Sutter Health's One-of-a-Kind Breast Cancer Notebook Arms Women with Critical Health Information
SACRAMENTO, Calif. June 26, 2006 – More than 3,000 years ago, Ancient Egyptians had only one treatment for tumors of the breast – cauterize the area with a tool called the "fire drill" (American Cancer Society). Today, women diagnosed with breast cancer have many options to consider when it comes to their treatment. To help women make informed decisions about their care, Sutter Health has created a unique and comprehensive notebook to answer questions about breast cancer and its various treatments. The one-of-a-kind guide for women is newly available online at www.cancer.sutterhealth.org.
"When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, she is literally faced with dozens of decisions. Should I participate in a clinical trial? Should I have chemotherapy before or after surgery? Shall I have immediate reconstruction at the time of my mastectomy? Should I have a mastectomy or lumpectomy with radiation?" said Amy Beazizo, R.N. clinical manager of the breast health center at Sutter Roseville Medical Center.
Sutter Health's breast cancer notebook provides women with information about the benefits and disadvantages of various types of treatments. It also ensures women have critical breast health information from a trusted resource at their fingertips.
"The notebook arms women with the information they need to make sound decisions about life-changing options," added Beazizo.
Sutter Health's breast cancer notebook is a valuable resource available to all women in our local communities. Newly available on the web at www.cancer.sutterhealth.org, the notebook provides a wide variety of information, including detailed educational material about breast cancer, treatment options and support services. Its flexible design also allows women, who are provided the notebook by their oncologist, to customize the information and even add more material, such as personal health records, so that important data can be maintained in a single folder.
"A breast cancer diagnosis can trigger a wide range of emotions from shock and sadness to even anger and betrayal," said Jennifer Vickerman, R.N., cancer care specialist in the Radiation Oncology Department at Mills-Peninsula Health Services, an affiliate of Sutter Health. "We created this notebook to help women become better educated about breast cancer and to chronicle their personal journey with the illness."
The notebook also covers issues such as nutrition, exercise, sexual side effects, and how to talk to your children about breast cancer.
One out of every seven women in America will develop breast cancer at some point during her lifetime. Thankfully, early diagnoses for breast cancer and advanced treatment options have dramatically improved survival rates in recent years. Women have a better chance of surviving breast cancer today than at any other time in history. Five-year survival rates of early-stage breast cancer are more than 95 percent.
The Sutter Health network diagnoses nearly 2,000 breast cancer patients each year, and is a leading provider of breast cancer treatment in Northern California. In 1998, Sutter Health launched an innovative breast cancer program that has been called a model for improving early detection and treatment of breast cancer, and exceeds national averages for survival rates.
"The breast cancer notebook is a wonderful new tool for women diagnosed with breast cancer. It truly complements the individual attention, advice and treatment plans women already receive from their Sutter Health medical team," concluded Vickerman.