GOSHEN, Ind. (WANE) – On this last day of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Goshen Center for Cancer Care is reminding women, and even men, to perform self-checks to monitor breast health. At the Goshen Center for Cancer Care, the doctors say they always trying to improve care for patients.

Specifically, for breast cancer patients, they are using targeted treatments and medication.

“What we’re also finding through a lot of research on a national and international level is that medications that were traditionally used for cancers, like lung cancers, now have applicability for certain types of breast cancers, especially in the metastatic setting. So, we’re really seeing a lot more in the realm of targeted therapy,” says Dr. Fiona Denham, an oncologist at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care.

Targeted therapies help in a number of ways, mostly by lessening side effects for patients in their gastrointestinal tract, numbness or weakness, and cardio issues.

“So when we have medications that are more targeted at their treatment sites related to cancer cells and how cancer cells grow and divide, then that helps to decrease those side effects which I think makes the patient experience, while they’re getting that medication, more comfortable, better tolerable. And so, they’re more likely to complete the treatment, rather than to have to stop or delay treatment because of those adverse side effects,” says Dr. Denham.

The Goshen Center for Cancer Care also offers a targeted radiation therapy. Read about Intra-operative Radiation Therapy, or IORT, here.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, some have a higher risk than others.

“This includes things like family history of breast or ovarian cancer, the patient’s age. Because we know as women get older they’re naturally at a higher risk for breast. There are certain reproduction factors we consider, such as when they started their menstrual cycle, when they had their first pregnancy, if they’re pre or post-menopausal. Breast density can be considered another risk factor.”

Dr. Denham advocates for women and men is to have breast self-awareness and look for any changes.