Nurse Navigator Explains Services Offered Through Women’s Wellness and Breast Care | Health issues


RODMAN – A simple shower accessory may have helped save Jaime R. Benner-Clemons life.

WATERTOWN – While organizations don’t seem to agree on whether breast self-exams should be recommended for women of all ages, they are united in the idea that women should be familiar with the appearance and how their breasts feel normal and should report any changes to their health care providers.

Samaritan Medical Center is an organization that shares the annual message that self-exams can be beneficial in possibly detecting breast cancer at an early stage, especially during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

This is especially true for the Samaritan Women’s Breast and Wellness Center, 1575 Washington St.

If anyone finds something, a lump, or other abnormality with their breasts, the first thing to do is to contact their regular health care provider for a clinical breast exam. If they feel it is warranted, the provider will do an imaging and at that point, once they decide they want a breast specialist to review, this is where wellness comes in. women and breast care.

Crystal L. Sterling, Nurse Navigator for Breast Care at the Women’s Wellness and Breast Care Center, has been at the center since 2019.

“I am sort of, in a nutshell, the point of contact for a patient as they navigate their journey through specific diseases within the breast,” she said.

At the clinic, she will take incoming referrals and sort them, talking to patients before they are seen what to expect when they come for their first consultation. Often the clinic will see patients before their biopsies, so they are also with the patients during the biopsy.

For all patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer, Ms. Sterling will accompany them as much as possible throughout their journey. This includes making sure that they all have their appointments scheduled, that they have a medical oncologist or radiation oncologist, and that they address any type of barrier to their care that they may encounter. . Barriers can be financial, insurance, fertility, etc. For younger patients, genetic testing is offered if they are considered to have a higher risk of breast cancer due to a family history or genetic mutations.

“In a way, I help coordinate this, make sure there are no missing pieces and make sure that all the providers and the multidisciplinary team are on the same wavelength” Ms Sterling said.

Pivot nurse assists patients on their journey

A mammography examination room at the Samaritan Women’s Wellness and Breast Care Center, 1575 Washington St., Friday in Watertown. Daily Kara Dry / Watertown Hours

She said that at the clinic, providers encourage 20-year-old women to start their breast self-exams. A good rule of thumb, according to Sterling, is to use the day you were born as a starting point and do the exams on the same day each month so you can easily remember to do them.

“The shower is a great place to do it,” she said. “The important thing is that the woman knows that she is normal; that way, if there is a change in that baseline, they can report it to their provider.

According to Sterling, there are some things patients should look for during breast self-exams: any changes in the nipples, perhaps an inversion or discharge, especially if it is unilateral on one side; any skin changes such as thickening, redness, or rash on the chest; and firm, new lumps.

She recommended that patients write down how they feel when they notice something abnormal and include as much detail as possible to answer providers’ questions later.

Pivot nurse assists patients on their journey

A mammography scan at the Samaritan Women’s Wellness and Breast Care Center on Friday in Watertown. Daily Kara Dry / Watertown Hours

Regarding screening mammograms, Ms Sterling said they are very important from the age of 40 for a woman at average risk, but if there is a family history or a genetic mutation, it may be earlier. for this patient. The number a patient can call to schedule her mammogram, once she has an order from her supplier, is (315) 779-5200.

Whether seeing expectant mothers for specialized pregnancy care or supporting all women with gynecological and breast services, Samaritan’s Women’s Wellness and Breast Care offers a range of imaging services, from pregnancy care to high risk, early detection of IQ cancer and the same day bed. The team of specialists on site, including a certified breast surgeon and radiologist, strive to make the journey for breast cancer patients as easy as possible. The breast treatments and procedures offered by the center include comprehensive breast imaging services, including ultrasound, dense breast imaging, mammography and stereotaxis. The Imaging Department is accredited in Mammography and OB / GYN Ultrasound by the American College of Radiology. The center also offers genetic cancer screening services through Samaritan’s partner, Cancer IQ, and 3D / 4D ultrasound services.

Many services are available directly at the Women’s Wellness and Breast Care Center, although medicine and radiation oncology take place at the Walker Center for Cancer Care. With Samaritan’s new clinical affiliation with Roswell Park in Buffalo, patients who qualify for certain clinical trials hosted by Roswell can potentially participate now. The clinic also works closely with a plastic surgeon and initiates the conversation about reconstruction at the time of diagnosis. If patients need plastic for any reason, the clinic will take care of it for them. Risks and side effects are always part of the conversation, it’s all part of informed consent for any procedure where a patient is given something implantable.

“When the patient receives that diagnosis, there will be a lot of information that day, and we’re kind of scratching the surface and that’s where I come in,” Ms. Sterling said. “I’ll contact the patient later and say, ‘hey, we’ve talked about this, these are options, these are things we could look at – how do you feel about that? What questions do you have? ‘”

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