Carlos High-Risk Breast Cancer Program Supports Patients with Comprehensive Care

Helen and Jimmy CarlosHelen S. and Jimmy Carlos are well known throughout the Atlanta non-profit community for their generosity and vibrant personalities. After being diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing treatment in 2015, Helen started an Education Fund at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital to ensure that nurses treating patients with cancer would have access to the most recent knowledge and techniques.

Early detection, which played a crucial role in Helen’s outcome, is the best tool in the fight against breast cancer. Thanks to the Carlos’ four-year funding commitment, Piedmont is building a more robust High-Risk Breast Cancer (HRBC) program that focuses on reducing the burden of breast cancer for high-risk women.

Clinical studies have shown that 1/3 of patients presenting for mammography meet the criteria necessary to be assessed through a High-Risk Breast Program. The ‘high risk’ designation can be determined by one or a combination of factors, including a family history of breast cancer, genetic mutations, dense breast tissue, high body mass index (BMI), and increased age.

Funding will pay for three new staffing roles that will work together with a physician specialist to ensure high-risk patients receive specialized screening and follow-up care.

Nurse Navigator - will serve as a liaison for patients and referring medical offices; communicate about risk factors and recommend consultations; and help patients overcome barriers to receiving access to care.

Genetic Counselor – will interview patients and collect medical and family history; run risk assessment models; and educate patients and relatives about findings.

Advanced Practice Provider – will serve as the overall facilitation and patient champion; interview and educate patients; perform clinical breast exams; make proper referrals; and discuss personalized cancer screening and risk reduction options.

The Carlos’ gift will also support the operational costs of establishing the program, including renovation of office space, community outreach, and a mammography residence program.

"Having had a personal experience with Breast Cancer changes everything. Cancer changes the narrative. When presented with a plan to understand, predict, and catch this disease at an early stage, you listen!!" - Jimmy Carlos

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