BBC Medical Staff to Discuss Breast Health

October 01, 2012

When Bronson Battle Creek (BBC) sponsors a public seminar/open house, it usually focuses on health topics that appeal to both genders; this one is no different.  Though the topic of women’s health sounds like it will appeal only to females, the presentation will actually be of interest to men as well.

Women’s health is not limited to the female.  Husbands, fathers, and brothers should be aware of the medical conditions that can afflict their loved ones.  The more they know, the more supportive they can be in helping that special someone fight their disease.

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, Bronson Battle Creek is presenting a special program about breast health/breast cancer on Wednesday, October 17 in the hospital’s Outpatient Center.  Tours of The Cancer Care Center and the Mary Coleman Women’s Center begin at 5:30 p.m.  In addition to the tours, women's health and breast cancer-related information booths will be open in the Atrium.  Light hors d’oeuvres will be served.  

The breast health/breast cancer program beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the BBC Outpatient Center conference room will cover the multiple aspects related to breast health and cancer, such as prevention, genetic predisposition, and other risk factors.  It will also cover early diagnosis, treatment options, and post treatment recovery including survivorship and caregiver support.  The program will feature a special breast cancer multidisciplinary physician panel in the areas of genetics, pathology, imaging, surgical intervention, medical oncology, radiation oncology, and behavioral health.

Presenting will be medical and surgical specialists from the BBC medical staff featuring Gunjana Bhandari, MD, internal medicine; Paul Metler, PsyD, LP, behavioral health; Randy Mudge, MD, radiation oncology; Kerri Murray, MD, breast and general surgery; James Niewenhuis, MD, pathology; Stephen Smiley, MD, medical oncology; and James Timmons, MD, Ph.D., radiology. They will encourage questions from the audience.

Bronson Battle Creek is a 218-bed hospital that provides full outpatient and inpatient acute care including robotic surgery, diagnostics, and rehabilitation services; 100% all private rooms.  It also offers world-class diagnostic capabilities including PET/CT imaging, freestanding ‘open’ and traditional MRI, CT (16- and 64-slice), and 3.0 Tesla MRI.  Bronson Battle Creek has been recognized nationally as one of the safest hospitals, and has been a leader in the development of electronic health records as evidenced by multiple honors as one of America’s ‘most wired’ and ‘most wireless’ hospitals. The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons recognizes the Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Program, and the only hospital in Michigan to receive the CoC’s Outstanding Achievement Award three times in a row. Specialty services include the county’s largest accredited sleep center and a wound-healing center with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

About the Presenters:

Gunjana Bhandari, MD, received her medical degree from MGM Medical College, Indore India. She completed her internship in internal medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital and her residency at Case Western Reserve University (St. Vincent Charity Hospital and St. Luke’s Medical Center) in Cleveland, Ohio.  She is board certified in internal medicine and holds special interests in preventative medicine and women’s health.

Paul Metler, PsyD, LP, holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Illinois School of Professional Psychology.  He completed his post-doctoral training at Northwestern University Hospital.  Dr. Metler has extensive experience as a clinical psychologist and is the clinical director of Behavioral Health Resources and Summit Pointe.

Randy Mudge, MD, received his undergraduate degree from Adrian College and medical degree from University of Michigan.  He completed his transitional residency at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, Michigan and his radiation oncology residency at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. Dr. Mudge, board certified in radiation oncology, is the BBC medical director of radiation oncology and chairs the BBC cancer committee.

Kerri Murray, MD, FACS, received her undergraduate degree in biological chemistry at Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts.  She completed her medical degree at Rush Medical College, Rush Presbyterian - St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, and her surgical residency and training at Finch University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School, Mount Sinai Hospital, Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Murray is board certified in general surgery and a Fellow of the American Board of Surgery, with special competence in breast surgery and minimally invasive procedures.  

James Niewenhuis, MD, received his undergraduate degree from Calvin College and medical degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. He completed residency in pathology from Beaumont Hospital.  He is the chair of the BBC department of pathology and medical director for Regional Pathology Consultants, PC. He is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology.

Stephen Smiley, MD, has a medical degree from Wayne State University.  He completed his internship and residencies in internal medicine at Blodgett Memorial Medical Center, Saint Mary’s Hospital where he was chief resident-internal medicine and president of the House Staff Association, and a fellowship in clinical oncology at University of Wisconsin’s Clinical Cancer Center.  He is board certified in medical oncology and is the BBC medical director of medical oncology. 

James Timmons, MD, Ph.D, earned his medical degree from the University of Texas/Dallas.  He received his internship and residency training at Brooke Army Medical Center as well as a fellowship in nuclear medicine.  He is a diagnostic radiologist with special competence in nuclear medicine radiology, diagnostic radiology, including breast MR imaging, and is employed by Radiology Consultants, PLC. He holds board certifications by the American Board of Nuclear Medicine and the American Board of Radiology in diagnostic radiology with special competence in nuclear radiology.

About Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer occurring in women (excluding skin cancer), accounting for about a third of diagnoses.  The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 225,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year (about 2,000 cases in men), and almost 40,000 may die from the disease.

The key to surviving breast cancer is early detection and treatment.  When a small breast cancer is confined to the breast, the five-year survival rate is curable.  Early detection helps reduce the need for therapeutic treatment and minimizes pain and suffering, allowing women to continue leading happy, productive lives.

The medical community recommends annual mammography for women after age 40.  Mammograms for older women (over age 65) should be based on the individual, her health, and other serious illnesses.  Age alone should not be the reason to stop having regular mammograms. As long as a woman is in good health and would be a candidate for treatment, she should continue to be screened with mammograms.

The risk of breast cancer increases gradually as a woman gets older.  All women age 40 and older are at a higher risk for breast cancer with most breast cancers occurring in women over the age of 50.  In fact the majority of women with breast cancer (8 out of 10 women) are over the age of 50.

There are certain risk factors besides age that increase the chances of developing breast cancer. Some of the most common factors are:
  • Personal history of breast cancer (each breast can be affected independently)
  • Family history of breast cancer among close relatives (mother, daughter, siblings, first cousins)
  • Childbearing later in life (after the age of 30)
  • Women who began menstruating early (before age 12) or reached menopause after the age of 50
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Obesity and high fat diets

Breast Cancer is detected by either self-examination or by a variety of different clinical examinations. Breast self-examination (BSE) can be done very easily and when put into practice, subtle differences in the texture of the breasts as well as new lumps can be found and can be called to your doctor's attention.  More than 95 percent of the time these will turn out to be perfectly benign, but in the odd 5 instances, a previously undetected malignant lesion is identified.  Early detection greatly increases the opportunity for a cure. Thus, breast cancer awareness translates into a year-round health measure.

Commonly accepted recommendations for early breast cancer detection:
  • Women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year.
  • Between the ages of 20 and 39, women should have a clinical breast examination by a health professional every three years. After age 40, women should have a breast exam by a health professional every year.
  • Women age 20 or older should perform a breast self-examination every month. By doing the exam regularly, you get to know how your breasts normally feel and you can more readily detect any signs or symptoms.
  • Women with increased risk factors should start regular mammography before the age of 40.
Certain lifestyle and dietary habits can greatly reduce your risk of developing breast cancer (as well as other cancers). Some of these include:
  • Regular exercise
  • Low fat, high fiber diet
  • Not smoking
  • Moderate, if any, consumption of alcohol