LeConte’s Healthy Lifestyles is a health and wellness publication printed twice a month in local newspapers serving Sevier County and South Knoxville. And here online! We hope you find this information healthful.
Table of Contents
Image is Everything
Mark Your Calendars!
High-tech Care. Hometown Service. National Recognition.
Breast Health: Three-Step Plan for Preventive Care
Swimming Lessons Save Lives™
Facts About Water Safety and Drowning Prevention
WLSL Water Safety Tips
Join us for Water Safety Day!
Download this edition
Advancements in mammography screening technology have brought about the evolution of 3D mammography, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis. With standard mammography – or 2D mammography – the detection of breast cancer can be made more difficult by the limits of the “flat” imagery. These limitations allow some breast cancers to hide behind healthy tissue, while normal tissues, stacked on top of each other, may create a shadowy or cloudy image which can appear to be cancer.
With 3D mammography, the images of the breast are taken in slices which present a more three-dimensional visual of the breast. The radiologist can see all around and between the breast tissues with greater clarity than ever before.
Digital breast tomosynthesis uses a low-dose, short X-ray sweep around the compressed breast with only nine low-dose exposures. This technique is designed to provide crisp and distinct images that do not overlap one another, which represents a limiting factor in standard 2D mammography. However, the dosing of this unique technique is equivalent to that of the 2D mammography while providing a higher level of quality imaging.
Similarly, the screening routine for 3D mammography is no different than for 2D. Preparation tasks such as not wearing deodorant or jewelry are the same, as is the positioning of the breast during the actual exam. The differences relate only to the quality of the finished images.
Because of this higher quality imaging, 3D mammography is also beneficial for women with dense breasts. Women with dense breasts are between four to six times more likely to develop breast cancer; however, for these women, cancer detection can be more challenging — especially with the limitations of traditional mammography. Now, this unique three-dimensional screening provides the same clinical applications as traditional mammography for any type of breast, including dense breasts, but with more defined images which may help to detect cancer earlier.
Currently, 3D mammography is covered by Medicare and many other insurances – but not all. To ensure coverage, you should check with your insurance provider. If insurance coverage is not available, the upfront cost is $80 – split as two separate fees: a $35 fee from LeConte Medical Center and a $45 radiology fee. You have a choice between choosing 3D or 2D mammography for your screening.
A physician referral is not required for tomosynthesis. To schedule an appointment, call LeConte Comprehensive Breast Center at (865) 446-8000.
LeConte Comprehensive Breast Center is one of several Covenant Health Breast Centers of Excellence to begin offering this advanced screening tool.
Water Safety Day & World’s Largest Swimming Lesson
Friday, June 24
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Join health and safety experts at Dollywood’s Splash Country for a day of fun and education.
Christmas in July Sale
Monday, July 18
8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Join hospital volunteers as they host a special gift shop clearance sale in the hospital classrooms. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Evening of Elegance: Days of Wine and Roses
Saturday, August 13
Join the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation for its annual formal fundraiser held at the Sevierville Convention Center. For more information or to reserve your tickets call
Your 40th birthday is an important milestone in your health journey. If you have no personal or family history of breast cancer, American College of Radiology Guidelines recommend you begin having annual screening mammograms at this age.
Your yearly mammogram is too important to entrust to anyone other than a nationally recognized practice devoted to your breast health—and that’s precisely what you’ll find at the LeConte Comprehensive Breast Center. Located in the Dolly Parton Center for Women’s Services adjacent to LeConte Medical Center, the LeConte Comprehensive Breast Center is one of a few select centers in Tennessee to be named a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology’s (ACR) Commission on Quality and Safety and Commission on Breast Imaging.
Emily Burdick, MD, breast radiologist at the LeConte Comprehensive Breast Center, leads a team that includes an all-female staff of sonographers, technologists, and other personnel. Patient navigators are also available to help educate women who are diagnosed with breast cancer about what to expect throughout their journey with the disease.
“Mammograms play a very important role in the detection of the earliest stages in breast cancer. Getting a mammogram can be somewhat overwhelming for women,” explained Candace Wedlock, breast center supervisor and patient navigator. “Here at LeConte we put our patients at ease by explaining as much as we can about the exam and making sure our patients get results as quickly as possible, if not the same day. Receiving a yearly mammogram is so easy, and it can also save your life.”
More than Mammography
The LeConte Comprehensive Breast Center is certified by the ACR for digital mammography and all other imaging services it offers:
- Ultrasound is a type of imaging that can be used to better examine an abnormality detected during a clinical breast exam or mammogram.
