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Southwell hosts breast cancer screening awareness event

Southwell recently held an event aimed at empowering women with crucial information about breast cancer screenings at the Tift Regional Community Events Center.

The event featured a panel of medical experts and highlighted updated guidelines and advancements in breast cancer detection technology.

The panel, comprising of Dr. Andrew Nackashi, Dr. Kristin Yates Coleman, Judy Weaver, FNP-BC, AGACNP-BC, and Brittany Felthauser, RT(R)(M)(CT), addressed a full house of attendees on the recommendations and methodologies in breast health. In addition to the panel, the mammogram team and breast health navigators from Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC), as well as Dr. Shannon Price and Dr. Ana Hernandez, OB/GYNs with Southwell Physicians for Women, attended the event to show their support for the important topic.

Dr. Nackashi, general surgeon and the director of the TRMC breast program leadership committee, emphasized the importance of early detection.

Dr. Nackashi also noted that although new technology may promise more comfortable results, the gold standard for breast cancer screening is still the mammogram, “The CT Koning that is now offered in our community is approved for diagnostic screening. This technology is still in the study phase, and it cannot replace a screening mammogram. There is still a risk that it can miss breast cancer.”

He further explained, “Although CT Koning carries a risk of missing breast cancer, it can also yield false positives, leading to unnecessary anxiety for patients who must wait to learn that the findings are benign.”

Dr. Kristin Yates Coleman, representing Southwell Physicians for Women, addressed the recent guidelines for when women should begin receiving mammograms. She said, “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that all women have a mammogram starting at age 40, or ten years before a first degree relative was diagnosed with breast cancer.”

She emphasized, “I encourage my patients to begin discussing their personal risk for breast cancer with their gynecologist long before they are eligible to receive one. This is a conversation that should happen every year.”

Southwell offers mammograms at multiple locations: Tift Regional Medical Center in Tifton, Southwell Medical in Adel, and Southwell OB/GYN in Valdosta. A referral from a primary care provider or OB/GYN is required to schedule a mammogram. Patients who do not have a provider can visit mysouthwell.com/providers to establish care with one.