Mind Your Q's and A's
Candace Choquette Is Now Taking Questions About Breast Cancer
Candace Choquette, RN, is a breast care navigator at Inova Fairfax Hospital. She has been an oncology nurse for seven years, working with patients in diverse oncology settings. She began working at Inova Health System nearly two years ago. As a breast care navigator, she specializes in breast health and breast cancer. Candace believes that everyone approaches breast cancer in a unique way, and no one has the same cancer experience. Each patient interaction presents a new opportunity to support a patient and her family, she says. Below, Candace answers some commonly asked questions:
How should I react to a diagnosis of breast cancer?
There is no right or wrong way. It's very individualized. The positive and very reassuring point with a diagnosis of breast cancer is treatments today are much more favorable than they were just a few years ago. People are living very long lives. We have more survivors due to education, breast health awareness and early detection.
What can women do to reduce their risk?
Follow the guidelines for early detection: mammograms for women 40 years and older. For women who have a family risk of breast cancer or ovarian cancer, they should consult with their physicians to see if their screenings should change. Also, know if there are changes in your breasts so you can get medical detection sooner. And live a healthy lifestyle with healthy habits, including proper amounts of activity and weight management. These are good health practices for every woman, regardless of her risk of breast cancer.
Does family history increase my risk of breast cancer?
Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women and only 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer has a family heredity component. The highest risks are age and gender. If your family has a history of breast or ovarian cancer, consult a physician or genetics counselor to see if you are in a high-risk category.
How do doctors treat breast cancer today?
We've come a very long way in the management and treatment of breast cancer. Today it can be cured. Treatment is individualized, so it really depends on each person and her specific cancer, but treatment could include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and endocrine therapy.
Link to Pink
Inova Breast Care Institute is hosting many
events throughout October in honor of Breast
Cancer Awareness Month. Breast health events
range from free mammograms to expert panel discussions.
Sign up for our Link to Pink e-newsletter to learn about events happening around Inova.
Find out more about Inova Breast Care Institute.