- Cyst aspiration is an image-guided procedure performed to drain fluid from a breast cyst.
- Ultrasound-guided core biopsy, removes core samples from an abnormal area of the breast using a needle.
- Stereotactic core biopsy, directed by mammography, removes a small sample of breast tissue without surgery.
- Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a type of imaging test that can reveal more details of the breast’s anatomy than other imaging exams
- MRI-guided breast biopsy is one of several types of breast biopsies providers can perform to extract a sample of breast tissue to check for the presence of cancer.
The Breast Center also offers bone densitometry, a radiological exam that measures bone density and is used to diagnose osteoporosis.
If you’re age 40 or older and haven’t had your first screening mammogram, don’t wait another day to schedule. Breast cancer is easiest to treat when detected in its early stages. By taking time to be proactive about your health, you won’t just be helping yourself— you’ll be helping the people who love and depend on you, too.
To make an appointment for a mammogram at LeConte Comprehensive Breast Center call (865) 446-8000.
The thought of having breast cancer is frightening to everyone, and especially devastating to women. However, ignoring the possibility that you may develop breast cancer or avoiding the processes to detect cancer can be dangerous.
Although there are some women who are at higher risk, the fact is that all women are at risk for breast cancer. That’s why it’s so important to follow this three-step plan for preventive care. Although breast cancer can’t be prevented at the present time, early detection of problems provides the greatest possibility of successful treatment.
What is the three-step plan?
Routine care is the best way to keep you and your breasts healthy. Although detecting breast cancer at its earliest stages is the main goal of routine breast care, other benign conditions, such as fibrocystic breasts, are often discovered through routine care.
Step 1. Breast Self-Examination
The American Cancer Society says that breast self-exams are an option for women ages 20 and older as a means of familiarizing themselves with their breasts so they can notice changes more easily. Breast self-exams should be done regularly at the same time every month. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and limitations of self-exams. Regular breast self-exam teaches you to know how your breasts normally feel so that you can more readily detect any change. Changes may include:
- Development of a lump
- A discharge other than breast milk
- Swelling of the breast
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Nipple abnormalities (such as pain, redness, scaliness, turning inward)
If you notice any of these changes, see your health care provider as soon as possible for evaluation.
Step 2. Clinical Examination
A breast examination by a physician or nurse trained to evaluate breast problems should be part of a woman’s physical examination.
The American Cancer Society recommends:
Between ages 20 and 39, women should have a clinical breast examination by a health professional every three years.
After age 40, women should have a breast examination by a health professional every year.
Women should talk with their doctors/health care providers about their personal risk factors and make a decision about whether they should have a clinical breast exam.
A physical breast examination by a physician or nurse is very similar to the procedures used for breast self-examination. Women who routinely practice self-exams will be prepared to ask questions and have their concerns addressed during this time.
Step 3. Mammography
Mammography is a low-dose X-ray of the breasts to find changes that may occur. It’s the most common imaging technique. Mammography can detect cancer or other problems before a lump becomes large enough to be felt, as well as assist in the diagnosis of other breast problems. However, a biopsy is needed to confirm the presence of cancer.
Experts have different recommendations for mammography. Current American College of Radiology guidelines recommend screening mammograms every year beginning at age 40 for women at average risk for breast cancer. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also recommend annual clinical breast exams. Women should talk with their doctors/health care providers about their personal risk factors before making a decision about when to start getting mammograms or how often they should get them.
A diagnostic mammogram may be required when a questionable area is found during a screening mammogram.
Women who may be at increased risk for breast cancer should talk with their physicians/health care providers about whether to begin having mammograms at an earlier age.
Swimming Lessons Save Lives™
Largest Simultaneous Swim Lesson Sends Message to Millions Around the Globe
On Friday, June 24, 2016, tens of thousands of kids and adults at aquatic facilities around the world, including Dollywood’s Splash Country, will unite for the seventh year in a row to set a new Guinness World Record™. The global record attempt for The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ (WLSL) will take place at 10 a.m.
Team WLSL holds the current Guinness World Record™ for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson, which stands at 38,170 participants representing 22 different countries! Since its inception, more than 155,000 children and adults have participated in WLSL lessons, generating more than half-a-billion media impressions about the vital importance of learning to swim.
Tragically, drowning remains the leading cause of unintended injury-related death for children ages 1-5, and the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children ages 1 to 4, yet many kids do not receive formal swimming or water safety training.
