NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Portsmouth, Va. —
Breast health is a topic that affects everyone—yet most know little about it. To shed some light on the subject, Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s (NNSY) Federal Women’s Program (FWP) brought in two speakers: Certified Breast Care Nurse and Breast Health Navigator Marguerite “Meg” Shrader from Chesapeake Regional Breast Center who spoke about breast screenings, and Lactation Consultant Karla Johnson from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth who spoke on breast feeding. Topics included self-screenings and personal action, benign and malignant breast diseases, lactation and hormonal breast changes, clinical experiences, and barriers to care.
As a breast cancer survivor herself, Shrader strives to “help women craft a good experience whether it is with their diagnosis, treatment, or survivorship.” She also said that women need to know their lumps, bumps, and general landscape of their breasts. She emphasized that the main goal of screenings is early detection. The earlier your doctor can detect cancer, the easier it is to treat.
As a mother who struggled with breast feeding because she did not have access to a lactation consultant, Johnson wanted to ensure that other mothers would not have to go through the same thing. In her presentation, she discussed the benefits of breast feeding, such as the decreased risk of asthma for the baby and the decreased chance of breast and ovarian cancer for the mother.
After the talk, the FWP awarded both health practitioners with a certificate of appreciation for their education efforts. A surprising development for the shipyard was also announced: FWP is working on a nursing mothers initiative to purchase affordable prototype trailers. The units will provide more accessible privacy to breast-feeding mothers.
For more information on breast health information and care, visit Chesapeake Regional’s related blog section at https://chesapeakeregional.com/services-specialties/breast-health or contact your health provider.