Fredericksburg Parent

October 2015

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16 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • October 2015 Ask the Expert a sk t h e e x p e rt A ccording to the World Health Organization, "Breast cancer is the top cancer in women both in the developed and the developing world." Many doctors believe that early detection has played a large role in saving the lives of thousands of women in the early stages of breast cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Courtney Miller WHNP, BC, of Elite Women's Health, answered questions for FredParent readers about early detection, BRCA testing and awareness. Before joining Elite Women's Health in 2014, Miller worked as a lead nurse practitioner at a Chicago, Illinois, breast health clinic. During her time there, she received specialized training in benign and malignant breast diseases. Miller specializes in identifying patients who are at "high risk" for breast cancer. INTERVIEWED BY BRENDA SAPANGHILA Q: Tell us a little about Elite Women's Health. What areas do you specialize in? Elite Women's Health is an OB-GYN Practice in Fredericksburg, Virginia. We were voted the Best OB-GYN practice in Fredericksburg for 2015. We pride ourselves in giving exceptional care to every one of our patients, regardless of age. I am a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, so I specialize in the health care of women of all ages. I have a specialty in breast conditions, both benign conditions and breast cancer. I use my breast health knowledge and skill to identify our OB-GYN patients that may be at increased risk for breast cancer. Q: At what age should women start doing breast self-exams, and how often should they do them? I encourage women at a very early age to start checking their breasts to become familiar with what is normal to them. Starting in your teens, I recommend patients check their breasts on a monthly basis. It may be helpful to check your breasts the week after your cycle due to hormonal changes. Q: What steps should I take if I find a lump in my breast? If you find something new or out of the ordinary on your self breast exam (SBE), I encourage patients to call your OB-GYN. Your provider will then do a clinical breast exam (CBE) and will often order imaging of the breast. Elite Women's Health

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