In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, PAGNY salutes NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County and the Comprehensive Breast Center for its tireless efforts to its patient population.
The H+H/Kings County Comprehensive Breast Center, under the direction of Jaime Alberty, MD, FACS, offers fully integrated and holistic care to patients with benign and malignant diseases all under one roof.
“We pride ourselves on an integrative, multidisciplinary model, where all providers treat the whole patient and not just the disease,” said Dr. Alberty.
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Comprehensive Breast Center hosted a series of events focused on building awareness and promoting the importance of early detection.
Each October, we remember those lost, empower those still fighting, and celebrate the spirit of those who bear the scars of breast cancer. Many of us are connected to breast cancer survivors. Many of us have also lost loved ones, or know someone who has lost loved ones, to breast cancer.
Still, PAGNY and the Comprehensive Breast Center are taking steps to increase awareness even more in the communities we serve.
“Our patient population is 90 percent Black and Afro-Caribbean,” said Dr. Alberty. “It is important that our patients know that Black women are often diagnosed at later stages and have more negative outcomes.”
Increasing awareness does not stop with patients knowing about breast cancer; it is about patients knowing their history, risk factors, and encouraging early screening.
According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage, the five-year survival rate is 99%. Early detection includes regular clinical breast exams and mammograms. The American Cancer Society suggests the following guidelines for women with an average cancer risk:
- Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.
- Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
- Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly screenings. Screenings should continue if a woman is in good health and is expected to live more than at least 10 years.
“While regular screenings are important, it is also important that patients know their risk factors,” said Dr. Alberty. Risk factors are determined by one's overall health and family history. “For example, a woman whose mother had breast cancer would be at a greater risk than a woman whose distant relative had breast cancer.”
What to Expect from a First Mammogram
The experience of a mammogram varies from woman to woman. If you are nervous or unsure of what to expect, Dr. Alberty suggests speaking with a friend or family member who has had one before. “Some women express a feeling of slight discomfort, but that varies,” said Dr. Alberty. “Speak to your doctor and make sure you understand the process.”
The H+H/Kings County Comprehensive Breast Center aims to focus on disease prevention and treatment, from benign to cancerous. We offer state-of-the-art medical treatment that meets the highest national standards, as well as holistic support after a diagnosis has been made.
For more information on the Comprehensive Breast Center, please call 718-245-4339.