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Breast Cancer Self-Awareness

Publication: The Paris News

As many breast cancer survivors around town know, Texas Oncology is one of the most invaluable resources in the Red River Valley. This breast cancer awareness month puts the spotlight on the importance of yearly check-ups as well as giving yourself monthly self-exams.

“A lot of women don’t know that two weeks after their period is the best time to do a self-exam because lumps can occur during your menstrual cycle due to hormones,” said nurse practitioner Denim Ervin of Texas Oncology-Paris.

“However, women are not the only ones who should be self-examining, men can definitely be candidates too,” she added.

“Make sure to look in the mirror, lift your arms and make sure there are no puckers, then use circular palpation motions from under your arms down into your breasts. Women with bigger breasts make sure to do this lying down and sitting up,” Ervin said.

Doctors at Texas Oncology strive to stay up to date on the best technological advancements in the field such as genetic testing which is something they brought to Paris in the past year.

Genetic testing uses what is called a “germ line’’ to detect any genetic mutations a patient may have been born with that makes them at higher risk for breast cancer. This can be used for people who are diagnosed or people who are simply interested in risk management, she said.

Texas Oncology, 2550 NE Loop 286, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call 903-785-0031.

“Our doctors even have an emergency hotline so patients can reach them 24 hours a day,” Ervin said.

Texas Oncology has three local oncologists who work closely with surgeons to see cancer treatment from first detection to cancer-free.

“We are happy to report that even if a patient is diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer we take care of all their needs here in Paris,” Ervin said. “We do this so that patients do not have to worry about commuting along with all the other worries that come with a cancer diagnosis. Building a strong community and local support system is very important to us here.”

This story appeared in The Paris News

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