Today it's reported in the NY Times that scientists have identified four distinct types of breast cancer, discoveries that "are expected to lead to new treatments … and new ideas for more precise treatments aimed at genetic aberrations that now have no known treatment."
For now, despite the tantalizing possibilities, patients will have to wait for clinical trials to see whether drugs that block the genetic aberrations can stop the cancers. And it could be a vast undertaking to get all the drug testing done. Because there are so many different ways a breast cancer cell can go awry, there may have to be dozens of drug studies, each focusing on a different genetic change.
But women shouldn't wait for clinical trials or new drugs, says the American Cancer Society's Guidelines for Early Detection. "Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health. Clinical breast exams (CBE) are recommended about every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over."
The Sonoma Valley Hospital is one of many participating in National Breast Cancer Month coming up in October by offering mammograms and follow-up care to women who are uninsured, underinsured or with high insurance deductibles at no charge during the month of October.
Women seeking a mammogram must first obtain an order from their physician, who can fax the order to SVH at 707-935-5271. Those who do not have a regular physician and do not plan to get one should call the hospital for an appointment at 707-935-5215, and a physician’s referral will be arranged.
When calling 707-935-5215 to make an appointment, please be sure to mention that you wish to take advantage of the Sponsored Mammogram Program.
Mammograms are provided in the warm and inviting atmosphere of the Sonoma Valley Hospital diagnostic imaging annex, the Carolyn J. Stone Center for Women’s Health, located at 246 Perkins Street.
SVH is able to offer this potentially life-saving program thanks to the generosity of the community. Donations in support of SVH make this and other programs, equipment and enhancements possible. For information about making a donation to SVH, please contact Harmony Plenty at 707-935-5070 or firstname.lastname@example.org.