false positives and we can detect smaller malignancies that might otherwise be missed.

Radiology & Imaging Services Boone, NC

Breast Imaging

  • Hologic 3D Mammography
  • Breast Cancer Screening
  • Breast Diagnostic Services
  • Total Breast Ultrasound
  • Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Breast Surgery

Photo: Mammogram Patient

Who should get a mammogram?

The National Cancer Institute recommends:

  • Women 40 years and older should get a mammogram every 1 to 2 years.
  • Women who have had breast cancer or other breast problems or who have a family history of breast cancer might need to start getting mammograms before age 40, or they might need to get them more often.

Talk to your doctor about when to start and how often you should have a mammogram.

Photo: Mammogram Results

What are the benefits of 3D?

Because 3D Mammography allows the radiologist to better assess the size, location and shape of any abnormal tissue, more cancers are found at earlier, more treatable stages. It also reduces the chance of a false positive resulting in further imaging.

 

Outpatient Imaging & Lab Center and Wilma Redmond Breast Center

1200 State Farm Road
Boone, NC 28607
Phone: (828) 266-2492
Fax: (828) 266-2488
Visit website

Cannon Memorial Hospital

434 Hospital Drive
Linville, NC 28646
Phone: (828) 737-7000
Fax: (828) 737-7401
Visit website

Then and Now: Breast cancer detection and treatment in the High Country [Infographic]

At Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) patients have come to expect and appreciate the family-first team approach used to diagnose and treat breast cancer in the High Country. Thanks to advanced technology, a collaborative medical community, innovative surgical techniques, and a first-class regional cancer center located right here in our backyard, patients are choosing now more than ever to stay in our community for their cancer treatment.
Read More: Then and Now: Breast cancer detection and treatment in the High Country [Infographic]

Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery

No visible reminder of your surgery, cancer or risk of cancer If surgery is recommended to remove breast cancer, patients can take comfort in the fact that Watauga Medical Center is one of only a few hospitals in North Carolina to offer Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery. Both Dr. Anne-Corinne…

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