Dr. Terre McGlothin has an important message for women. Get screened for breast cancer if you’re 40 or older, and do it once a year to vastly improve your chances of survival. The breast cancer surgeon is on a mission to help save lives by encouraging women to get regular mammograms and do self-exams. You might be confused about screening guidelines, but the American Society of Breast Surgeons finds regular self-exams and mammograms for women over the age of 40 can help detect and identify breast cancer in its earliest stages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women.
Dr. McGlothin is giving back to her female patients with life-saving surgeries and advice. She’s a board-certified general surgeon with a specialty in Breast Surgical Oncology, and she’s on staff at Texas Health Center for Diagnostics & Surgery in Plano. She says, “There are several things you can do to prevent breast cancer right now. If you smoke, stop. Smoking causes many diseases and is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer in younger premenopausal women.” Research also shows there may be a link between heavy second-hand smoke exposure and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women. According to the doctor, you need to limit your alcohol intake. If you drink a glass of wine a night, that’s alright as long as it’s just six ounces. Drinking two glasses of wine puts you at more risk to develop breast cancer.
Another factor is your weight. Get that under control and watch your fat intake. Studies have shown that postmenopausal obesity, associated with increased blood levels of estrogen, has an increased risk of breast cancer. Exercise is another important factor. Even a brisk walk or jump roping for twenty minutes, three times a week, can help reduce your risk by 20 percent.
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For women with a mother, sister, or daughter who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk doubles. Plus the longer women live past age 61, the more chance there is that they’ll develop breast cancer. The Susan G. Komen Foundation finds breast cancer mortality is higher in African American women. In fact, 42 percent are more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. This can be attributed to differences in reproductive factors and breast cancer biology along with socio-economic reasons and cultural biases against traditional medicine. Access to follow-up care after an abnormal mammogram may explain part of the survival gap between African-American and white women. Dr. McGlothin wants to change that gap with more of a support system and dialogue among all women. She’s speaking at Local Profile’s Wonder Woman Event on November 7th.
New technology has continued to improve treatment options. Surgeons and patients now have access to the Savi SCOUT system. In the past, lumpectomy procedures involved inserting a wire into the breast the morning of surgery, which can be uncomfortable and a bit frightening. There is a risk the wire could move, affecting the cosmetic look of the breast after surgery and accuracy of the surgeon to target the mass. Now instead of wires, a small reflector, the size of a grain of rice, is placed in the breast before surgery. In the operating room, the SCOUT system detects the reflector with its unique radar signal so the surgeon can pinpoint the location and precisely target the affected tissue. That means more successful surgeries and more normal-looking breasts because it reduces the amount of healthy breast tissue that’s removed. Dr. McGlothin says it has greatly relieved patient anxiety in her practice and makes the entire surgical experience more efficient.
Dr. McGlothin gets personal satisfaction from making a difference in her patients’ lives. Every day is a new challenge and different scenario. She advocates not letting fear dictate your choices and staying one step ahead of breast cancer. Insurance covers annual mammograms, and getting screened is your best defense for a great outcome. Let’s do this!
Dr. Terre McGlothin is a featured panelist of Wonder Women: Making a Difference, an event designed to inspire positive change.
Wonder Women: Making a Difference
Networking, cocktails and a panel discussion featuring Sara Egelston Akers, Andrella Thomas, Terre McGlothin and Michelle Brennan Hall.
Thursday, November 7 at 5:30 p.m.
Hall Park, Frisco