New site helps makes breast disease understandable to its victims

LatinaLista — Breast cancer has one of the highest rates of awareness among women but is still one of the least understood diseases.

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That realization hit Houston-based Dr. J.B. Askew, Jr., a pathologist specialized in breast pathology, during a Q & A session with attendees at some community classes he was speaking to regarding breast cancer and breast disease.

“I was astonished by the number and level of questions about the pathology report that I received from breast cancer and benign breast disease patients in the audience,” Dr. Askew said. “I realized that something very important was missing in the understanding of these women. They needed an explanation of how their diagnosis was determined, not in clinical language, but in terms that they could understand — and the significance to them personally of the information in the pathology report.”

Dr. Askew knew that if women in these classes had questions then women everywhere might. To help make sense of a breast disease diagnosis in everyday language, Dr. Askew created the web site Breastpath.

At Breastpath, visitors receive a complete explanation of what a traditional pathology report is; responses to a list of frequently asked questions; images of cells found in various levels of breast cancer; articles written by guest medical professionals; and a list of recommended books on the subject.

Dr. Askew also offers free consultations for people who have questions about their pathology reports.

While informative and thorough, the site also strives to reassure visitors by reminding that 80 percent of breast disease is actually benign. For the other 20 percent who do have breast disease, the site attempts to provide all the information a person needs to know with what’s going on in their bodies and share with them the kind of terms they will hear used by their doctors so they can participate fully in their treatment and get back on a healthy path.

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