Nursing@Simmons prepares Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) to deliver high quality primary and preventive health care to patients across the life span, including women and men who may be at risk for breast cancer or require the necessary care to treat it.
The following content has been developed with the purpose of providing resources to those who are or have been affected by breast cancer, as well as those interested in learning more about the strides being made in the fight against the disease. At Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences, we are passionate about raising breast cancer awareness and focusing on breast cancer prevention.
Breast Self-Exams: Why Recommendations Differ Many primary care providers and leading health care organizations have differing opinions on the benefits of breast self-exams. However, most agree that decisions about screenings should be personalized and based on the patient’s risks and values.
Risks of Breast Cancer The discussion around the risk for developing breast cancer tends to focus on the BRCA gene, but in actuality only 5 percent to 10 percent of breast cancer diagnoses are due to hereditary influences.
Recommended Screening Guidelines There are many different sources of guidelines for breast cancer screening based on interpretations of scientific studies. Overall, the guidance varies by organization, and because there are a number of risk factors associated with breast cancer, primary health care providers tailor recommendations to each patient.
Disparities in Breast Cancer Prevention and Care While breast cancer survival rates have improved in recent years, not all populations have benefited equally. For a range of at-risk populations in the U.S., differences persist in breast cancer incidence, mortality, and survivorship. Understanding the forces that drive these disparities is the first step to closing the gaps in prevention and treatment.
BRCA Gene and Genetic Testing There are several factors that are associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. One of the most significant variables is genetics, as about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers may be hereditary.
Support and Resources
Understanding the Psychological Effects of Breast Cancer In the United States, more than 230,000 women and approximately 2,600 men receive a breast cancer diagnosis each year. Given the urgent demands of treatment, it can be easy for primary care providers, like Family Nurse Practitioners, to focus on physical aspects of care when a diagnosis occurs. However, addressing the physical demands of the disease is just one part of a comprehensive treatment regimen for breast cancer; treatment must account for patients' psychological needs as well.
Breast Cancer Resources For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Nursing@Simmons put together the following resource guide to highlight some of the groups and organizations that serve patients, caregivers, families, and anyone impacted by breast cancer.
Testing and Diagnosis
Alternatives to Mammograms While many women are aware that they should get routine mammograms, they may not be aware of the full range of tests that can screen and diagnose potential breast cancer. Currently, mammograms offer the best means for initial screening, but often traditional mammogram test results can be inconclusive.