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October has become the month to focus on breast cancer. Health professionals around the Hudson Valley agree that the disease has changed in recent years with a much better survival rate, especially when the cancer is detected early.

One in eight women. That’s the sobering statistic from the National Breast Cancer Foundation of the number of women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. The good news: when breast cancer is detected at an early stage, treatment has a better chance of being successful. Promising research is continuing at a rapid pace, bringing ongoing encouraging advances in preventing, detecting, and treating breast cancer.


Early Detection Saves Lives

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), next to skin cancer, breast cancer ranks as the most common cancer among American women. But, getting mammograms on a regular schedule is helping increase the breast cancer survival rate. In fact, the recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: if you are 50 to 74 years old, you should have a screening mammogram every two years and If you are 40 to 49 years old, you should consult your doctor about when to start and how frequently to have a screening mammogram.


Treating the whole patient

Lyda E. Rojas Carroll, MD, FACS, director of Breast Surgery at CareMount Medical, considers breast surgery as just one aspect of breast cancer treatment. “Caring for a patient means caring for the whole person,” Dr. Rojas explains. “Our practice provide patients with a variety of alternative therapies including yoga and massage to aid in their healing. Patients often point to these therapies as key to the healing process.”


Keeping treatment close to home

The WMCHealth Cancer Institute has a comprehensive breast cancer program that is committed to providing patients cutting-edge treatments, clinical trials, and support programs through multidisciplinary treatment teams that provide care for patients close to their homes. In 2018, Westchester Medical Center, MidHudson Regional Hospital, and Good Samaritan Hospital earned full three-year Accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).  

“Patients who are about to undergo cancer therapy should have an oral evaluation prior to treatment,” explains Richard K. Whalen, DDS, of Dental Design Studio. “This enables the dental and oncology teams to determine how best to handle dental issues, which may be increased during breast cancer treatments. The dental team also needs to keep potential low immunity in mind when treating patients, sometimes prescribing antibiotics before a procedure.”


Finding and giving support

“As women, we are frequently faced with many challenges,” says Luba L. Starostiak, PT, OCS, owner of Lotus Physical Therapy for Women. “As women, we must support each other in order to face those challenges. Remembering your monthly self-breast exam and encouraging other women to do so is one of many ways we can support each other in our health.”


Financial planning is vital

According to Third Eye Associates, Ltd, “It is very important to consider the financial implications of a cancer diagnosis.  In our work as Financial Planners, we find that most people do not think about their insurance coverage.  We think it is essential in creating a Financial Plan that you review health insurance coverage to ascertain what out-of-pocket expenses you might expect.   You may want to consider a Health Savings Account if you have a high deductible plan, or supplemental insurance such as a Cancer policy, especially if you have family history of cancer or think you are at risk.  There are also residual impacts on your life that you may want to review with a financial professional to better prepare.”


Although breast cancer primarily affects women, men also can be affected by breast cancer. Women and men can help lower their risk by keeping a healthy weight, exercising regularly, limiting alcoholic drinks, and not smoking. The CDC also encourages women who are considering hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives, to consult their doctors about their individual risks and, if you have a family history of breast cancer, to discuss with your doctor additional ways to lower your risk. National Breast Cancer Month is an opportunity to make a difference.




CareMount Medical, P.C.
90 South Bedford Rd
Mount Kisco​


Dental Design Studio
46 Fox St, Suite 3


Hudson Valley Eye Surgeons
Vassar Brothers Medical Mall
200 Westage Business Center Dr, Suite110


Lotus Physical Therapy for Women, PLLC
150 S Broadway


Westchester Medical Center Breast Center

MidHudson Regional Hospital Breast Center

Good Samaritan Hospital Center for Breast Health

HealthAlliance Hospital Breast Health Center


Third Eye Associates, Ltd., A Registered Investment Adviser
38 Spring Lake Rd
Red Hook, NY


Windsor Dental
375 Windsor Hwy
New Windsor

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Hudson Valley Magazine editorial staff.