New kiosks educate patients on breast cancer awareness topics
October 26, 2011
Two breast cancer awareness kiosks have taken their place at Madigan Army Medical Center in the main Pharmacy and the Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic.
Those kiosks, dedicated to Nancy Dickson a breast cancer survivor, were placed there in Dickson's honor and to increase awareness about breast cancer for all of Madigan's patients.
"My hope is that the presence of these kiosks and the information within them will empower them to feel more like a member of the team that is going to walk with them should they ever get diagnosed with breast cancer," said Col. (Dr.) Dallas Homas, Madigan's commander.
The kiosks were officially dedicated on Sept. 7 and were donated to Madigan Healthcare System by the Madigan Foundation. An integral part of the set-up of the kiosks was Rick Barnhill, the deputy chief of Madigan's Information Management Division.
"With the electronic means we provide patients have a real chance to help themselves," said Barnhill.
The kiosks consist of a computer system where patients are able to complete a Gail Risk Assessment and watch a video on how to properly complete a self breast exam. The Gail Risk Assessment is a breast cancer risk assessment tool designed by Dr. Mitchell Gail. According to the National Cancer Institute, the model uses a woman's own personal medical history (number of previous breast biopsies and the presence of atypical hyperplasia in any previous breast biopsy specimen), her own reproductive history (age at the start of menstruation and age at the first live birth of a child), and the history of breast cancer among her first-degree relatives (mother, sisters, daughters) to estimate her risk of developing invasive breast cancer over
specific periods of time.
"It's the only validated population screening tool," said Helen McGregor, a nurse practitioner who works in Madigan's Breast Imaging Services Clinic.
McGregor works with Genevieve Fuller on Madigan's breast cancer awareness. The two work regularly with patients interested in identifying their risk level, or interested in starting the screening process.
While a primary care manager needs to order the appropriate protocol for screening tools, a patient can call the Breast Imaging Services Clinic to assess their risk. The two women are available by calling (253) 968-3405 or (253) 968-1111.
"Every woman who comes through our door is given a mammogram form. We review every one of those forms. We do the Gail Risk Assessment and some more in depth ones and we call the patients that have a significant risk factor," said Fuller. "Last year we reviewed about 5,500 forms."
The two are a part of the many services at Madigan who work to increase awareness of breast cancer. October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
"If you think you might be at risk, just ask. If that's a person's fear the two of us are probably a good place to start and we will get you pointed in the right direction," said McGregor.
"Whatever a patient needs we do our best to get it for them."