In the Pink
Advancements in Early Detection and Treatment Have Helped Reduce Deaths
from Breast Cancer
Young Survivor Grows From Her Experience
Erin Price feels much older than her age. That's understandable, given the 28-year-old has fought and won a battle with breast cancer. "Now that I've been through it, it's made me
wiser and given me a new perspective
on things," the upbeat and self-
confident Alexandria resident says.
Erin Price (center) and four of her best friends from college participated in the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C., in June.
last July when
she by chance
found a lump in
her left breast.
After waiting a
few weeks, she
went to her
the most common
form of breast
cancer. Her oncologist suggested
shrinking the large tumor first with
chemotherapy. While chemo helped
reduce the size, surgery was still
necessary. Hernan Vargas, MD, a
breast surgeon at Inova, performed
a mastectomy. Breast care navigator
Leigh Ann Hallowell supported Price
and her family throughout the ordeal.
Price, whose hair is still growing back
after her chemotherapy treatments,
has been involved with the Young
Survival Coalition, which aims to help
and educate women with breast
cancer. Now that she has more
she has been honing her cooking skills
and recently took a ballroom class
with her boyfriend, Ben Schabert.
"I'm not angry at all," Price says of
her experience with cancer. "I'm
getting something out of it instead of
letting it take something from me."
Breast cancer is the
most common cancer in
women, aside from skin
cancer. Thanks to
treatment and early
millions of women are
surviving the disease.
Right now there are more
than 2.5 million breast
cancer survivors in the
United States — and that
number continues to increase.
Early detection has played
a key role in helping to
reduce the amount of
deaths from breast cancer.
The American Cancer
Society and several
that women age 40 and
older should have a
screening mammogram every year. While mammograms can miss
some cancers, they are
still a very good way to
find breast cancer.
The most common sign of breast cancer is a new
lump or mass. A cancerous
lump can be painless, hard
and have uneven edges.
Other cancers are tender,
soft and rounded. Because the characteristics vary,
it's important to have anything unusual checked
by a doctor.
Other signs of breast
cancer include: swelling of
all or part of the breast;
skin irritation or dimpling; breast pain; nipple pain or the nipple turning inward; redness; scaliness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin; and nipple discharge other than breast milk.
Local treatment, which includes surgery and radiation, is used to treat a tumor without affecting the rest of the body.
Systemic treatments are used to reach cancer cells that may have spread beyond the breast. Chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy are systemic treatments.
Link to Pink
Inova Breast Care Institute at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital is hosting events Oct. 21 and
honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sign up for our Link to Pink e-newsletter and learn about events happening around Inova.
Find out more about Inova Breast Care Institute
as well as breast cancer and treatments.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with breast care navigator Leigh Ann Hallowell, call 703-391-HOPE.