Survivors & Heroes Fighting Together
Speak with your healthcare provider to determine what is best for you.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which is usually highlighted by community outreach activities including mammogram drives, school-based activities, the Superhero Race and the Pink Pearl Luncheon. Due to COVID 19 precautions, many of these activities have been canceled or have changed to virtual events. Raising awareness of the impact that breast cancer has in our tribal communities remains more important than ever. Within the Choctaw Nation Health System, over 700 patients have a diagnosis of breast cancer with 110 being acute diagnoses. There are an average 30-40 patients on active chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer at any time.
Improvement in personalized treatments in combination with early diagnosis has led to a 40% reduction in the number of deaths related to breast cancer since 1989, according to the National Cancer Institute. Routine annual mammography for average risk women starting at age 40 is recommended by the American Society of Breast Surgeons. A clinical breast examination once a year is also recommended. These are actions you can take to decrease your risk of dying from breast cancer. Please discuss mammography with your physician or provider to get a mammogram scheduled, and encourage your family and friends to as well.
As a result of an initiative by Chief Batton and Assistant Chief Austin, state-of-the art 3-D mammography and breast ultrasound are available at the Choctaw Nation Health Care Center in Talihina, the Choctaw Nation Regional Health Clinic in Durant, the Choctaw Nation Clinic in Idabel, the Choctaw Nation Rubin White Clinic in Poteau and the Choctaw Nation Clinic in McAlester to increase accessibility. The Choctaw Nation Health Care Center in Talihina also provides breast MRI services.
For patients who require additional services, the Choctaw Nation Breast Clinic was developed in the CNHCC Surgery Clinic in Talihina to facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, non-breast cancers, and benign breast disease. At the Breast Clinic, we also conduct a High-Risk Cancer Clinic and a Survivorship Clinic. Specific services include clinical breast examination, incision and drainage procedures, lumpectomy, mastectomy, skin sparing mastectomy, axillary lymph node treatment, lymphedema treatment (through physical therapy), genetic testing, genomic testing, endocrine treatment, biopsies, port placement and removal. In addition, we also manage referrals for outside services within eligibility or insurance requirements for chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Choctaw National Health Services Authority can be reached on the My CNHSA app or at (918) 567-7000. If you do not live near a CNHSA Facility or are not eligible for services, the National Cancer Institute will guide you to an accredited mammogram provider by calling 1-800-4-CANCER.