Healthy Living 2023

Adventist Health Glendale
Dennis Holmes, MD
Director, Breast Program

One in eight women will develop breast cancer. And although you can’t predict whether you will get cancer, you can understand your risk and stay on top of routine screenings to make prevention and treatment easier.

Know your risk. Breast cancer starts in the glands, ducts or tissues of the breast, typically as a tumor. Women who are older than 50 or have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer might have a higher risk of breast cancer. Being overweight or not getting enough physical activity can also increase chances of developing cancer, so it’s important to eat well and stay active.

Know your body. Often, the first warning sign of breast cancer is a lump on the breast. For this reason, we advise doing a monthly breast exam at home. Familiarize yourself with the look and feel of your breasts so you notice changes that might indicate cancer. Start with a visual check in the mirror, first with your hands on your hips, then with arms raised, to take note of new features such as dimpling, bulging or swelling. Next, use a firm touch to feel for lumps, first while lying down, then while standing.

Know your options. When we detect breast cancer early, before cells grow and spread, we can often remove it with minimal treatment. That’s why Adventist Health Glendale recommends that women age 40 and older get a yearly mammogram, which uses low doses of radiation to take X-ray images of the breast. Anyone who is concerned about breast cancer should talk to their provider. Together, you can make a plan for screening and prevention.

For women, accessing breast care – from screening and diagnosis to treatment – can be complex. Now all the services that are needed will be available in one place at Adventist Health Glendale. The Sam and Grace Carvajal Comprehensive Breast Center, opening this spring, will have expert breast surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, dietitians and psychiatrists who tailor their care to each woman’s needs and help her through her fight against breast cancer.

Dr. Dennis Holmes