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M. D. Anderson New Buildings Open for First Patient Appointment

Breast cancer prevention study participant is first patient

M. D. Anderson News Release 01/10/05

As Judy Jordan crosses the threshold of the Cancer Prevention Center’s new location at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson, she continues her personal journey to fight breast cancer before it starts by participating in recommended cancer screening examinations and a clinical trial.

Jordan’s appointment is in the Cancer Prevention Center on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 10 a.m. She is the first patient in either of the two new buildings, the Ambulatory Clinical Building and the Cancer Prevention Building.

Her mother and grandmother were breast cancer patients, a family history fact that places Jordan in the path of the disease. 

“Every day I wake up and wonder, ‘Is today the day I find a lump?’” Jordan says. “I want to do everything I can to remove that question from the minds of women.” She enrolled in a breast cancer prevention trial to help researchers find a way to prevent the disease, and her appointment is a typical follow-up for women in the study – a mammogram and clinical breast exam.

Jordan is one of many individuals who are taking charge of their health by having recommended cancer screening examinations – as well as participating in prevention clinical trials.

The Cancer Prevention Center can help individuals learn what steps to take to reduce their cancer risks.

Thorough cancer screening examinations include cancer risk assessments, screening exams based on age, gender and cancer risk, as well as personalized risk-reduction strategies.

Diagnostic evaluation services for cancers of the breast, skin and female organs provide evaluation of breast, skin and gynecologic abnormalities. Colorectal cancer screening takes place in the Gastrointestinal Center.

Risk assessment and risk reduction services include genetic testing and counseling, chemoprevention (treating pre-cancer), nutrition counseling and tobacco cessation counseling.

Since opening its doors in 1996, the Cancer Prevention Center has seen steady growth over the years.

“We are actively debunking the myth of cancer as a deadly disease by offering individuals the opportunity to detect cancer at its earliest, most treatable, stage,” saysDr. Therese Bevers, the Cancer Prevention Center’s medical director.

People are getting the message.

Today, about 13,500 patients come for screening examinations or risk-reduction counseling every year – up from about 4,400 in 1996, and that number is projected to grow by 30 percent this year and about 12 percent per year for several coming years.

Relocating to the Cancer Prevention Building allows the Cancer Prevention Center to meet increased public demand for services. All services in the center are expanding, including those for dermatology. The number of treatment rooms has more than doubled, from 11 to 25. For breast abnormalities, same-day diagnosis is available through the Beth Sanders Moore Undiagnosed Breast Clinic. Also in the Cancer Prevention Building is a new Behavioral Research and Treatment Center equipped with eight laboratory chambers for research in exercise, social interaction, human information processing, virtual reality, tobacco cessation and sleep.

The Behavioral Research and Treatment Center’s proximity to the Cancer Prevention Center provides for increased collaboration for researchers in the two centers, both part of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences.

 “Our increased space allows us to accommodate more patients and expand our participation in clinical trials, including multi-national prevention studies, as well as prevention research at
M. D. Anderson,” Bevers says.

The Cancer Prevention Building and Ambulatory Clinical Building are two of five new buildings scheduled to open within the next two years. The buildings stand adjacent to each other, and glass-enclosed pedestrian bridges connect the two buildings on floors two through eight.

The Cancer Prevention Building holds the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, including the Departments of Behavioral Science, Clinical Cancer Prevention and Epidemiology, and offices for many Ambulatory Clinical Building faculty and staff, further facilitating research collaboration – in addition to the Cancer Prevention Building’s Cancer Prevention Center and Behavioral Research and Treatment Center.

Jordan and hundreds of individuals like her have enrolled in prevention clinical trials.

“I want to do whatever I can to help not only myself, but to help prevent breast cancer for women everywhere,” she says. By participating in the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR), Jordan is able to take one of the two breast cancer prevention drugs being studied (neither she nor her doctors know which drug she takes). STAR enrollment is now closed, but another breast cancer prevention study is planned for 2006.

To determine which Cancer Prevention Center services are best for you, or to schedule an appointment, call (713) 745-8040 or toll-free at 1-800-438-6434 or go online at mdanderson.org/cancerpreventioncenter. M. D. Anderson’s Screening Guidelines are online at mdanderson.org/screeningguidelines.

SIDEBAR

M. D. Anderson Screening Guidelines

Breast:

  • Be familiar with your breasts so that you will notice any changes and report them to your doctor without delay.  Breast self-exams are an option for increasing breast awareness.
  • Begin annual mammograms and clinical breast exams at age 40.
  • Clinical breast exam every one to three years from age 20 to 39.
  • Try to schedule clinical breast exam at the time of regularly scheduled mammogram.
  • For women at increased risk of breast cancer, screening may begin earlier and/or may be required more frequently.

Colorectal:

Beginning at age 50, men and women should follow one of the examination schedules below:

  • A colonoscopy every 10 years (preferred by M. D. Anderson)
  • A fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every year
  • A flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSIG) every five years
  • Annual FOBT and FSIG every five years.  This combination is preferred over either annual FOBT or FSIG every five years, alone.  
  • A double-contrast barium enema every five years

People at moderate or high risk for colorectal cancer (e.g., a strong family history) should talk with their doctor about the need for a different testing schedule.

Prostate:

  • Men should be counseled about the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening.
  • Annual digital rectal exam beginning at age 50.
  • Annual prostate-specific antigen blood test beginning at age 50.
  • Begin screening at age 45 for men at increased risk (African-American men, men with a family history of prostate cancer).
  • Screening is not recommended for men with a life expectancy of less than 10 years.

Cervical:

  • Annual Pap test with pelvic exam beginning at age 18, or when sexual activity begins.
  • Depending on risk factors, after three or more consecutive exams with normal findings, a physician and patient may choose to do them less frequently.
  • Ask your doctor about screening after hysterectomy.  Healthy women with normal Pap smears and whose hysterectomy was for benign disease may be screened less frequently than annually.

Endometrial:

  • Screening is not recommended for most women.
  • For women with hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, annual endometrial biopsy is recommended beginning at age 35.

Ovarian:

  • Benefits of screening for women at average risk have not yet been proven, and screening is therefore not recommended.
  • For women with a hereditary ovarian cancer syndrome, annual or semi-annual pelvic exam, CA 125 blood test and transvaginal ultrasound may be considered on the advice of their personal physician.

Skin:

  • Monthly self-exam beginning at age 18.

© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center