October is breast cancer awareness month, as you are probably well aware! But are you aware of all the services and support that is offered in regards to breast cancer in Northwest Arkansas? Did you know that Northwest Arkansas has world-renown healthcare when it comes to breast cancer? Let me take a minute to inform you of some services and innovations in healthcare that you may not be aware of in regards to a disease that has an impact on so many people in our community.
Patients have access to world-renown clinical trials
Highlands Cancer Center has a fully-staffed research department at both locations (Rogers and Fayetteville). Because of this, patients are often invited to participate in world-renown clinical trials right here in northwest Arkansas. Currently there are 6 trials enrolling that are specific to breast cancer. Courtney Simmons, Director of Clinical Research at Highlands Oncology Group states, Clinical trials are important because “they provide access to the latest treatments being studied, they also contribute to knowledge that will benefit future patients.”
Northwest Arkansas is home to The Arkansas Breast Cancer Specialists
The Arkansas Breast Cancer Specialists group is a collaboration of physicians that meet together on a weekly basis to review cases of breast cancer patients in northwest Arkansas. This clinic takes on a multidisciplinary approach where all providers involved in the care of these patients are able to meet together in one place at one time and rely on each-other’s strengths to ensure the best treatment option for each individual patient. This program recently received a three-year, full accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. For more information, visit https://www.arbreastcancerspecialists.com/napbc-accreditation.
3D Mammography is an option
A 3D mammogram is relatively new technology and even newer to northwest Arkansas. The traditional mammogram is offered in 2D but it has been discovered that a 3D mammogram detects 41% more invasive breast cancers, improves breast cancer detection, and reduces false-positive findings by up to 40%” (according to mana.com). Recently Arkansas passed a law that requires insurance coverage of a 3D mammogram if your insurance covers an annual screening mammogram. 3D mammography is offered by The Breast Center, a Mana Clinic.
There is financial assistance available for breast cancer screenings and treatment in NWA
If you do not have insurance that covers an annual breast screening there are several organizations in our community that may have programs to help. Community Clinic of NWA has a program called “We Are Aware” which provides patients support when it comes to screening, diagnostic, and treatment. Also, Washington Regional Cancer Support Home offers financial assistance for screening and diagnostic breast imaging through a program called “No Excuses”. Komen Ozark helps provide support for programs like these in the community.
Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women, but touches almost everyone in some form. Fortunately for those that are directly affected, northwest Arkansas has world-renown treatment, support, and research that are necessary. October is breast cancer awareness month, but this month is no different than any other day of the year. Every day, week, and month should be a celebration and a day to reach out to those you love that are dealing with cancer of any kind.