Health Matters: Baptist Health clinic helps reduce cancer risk for Little Rock woman

Health Matters

If cancer runs in your family, you may be worried that you’ll get it, too.

There’s a new clinic at Baptist Health dedicated to making sure that doesn’t happen, but if it does, detecting it early enough to save your life.

Breast cancer runs in the family of 23-year-old Leah Sage.

She got a test done at the Baptist Health High-Risk Breast & Hereditary Cancer Clinic and found out she had the genetic mutation that puts her at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

“You don’t know what it means, you know,” Sage said. “It’s one of those like, I don’t have breast cancer right now, but I have something going on that I could potentially get it in the future.”

She met with her doctors to go over her options.

“And you’re kinda hit with all this, what do I do next?” Sage said.

She chose to get a double mastectomy.

“I thought about it, it took me months,” Sage said. “I hit it from all angles, is this gonna benefit me? What are the pros and cons? And I decided to do it.”

That procedure reduced her risk of getting breast cancer by 95 percent.

“It’s the most empowering thing that I’ve ever, ever done and probably will ever do,” Sage said.

Helping her through this process was nurse practitioner Julia Turner.

“It’s become a passion of mine to make sure we catch breast cancer early,” Turner said.

Turner said there’s never been a place like this before.

“I think patients have this fear and know they have a family history, but have never known what to do about it,” Turner said.

The clinic at Baptist is a place where patients concerned about family history of any type of cancer can come for peace of mind.

“It’s important that patients know we exist so that we can follow them as closely as they want to be followed,” Turner said.

“That’s the best part about having her and having a clinic like this is that it’s your home base,” Sage said.

Sage said she’s grateful for finding an advocate.

“It gave me back control in an otherwise uncontrollable situation,” she said.

This clinic isn’t just for breast cancer. It’s available for men and women to screen for any type of cancer that may run in their families.

To find out more about the clinic, visit their website at www.Baptist-Health.com.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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