Generous Support for Expanded Breast Cancer Services

On March 14, the General Hospital Breast Health Center opened its doors to provide patients with a new, centralized location for all breast health services, including imaging, treatment, genetic counseling, surgery and follow-up.

This new facility was supported by funds raised at last November’s second annual Celebrate General Hospital Gala to benefit General Hospital’s nationally recognized comprehensive cancer services. The record $1.4 million raised has also helped fund the purchase of advanced, lifesaving technology with the addition of three new 3-D mammography screening units and two new surgical robots.

“Donor support truly makes a significant difference in the lives of our cancer patients,” says Carly Benson, executive director of cancer services. “We have already treated patients whose breast cancer would not have been detected without the breakthrough 3-D mammography technology. And the surgical robots enable our physicians to operate on patients more precisely and efficiently than ever before, so we’re seeing even more positive outcomes, faster recovery and better quality of life.”

“It’s really exciting to have the most advanced imaging technology available,” says Renate Dell, supervisor of outpatient imaging. “And now the added convenience of having all of our breast health services in one location makes it even easier for our patients to get highly accurate mammograms, along with other additional services they might need.”

The Truth About Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the country. About 6 million Americans get diagnosed every year. It’s also one of the easiest to prevent. To help you and your family stay safe, here’s the facts behind the most common skin myths.

Myth: All sunscreen is pretty much the same, and using high SPF (over 30) makes no difference.

Truth: SPF 30 blocks about 97 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 50 blocks about 98 percent. So anything with SPF 30 or higher is fine. What’s more important is using it properly by applying a liberal amount to all exposed areas of skin and reapplying at least every couple of hours.

Myth: People don’t need to worry about sun protection on overcast days or while driving.

Truth: It’s especially important to wear sun protection on cloudy days because you may get burned without noticing it. The same is true in the car because the side windows don’t block UVA rays (the front windshield does). While driving, wear sunscreen on your arms and face so you don’t get skin damage over time without realizing it.

Myth: Tanning beds offer a safe alternative to sunbathing.

Truth: Tanning beds are not safe. If you’re getting tan, you’re doing damage regardless of the light source. Artificial tanning products like sprays and lotions do provide safe tanning alternatives, but they don’t offer any protection from sun exposure.

Myth: Skin cancer affects only older people, so kids and teenagers don’t have to worry about sun protection.

Truth: Skin cancer results—in part—from cumulative sun exposure throughout your life. On average, people get 80 percent of their lifetime sun exposure during their youth, so it’s especially important for young people to use sun protection to reduce their risk later in life.

Myth: Skin cancer is easily removed and not a big deal.

Truth: The most common skin cancers are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, which spread only locally. These can be removed without lasting risk, but removal may cause disfigurement depending on the size and location of the cancer. Melanoma, on the other hand, is aggressive, deadly and very hard to remove or treat once it metastasizes.

From the desk of Harry Dorset, MD, General Hospital chief medical officer.

Gala Raises $1.4 Million for Cancer Services

When clinical nurse specialist Vicky Johnson, MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, decided to volunteer at the hospital’s 2017 gala, she expected to participate in a good cause. She had no idea, though, that it would be such a profoundly inspirational experience.

“I was tearful—it was a moving, amazing thing to see such generosity,” says Johnson, who cares for obstetric patients and newborns at General Hospital for Children. “As an employee donor myself, I feel good knowing the Foundation supports areas at General Hospital that need it most.”

More than 700 people came to the event, which raised $1.4 million to benefit General Hospital’s cancer services.

“I love working with our dedicated staff and employee volunteers and seeing our community come together,” says Sarah Abrams, the Foundation’s events and programs development coordinator. “Our 65 employee volunteers helped make it a memorable evening.”

“I really enjoy what I do, and feel privileged to have worked here for 26 years,” says Johnson, “I hear people compliment General Hospital all the time. But to see our community come together to support us on such a grand scale was truly inspirational.”