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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
January 30, 1998     Cape Gazette
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January 30, 1998
 

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Keeping perspective: the By Dr. Sandra Miller You know the statistics: one i.n nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer sometime in their lifetime. Most of us think about this statistic, but it seems somewhat remote from our daily lives. But let's imagine that you had a routine mam- mogram that was suspicious for cancer, or you or your doctor felt a new breast lump (many of you don't have to imagine). MILLER Th.e mere possi- bility of breast cancer is now terri- fyingly close. There are, however, some addi- tional statistics to keep in mind. Age is the single most important risk factor for breast cancer. Breast cancer before the age of 30 is rare. During the fifth decade of life (between 40 and 49), a woman has approximately a one-in-90 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer. That same woman has approxi- mately a one-in-31 chance of be- ing diagnosed with it during her eighth decade of life (from 70 to 79). In addition, none of the diag- nostic methods for early cancer detection are without error. Some- times a test suggests there is can- cer when there is no cancer. At C.O.P.D. support group meets in Dover Feb. 9 Bayhealth Medical Center-Kent General Hospital offers a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Support Group for C.O.P.D. pa- tients and their families. The next meeting will be held Monday, Feb. 9, from 3 to 4 p.m., in the hospital's General Foods Confer- ence Center. C.O.P.D. is defined as emphy- sema, chronic bronchitis and other chronic respiratory conditions. For more information, call 302- 674-7135. CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, January 30 - February 5, 1998 - 31 significance of breast lumps, bumps and biopsies other times a test is negative even though cancer is present. These two types of errors are the specificity and the sensitivity, respectively, of the tests. The two major tests used for breast cancer screenings are the mammogram and the breast ex- amination performed by the woman and her physician. Both are good screening tests, but nei- ther is perfect. The mammogram is a good method for breast cancer screen- ing and diagnosis. It has been clearly proven to save lives from breast cancer. It is not, however, perfect. Some mammographic findings are more suspicious than others, and physicians who diagnose and treat breast diseases have to ask themselves how abnormal is too abnormal. Fortunately, there are certain mammographic findings that many physicians have agreed are suspicious enough that a biopsy is needed. We, as physicians, accept the fact that many women will under- go a breast biopsy just to find out that they do not have cancer, so that we do not miss many women who do have cancer. In general, biopsies prompted by an abnormal mammogram are cancer (including localized cancer - cancer in situ) 20 percent of the time. The remaining 80 percent are benign. The presence of a breast lump p.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 24 - MedLab Lewes Patient Center, 10 a.m. to noon; Wednesday, Feb. 25 - MedLab Georgetown Patient Center, 10 a.l-fl, to noon. Free blood pressure screenings available The American Heart Associa- tion is offering free blood pressure screenings in February. Screenings are available at the following locations: Wednesday, Feb. 4 - George- town Edgehill, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Millsboro Edgehill, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Lewes Senior Center, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Feb. 11 - Re- hoboth Pharmacy, 1 to 2:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 17 - Rehoboth Edgehill, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Lewes Edgehill, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Feb. 18 - Peddlers Village Edgehill, 10 a.m. to 1 or other physical finding is also an important clue to the possibility of Cancer. However, benign noncancerous breast lumps are common in pre- menopausal women, most likely because of the presence of normal female hormones. In pre- menopausal women, one in 12 breast lumps are cancer. In post- menopausal women, one in two breast lumps are malignant. mV/AIDS instructor course set for March The American Red Cross in Delaware will sponsor a basic HIV/AIDS fundamentals instruc- tor course. The course begins with instructor candidate training on Thursday, March 19, from 8:30. a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; a fundamentals course on Friday, March 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and the in- structor course on Thursday and Friday, Match 26 and 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. All courses will be held at the Community Services Building, W. 10th Street, Wilmington. The cost is $75 and includes all materials. Preregistration and payment is required. For more information, call the American Red Cross in Delaware at 1-800-777-6620. Therefore, if you are young and have a breast lump, it is most like- ly benign; it is either a cyst or an- other benign lump, such as fi- broadenoma, which is a common benign breast tumor. It is completely normal to feel anywhere from a little apprehen- sive to very scared when you are told you need a breast biopsy, but remember that the recommenda- tion for a biopsy does not always Beebe offers free mental health checks Beebe Medical Center's Ocean- side Center for Mental Health of- fers free, confidential assess- ments, 24 hours a day. Call 645- 3760 for more information. mean you have cancer, and if you are diagnosed with cancer, better treatments are availible than in the past. How should you react to learn- ing you need a breast biopsy? A teacher and physician who taught me during medical school had a good analogy: "The fear of being hit by a car does not keep you from crossing the street, but you look both ways first." We Specialize M New + Year's Resolutions! ou can change your life with fieS (1 a little help from Rick's! Lose -- t. those holiday pounds with a  safe, sane, and fun-filled exercise program conducted by a certified ffHp00 personal trainer. 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