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Good Samaritan Hospital Launches High Risk Breast Cancer Program at Good Samaritan North Health Center
Date:10/1/2008

starts with an assessment of risk factors, such as a woman's personal history of cancer, previous radiation treatments, family history of breast or ovarian cancer, and previous abnormal tests. Additional assessments delve deeper into the patient's medical and family history, and are reviewed by Dr. Heck and Callif-Daley. If further testing is necessary, the option of genetic testing will be presented, and Callif-Daley will meet with the patient and explain the advantages, disadvantages and limitations of genetic test results.

"Testing positive for a genetic mutation that predisposes you to breast cancer does not mean you will get breast cancer, and testing negative does not mean you won't get breast cancer," explains Callif-Daley. "There are many other factors that determine your overall risk, and we need to carefully examine the whole of a woman's health, not just individual pieces."

For women determined to be at higher risk, whether through genetic testing or other methods, surgery or medications may be recommended to reduce their risk for cancer. Additionally, a medical surveillance program will be developed to monitor for any occurrence of breast or related cancers. That may include more frequent clinical breast exams, ultrasound exams or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans, along with digital mammograms.

Linda Blum's Story of Survival

Linda Blum, 54, of Clayton, OH, is a woman who wanted answers about her breast cancer risk. In May of 2005, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Blum was a busy mom of four, wife and caregiver to her husband who was fighting throat cancer, in addition to serving as a cheerleading coach and school board president for the Northmont City Schools. She says she "had too much to live for" and wasn't going to take her diagnosis "lying down." Seven months later, after a lumpectomy, intensive chemotherapy and radiation, she was cancer free.

When she was originally diagnosed, no one in her family had
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SOURCE Good Samaritan Hospital
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