Washington Health System

155 Wilson Avenue Washington, PA 15301   (724) 225-7000

October Resident of the Month

Dr. Christelle Nguyen

Dr. Christelle Nguyen is currently a second year Family Medicine resident at the Washington Health System. She was born and raised in Lille in France until she was 16 years old and moved to Dallas, TX. She attended Southern Methodist University majoring in Marketing along with pre-med track.  Afterwards, she enrolled in the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pennsylvania before beginning her residency in little Washington. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family including her fiancĂ©, her cat watching movies, travelling abroad and eating French pastries.

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women and the second most common cause of death in women. Each year in the US: more than 200,000 women get it and more than 40,000 die from the disease. Men can also get breast cancer, but it is less common with 1% occurring in men. It is extremely important to get your yearly mammogram. It is recommended that between the ages of 50 to 74 years old, you need to get a mammogram every two years. If you have a first degree relative (parent, sibling or child) having breast cancer, you need to be screened 10 years prior to the age of your relative’s diagnosis. If you are between 40 years old and 49 years old with no risk factors as discussed above, and would like to be screen earlier, discuss it with your doctor.

Some risk factors increase your risks for breast cancer, such as being a woman, being 50 years and older, being predisposed with changes in your breast cancer genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2). Symptoms can be difficult to pinpoint as there can be no symptoms at all but if you do notice a lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm; itchy, scaly sore or rash, change in size or shape of your breast, dimpling or puckering of the skin, abnormal discharge from the nipple, let your doctor know. Most recent recommendations advise to have a breast exam performed at your doctor’s appointment rather than done by yourself at your home. If you do decide to perform it yourself, tell your doctor as he/she will give you more instructions for the proper way to do it. As a reminder, breast self-examination is not a substitute for a mammogram. Finally make healthy lifestyle choices: healthy weight and adding exercise, limit alcohol intake, limit hormonal use post menopause and breastfeed if you can.

At the Washington Health System Women’s Health Services, all mammograms are performed by technologists who are certified by the American Academy of Radiology Technologists and who have additional certification in mammography. The Washington Health System Women’s Health Services is staffed with Fellowship-Trained Women’s Imagers. These radiologists have extensive training specific to Women’s Imaging.  Images are also scanned using a computer aided detection (CAD) system. CAD acts as a radiologist’s “second look”, ensuring that only the highest quality imaging technology and interpretation services are utilized.

If you have any further question, your next best step is to reach out to your doctor. If you like surfing the web, here are some helpful websites: National Breast Cancer Foundation which can provide you a free guide including breast health/breast cancer basics:http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month

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