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Dr. Rogness, Medical Director of The Breast Care Center at Parker Adventist Hospital, explains the importance of a breast radiologist reading your mammogram images. If diagnosed with breast cancer it is common to undergo a lumpectomy or mastectomy as the first step in treatment.
From Left: Dr. Christine Rogness, Dr. Monique Fox, Dr. Nadine Mikhaeel
I'm very honest and direct. I try to tell them what's going on as completely as possible. Obviously, I like being able to tell them that their mammogram is negative. But if it's not, I like being able to offer them the best care possible, including steering them to experts for their treatment.
I think women want to go to a woman for something like breast health issues. It's easier for women to talk to a woman physician about these things.
Breast cancer is not the end of the world. Cancer is treatable and curable. But also, because they're at increased risk for the rest of their life, it's important to keep up their mammograms. Also, let whoever is doing your mammogram know if you're having problems, if you're feeling pain. Don't be embarrassed.
Medical Director, Breast Program
Christine Rogness, M.D., completed her residency in general surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She calls herself an "avid exerciser" who enjoys bicycling, running, hiking and skiing. While at work at Mountain View Surgical Associates, Rogness makes sure her patients never feel threatened or rushed. "I love to educate the patient about his or her illness," she says. "I think a well-informed patient is the best partner in healthcare decision making."
I respect the individual patient and her concerns. I listen to what her perception of the problem is first. I try to gauge what her feelings are and what her fears are. Then I work diligently to educate her so she has the opportunity to choose the therapy that is right for her. My hope is, when she leaves my office, she has a better understanding of what the next step is and she's comfortable making her decisions.
I think women are all looking for someone to connect with who is capable of helping us solve our health problems and trustworthy enough that we can bare our soul, if necessary. I think breast cancer, for most women, is one of the most frightening issues they face in their lifetime. I am fortunate to be there to help them through such a difficult time.
They are going to beat breast cancer. Most likely, they are going to die of something other than breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast cancer is their "speed bump." Chemotherapy today is profoundly more effective than it was 10 years ago and we are much better at identifying those women who do need chemotherapy and saving women from chemotherapy who do not need it.
In addition to her oncology practice at Cypress Hematology & Oncology in Parker, Nadine Mikhaeel, MD, is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where she also was a hemotology/oncology fellow. Mikhaeel, her husband and teen-age son and daughter enjoy traveling to learn about different cultures. She says the staff members in her office treat all their patients "one on one. It's fulfilling to see them stay strong and manage their lives. That's what keeps us going."
I consider my patients a part of my family. We share decisions together. I had a patient who had been to Stanford and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, but she stayed with us. She said, "I love the way you talk to me, the level of care you provide me."
I understand a woman's needs, especially breast cancer. It's a very emotional disease. I have breast cancer in my family members. We know what the difference between a mastectomy and lumpectomy means to a woman.
Early diagnosis. Survival should not be affected if we find the cancer early enough. So screening is very important. Sometimes we have a patient whose mammograms have always been fine, but this time, it's not fine. Self exams alone are not enough. Also, women need to know that they're not alone. A lot of patients think they can't be out in public, they can't go to work. But you can. You can look good and feel well and live life.
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