Health Team

Rocky Mount healthcare provider proactively fighting breast cancer

Posted August 22, 2014

— Sixty-three-year-old Marlene Everette never misses her appointments at the Nash Breast Care Center in Rocky Mount.

"As a breast cancer survivor, I do it at least annually," she said.

Everette has been cancer-free for 20 years.

She lives in a higher risk area for breast cancer in North Carolina – Nash, Edgecombe and Halifax counties.

"More women have breast cancer here, and more women die from breast cancer here, so it's definitely a problem, and we're trying to address it," said Dr. Todd Goodnight, a radiologist at Nash Breast Care.

Goodnight says the reasons are issues dealing with health care access, such as low incomes and a lack of health insurance.

There is financial assistance through county health departments.

The county area also has larger population of African-American women who face higher genetic risks for breast cancer.

"Every woman who comes here who gets a mammogram gets a high-risk family history sheet, and we're identifying them to help go for family history and genetic testing."

Identifying those risks helps get women in for more frequent and intensive screening to earlier detect any cancer.

The latest 3-D mammography also helps doctors detect cancers they might miss on two-dimensional images, or they might help avoid additional screening when the 3-D images reveal only normal tissue.

One visit a year is enough for Everette.

"It's a little bit uncomfortable, but it's quick that for the results that we need to have, it's worth having it done," she said.

The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms for women over the age of 40 as long as they are in good health.

It recommends women with high-risk factors, such as family history and a genetic tendency for breast cancer to talk with their doctors about earlier and more intensive screenings.


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