RMH Breast Care
As a woman, you take care of everyone’s needs—sometimes forgetting your own. Let RMH Funkhouser Women’s Center take care of you.
When a woman has received a diagnosis of breast cancer, she has the
option of seeing Heidi D. Rafferty, MD, a dedicated breast surgeon with
RMH Breast Care. Dr. Rafferty provides consultation, follow-up, and
surgical services for women who have benign or malignant breast
conditions. She also offers genetic testing for women concerned about
familial or heredity issues related to breast and ovarian cancer. In
addition, she has significant expertise in treating disorders associated
with breastfeeding and with other benign breast disease.
Surgical Options for Breast Surgery at RMH
Dr. Heidi Rafferty has partnered with plastic surgeon Saied Asfa, MD
to customize the surgery offered to a woman undergoing a mastectomy.
There are a variety of options available when having reconstructive
surgery. The surgical treatment of the breast cancer and
the reconstructive procedure can be done during the same procedure.
Combining these two services reduces the need for multiple surgeries and
lessons the recovery time for the patient.
- Minimally invasive breast biopsies
- Breast conservation surgery (lumpectomy): removal of the lump or tumor
- Mastectomy (nipple sparing and areolar sparing): removal of the breast tissue with the option of reconstruction.
The partnership of Drs. Rafferty and Asfa is unique to most hospitals
and demonstrates the efforts of RMH to offer the women of our community
the best of care.
|Bryn Good, FNP-C
Graduate School: James Madison University
Certified Nurse Practitioner with RMH since 2010
|Victoria Krauss, FNP-C
Graduate School: University of South Florida College of Medicine
Certified Nurse Practitioner with RMH since 201
Breast Health Navigators
It’s frightening when a woman is told she may have breast cancer. Unfortunately, that fear can be compounded by the challenges of navigating the complex sea of healthcare and coordinating appointments with the many different medical professionals involved in diagnosis and treatment. Helping women through this process is the role of the breast health navigators.
Deanna Lam, RN, BSN
Libbi Fitzgerald, RN, BSN
Deanna Lam, RN, BSN and Libbi Fitzgerald, RN, BSN, work with women dealing with any breast issue, including those being diagnosed with or treated for breast cancer. Specifically, Libbi works with women going through the diagnostic process; Deanna works with women diagnosed with breast cancer. Both Libbi and Deanna guide women and their families through the various services involved, connecting them with appropriate resources and support.
How much do you know about breast cancer? Take the quiz.
A significant advance in the science of breast care was the discovery in 1994 of gene mutations that cause breast and ovarian cancer. Since then, according to the National Cancer Institute, scientists have determined that about five to 10 percent of breast and ovarian cancer cases are hereditary, due to a mutated gene known as BRACA1 or BRACA2. Gene carriers do not inherit cancer, but rather a heightened risk of cancer. Genetic testing is available at RMH, provided by Dr. Heidi Rafferty.
Genetic testing is a simple procedure; patients are given a special mouthwash to swish in their mouth and then release into a cup. The mouthwash specimen is sent out for testing; results return in about two weeks. Patients should not eat, drink or chew gum for one hour before the test.
Who should receive genetic testing?
You may qualify for genetic testing if you have a family or personal history of any of the following:
Most insurance companies cover the cost of genetic testing for those who meet the eligibility requirements.
- Breast cancer before age 50
- Breast cancer in two or more relatives
- Breast cancer in a male relative
- Breast cancer in both breasts or twice in the same breast
- Breast cancer and Ashkenazi or Eastern European Jewish ancestry
- Ovarian cancer at any age
What are the next steps after receiving a positive result for the breast cancer gene?
Those who test positive for the breast cancer gene should receive specifically tailored counseling and medical treatment based on their increased risk factors for breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. Rafferty will personally consult with each woman to discuss her options. Those options may include:
- Surveillance—this may include an annual MRI, mammogram and serial clinical breast exams. For ovarian cancer, surveillance methods may include transvaginal ultrasound, blood testing and clinical exams.
- Prophylactic Surgery—Involves removing as much of the at-risk tissue as possible in order to reduce the chance of developing cancer. This may include preventive, or prophylactic, mastectomy (removal of healthy breasts) along with reconstruction and preventive salpingo-oophorectomy (removal healthy fallopian tubes and ovaries).
- Risk avoidance—Exercising regularly and limiting alcohol consumption may decrease breast cancer risk
- Chemoprevention—Medication, such as tamoxifen which reduces the risk of invasive breast cancer and the use of oral contraceptives which may reduce the risk of development of ovarian cancer.
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