Carla Howard, a breast cancer patient, shares the importance of having the Hamilton Cancer Institute team by her side on her race to beat breast cancer.
“The day that changed my life forever began with a self breast exam,” says Carla Howard. “I felt a pea size lump, so I scheduled an appointment for a mammogram. My fears were confirmed. The mammogram revealed that there was a mass in my breast and I was referred for a biopsy. I was soon told that I had stage one breast cancer.”
Carla was fearful and unsure of her next steps. In an effort to try to protect her family and friends, she chose to keep her breast cancer diagnosis to herself until shortly before her surgery. “In reality, I was selfish to not include my loved ones. Their support and love is what allowed me to face this journey head on. A lot of tears, fears, and prayers were shared. Thankfully, they were shared together.”
“When I contacted Hamilton Cancer Institute I was immediately put at ease by the compassionate staff.
I met with Dr. Duhaime and instantly knew she was who I needed on my side. We talked, cried, and prayed. When you’re sitting there not knowing if tomorrow is going to be a tomorrow, it’s reassuring to know that not only is your prayer going to be heard, but that hers is too.”
Carla has now finished her radiation treatments and is more inspired than ever to help other women through their breast cancer journeys.
“When I walked into Hamilton Cancer Institute for my first radiation treatment, I met a woman in the lobby who seemed to be more fearful than I considered myself to be at that point. “I prayed with her that day and the days to follow. I never want anyone to feel alone during this difficult time.”
“There is survivorship in every journey–especially cancer. Through every step, every treatment– we all need that support. The staff at Hamilton Cancer Institute showed me that I didn’t have to go on this journey alone. That gave me hope and peace and allowed me to be me. We all need that!”
Hamilton Cancer Institute at Hamilton Medical Center is ranked Top 10% in the Nation and #1 in the Dalton, Chattanooga, Chatsworth, and Cleveland area for patient safety in Cancer Care. The Institute houses a team of board-certified medical oncologists and radiation oncologists who provide comprehensive, compassionate care–from screening and early diagnosis, through treatment and survivorship.
There’s a New Team in Town
ERIC MANAHAN, MD, CHAIRS NATIONAL PANEL ON BREAST CANCER GENETIC TESTING GUIDELINES
The American Society of Breast Surgeons recently released new guidelines, calling for genetic testing to be made available to all patients diagnosed with breast cancer. Eric Manahan, MD, a surgeon at Hamilton Physician Group-General Surgery, chaired a group of world-renowned genetics experts to draft this new consensus statement.
“Cancer risk assessment is an important part of well care,” says Dr. Manahan. “We have learned that more than 10 percent of all cancers have some genetic component. Identification of specific genetic inconsistencies in breast cancer patients can help to provide more effective disease management.
For more information visit hamiltonhealth.com/gt