Dollywood’s Splash Country will be serving as an official host location facility for the WLSL 2016 event, and will begin registration at 9 a.m. on June 24. The park will open at 10 a.m. Paid admission to the park is required to participate. Parents are invited to learn more about this phenomenal event by visiting WLSL.org.
How big is the problem?
Unintentional drowning killed 1,027 U.S. children in 2010. More children ages 1 to 4 die of drowning each year than of any other cause except birth defects. Drowning rates also vary by race; African American children 5 to 14 years old drown at three times the rate of Caucasian children. The drowning rate in swimming pools, usually considered the safest place for recreational swimming, is five times higher for African American children in comparison to Caucasian children.
Half of all patients treated for drowning in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for additional care, and many are left with permanent disabilities from brain injuries. Hospital care does not substantially change the outcomes of drowning, which is why prevention is critical.
From 2005-2009, there were about 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States – about 10 deaths per day. An additional 347 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.
About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
Nonfatal drowning can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).
Who is most at risk?
Males: Nearly 80 percent of people who die from drowning are male.
Children: Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. In 2009, among children ages 1 to 4 who died from an unintentional injury, more than 30 percent died from drowning.
Minorities: Between 2005 and 2009, the fatal unintentional drowning rate for African Americans was significantly higher than that of whites across all ages.
Factors such as the physical environment (e.g., access to swimming pools) and a combination of social and cultural issues (e.g., valuing swimming skills and choosing recreational water-related activities) may contribute to the racial differences in drowning rates.
Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children ages 1-4 years.
This data, along with other research on drowning prevention and water safety, can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
Learn to swim: Swimming Lessons Save Lives™ – the best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. This includes both adults and children. Note: The American Academy of Pediatrics now supports swimming classes after the age of 1 if the child is emotionally and developmentally ready.
Never leave children unattended: Parents are the first line of defense in keeping kids safe in the water. Never leave children unattended near water, not even for a minute. If your child’s in the water, you should be too! Constant, careful supervision and barriers such as pool fencing are necessary even when children have completed swimming classes.
Read all posted signs: Follow posted safety rules and warnings. Teach kids that being safe in and around the water is a personal responsibility – yours and theirs.
Never swim alone or in unsupervised places: Teach your children to always swim with a buddy.
Wear a life jacket: If you or a family member is a weak or non-swimmer, wear a life vest. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about and many facilities provide them at no charge.
Look for lifeguards: It is always best to swim in an area supervised by lifeguards, but remember, lifeguards are the last line of defense when all other layers of protection fail.
Don’t drink alcohol: Avoid alcoholic beverages before or during swimming, boating or engaging in other water-related activities. Never drink alcohol while supervising children around water. Teach teenagers about the danger of drinking alcohol while swimming.
Spit it out: Teach kids not to drink pool water. To prevent choking, never chew gum or eat while swimming, diving or playing in water.
Avoid water wings: Do not use air-filled swimming aids (such as “water wings”) in place of life jackets or life preservers with children. Using air-filled swimming aids can give parents and children a false sense of security. These air-filled aids are toys and are not designed to be personal flotation devices.
Watch out for the dangerous “toos” and don’t take risks: Don’t get too tired, too cold, too far from safety, exposed to too much sun or experience too much strenuous activity. Don’t take chances by overestimating your swimming skills.
Note the weather: Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.
Use sunscreen: Apply sunscreen on all exposed skin to ensure maximum skin protection. Hats, visors and shirts are recommended to prevent overexposure.
Keep toddlers in shallow play areas: Zero-depth entry pools have water games, sprays and fountains with no appreciable water depth.
Follow age and height instructions as well as health restrictions: Restrictions apply to many rides and attractions at pools and waterparks. Size and coordination is critical to safety inside open water flumes. Guests with neck or back problems, heart conditions, prevalence toward motion sickness or pregnancy should not ride high-speed or rapid-descent rides.
Use plastic swim diapers: Many pools require them. Note where changing areas are located and use these designated, sanitized changing spots.
Friday, June 24 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
at Dollywood’s Splash Country
Join us for a day of fun in the sun and learn all about summer safety including:
- Water Safety
- Skin Cancer Prevention
- Emergency First Aid
- Child Safety
- Recognizing Signs of Stroke
- Much More
9 – 9:45 a.m.: Register for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™
10 a.m.: Participate in the record-breaking World’s Largest Swimming Lesson in the Wave Pool at Dollywood’s Splash Country.
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Water Safety Day booths open. Complete your “Splash Pass” by visiting all of the safety booths, and be entered into a grand prize drawing.
Dollywood’s Splash Country will be open 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Paid park admission is required to participate in Water Safety Day activities.