Cancer Screenings and Early Detection
Access is key to early detection
In order to successfully impact survival rates, cancers must be found early. The most successful way of detecting the disease is through a variety of cancer screenings and Sentara Cancer Network is committed to offering these in convenient locations throughout the communities we serve.
Whether it be through the newest technology (3D mammography, CT lung screening), through promoting self-exams (breast and testicular), or through offering free early detection events (head and neck, prostate), Sentara Cancer Network is focused on fighting cancer early when it is most treatable.
Mammography, especially 3D imaging, has been proven to be an invaluable tool for detecting breast cancer early. Our skilled radiologists provide specialized expertise in reading breast images for accuracy. Women throughout our network have convenient access to mammography at our comprehensive breast centers, imaging centers and mobile mammography vans.
Colon & Rectal Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, and is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death. Unfortunately, parts of Hampton Roads have been identified as one of three colon cancer “hot spots” nationally where death from colon cancer is a dramatic problem. Sentara physicians strongly believe in the effectiveness of colon and rectal cancer screenings to help improve outcomes. Our teams are working collaboratively with the American Cancer Society and other community health resources to promote screenings and treatments.
A landmark national study of longtime, heavy smokers over 55 indicated that screening with low- dose computed tomography (CT) scans can help find lung cancer early, leading to a higher cure rate. The brief CT screening covers the entire chest and provides a more detailed look than a standard chest X-ray. As an early adopter of a low- dose CT lung screening program, Sentara Cancer Network has been providing screenings in several of our communities for more than five years. Diagnosing lung cancer at an early stage, before the cancer has spread, increases a patient’s chance of successful treatment and survival.
Education and prevention
Education and community awareness is a key component often forgotten in the battle against cancer. By familiarizing ourselves with national, state and local statistics, we can target pockets of high incidence areas and focus cancer-specific messaging and events to impact these communities. To do this, Sentara Cancer Network offers tobacco cessation programs, sunscreen promotions, and has cancer-specific programs surrounding diet and exercise to specifically promote this cancer prevention messaging.
Preventative screenings and community events
Party on Wheels! mobile mammo event
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center and Potomac Mills Mall partnered for a breast cancer awareness month event. The first-time event was a big success. More than 300 people visited the Sentara tents, and 13 women completed their annual screening in our mammovan. Attendees were also able to have their breast health questions answered by board-certified breast specialists and take a spin on our prize wheel.
Skin cancer screenings
Sentara Cancer Network provided skin cancer screenings at various locations throughout our system in 2016. For example, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital staff members and our dermatologists partnered to reach the Charlottesville community with skin cancer screenings and sun safety education. In Hampton Roads, Sentara Cancer Network partnered with Eastern Virginia Medical School to provide education and screening at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art Festival, which resulted in more
than 250 patients screened, including 26 people who were referred for follow-up.
Relay for Life
Sentara had a strong showing at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life with 641 participants on 21 teams contributing $51,367.26.
Head/neck and thyroid screenings
Nearly 80 people were screened for head, neck and thyroid cancers in Hampton Roads in 2016. Several patients were referred for evaluation and/or tobacco cessation.
Potomac Nationals hit a home run for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center helped promote Prostate Cancer Awareness Month with the Potomac Nationals in Northern Virginia. Bearded hand fans/photo props were a big hit as were the Get Checked foam fingers.
Our community outreach team encouraged men to get checked for prostate cancer and the women to encourage the men in their lives. The Potomac Nationals changed the kiss cam to the “bearded cam” and added our hashtag #GetChecked.
Don’t Sit on Colon Cancer
Through this popular community 5K, a record crowd raised funds to support local colon cancer education and patient care programs. Led by Sentara Princess Anne Hospital and Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, the network provided education and awareness to help encourage screening and early detection.
Race for Breath
There were 64 Sentara team members who participated in the Race for Breath at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Dr. Lara Bonner- Millar, Radiation Oncology, was the keynote speaker. Sentara provided CT lung screening and tobacco cessation information in more than 750 race packets.
National Cancer Survivors Day
Sentara celebrated National Cancer Survivors Day and honored cancer survivors by telling their stories in a digital celebration on the Sentara Healthcare Facebook page. This annual celebration continues to grow and attract inspiring comments and words of encouragement from the community.
Mammography Turnaround Time:
From screening to biopsy
The time from a suspicious finding on a mammogram to the initiation of a biopsy is a time of anxiety for a patient. Because of this, we have been working to reduce the time that patients wait from a questionable mammogram to biopsy.
Source: Epic, Radiant, Sentara Clinical Performance Improvement; National Advisory Board
Reel recovery, real hope
Sentara supported the Virginia Chapter of Reel Recovery, a national nonprofit organization that conducts free fly-fishing retreats for men living with all forms of cancer. The spring retreat took place at Graves Mountain Lodge & Rose River Farm in Syria, Va., with 14 men participating, including several individuals from Hampton Roads.
The organization’s mission is to help men recover by sharing with them the healing powers of the sport fly-fishing, while providing a safe, supportive environment to explore their personal experiences with cancer and to share their stories.