As the month winds to an end, I thought I would dedicate this column to something very near and dear to my heart – breast cancer. If you don’t know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, every month is breast cancer awareness month in my house. After my own personal diagnosis, one thing became crystal clear: early detection is still the best defense! Let this be a reminder to take care of yourself. Find the time! No excuses!
Aggressive surveillance will always be a part of my life. “Having advanced screening and diagnostic technology and treatment options that are local and easily accessible are not only important to me, but also to every woman in our community.”
Aspen Valley Hospital has now completed three of the four phases of its building and modernization project. That incredible project has allowed for nearly every clinical and non-clinical area to be located in new or newly renovated space. It has also allowed for the creation of new clinical areas. Earlier this year, we opened one such clinical area, an enhanced Women‘s Imaging Center. That led to further development of a true Breast Center. Nearly all facets of breast care can be received within that center, including:
• Mammogram screening diagnostic imaging
• Ultrasound-guided and stereotactic biopsy
• Dense breast ultrasound
• Coordinated care via our breast navigator
• Genetic counseling
• Breast and reconstructive surgery
• Oncology care
• Oncology lymphedema rehab
• Psychosocial support
• Nutrition counseling
Within that arsenal of diagnostic screening technology, you may have noticed dense breast ultrasound. I would be remiss in this column if I did not mention a special friend and grateful patient, Rachel Sherman. Earlier this year, she was inspired by her own personal journey and became very involved with the Hospital‘s efforts to accelerate the purchase of this important equipment. She and her husband, Tony, not only offered a generous gift, but rallied the troops and raised awareness for women with dense breasts. This effort resulted in significant funding to ensure this technology was available sooner than later.
Truly, our success is because of friends like these who see a need and look for ways to help. This column is dedicated to Rachel and to all of the special people who have, time and time again, supported ensuring the best possible care is available in our community.