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Advances Being Made in Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Fayetteville, Ga. (Oct. 7, 2021) – When Mio Yanagisawa, M.D., a new breast surgeon at Piedmont Fayette Hospital, was an undergraduate student at Princeton University she did a lot of outreach around women’s issues. In medical school at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, that outreach started to focus on health issues for women. After her residency at the UC Davis Medical Center, where she trained for general surgery, she decided to specialize in breast surgery to continue working with women and help them through challenging situations.

“Breast disease is very personal for women as their breasts can influence body image, impact sexual function, and also represent motherhood for many,” Dr. Yanagisawa said. “The field is always changing, thanks to advances in treatment, which allows us to individually tailor treatment for patients and their particular cancer.”

One of the areas where a lot of advances are being made is in genomics, which allows a person’s cancer to be profiled at the molecular level.

“Genomics can help us determine if a patient will need chemotherapy or not,” said Dr. Yanagisawa. “Every individual is different and every cancer is different. Genomics may help us prevent women from having unnecessary chemotherapy and treating their disease with surgery and/or radiation.”

Dr. Yanagisawa is also thrilled to see a new focus on prehabilitation for cancer patients. Piedmont Fayette and the Piedmont Wellness Center are collaborating on a MyFit RX program that helps patients get stronger so that they are better able to tolerate treatment and recovery.

“This is a big asset for our patients. We’re seeing good results and making a positive difference in how they feel and how well they recover,” said Dr. Yanagisawa.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Dr. Yanagisawa believes that the strength of messaging around awareness and early detection has made a tremendous impact on survival rates for breast cancer patients.

“The diagnosis is always scary, but breast cancer is no longer a death sentence in any way, shape, or form,” said Dr. Yanagisawa. “If it is caught early, a person’s survival rate is nearly 99 percent.”

In order to detect breast cancer early, Dr. Yanagisawa states that it is important for women to make self-breast exams, and annual mammograms, a routine part of life.

To learn more about oncology services or to schedule a mammogram, visit piedmont.org/cancer.

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