Breast Cancer Survivor

Hear Angie describe how the nurse navigators at North Central Baptist Hospital helped her through her journey with breast cancer. 

At the Baptist Breast Center, we want to be your home for comprehensive and compassionate breast health care. Whether you’re concerned about your risk of developing breast cancer, interested in prevention information, or have received a diagnosis of cancer and are exploring treatment options, we have the resources to help you and your loved ones. For all your questions and concerns, the Baptist Breast Center is here for you — offering high-quality breast care, centered around you.

What makes our program unique? We understand the challenges you face and while we are devoted to the fight against cancer, our focus is entirely on the personalized health care needs of you, your family and our community.

Why Choose Baptist Breast Center?

We know you have a choice when it comes to where you receive breast care. And we know that when it comes to your breast health, only high-quality care will do. Here are a few reasons why Baptist should be your first choice in breast care:

  • Dedicated and experienced nurse navigators with OCN certification to help you on your journey from diagnosis to survivorship
  • A multidisciplinary approach to the coordination of care for patients and their families
  • Multiple locations around San Antonio to provide quality breast care closer to home
  • Early detection and risk reduction for breast cancer through mammography, cancer risk assessments, genetic testing and other screenings.
  • Access to a variety of support groups and classes for breast cancer survivors and family members.
  • Coordination of services from various providers such as: cardio-oncologists, fertility specialists and physical and occupational therapists, as well as coordination of follow-up care for high-risk patients, as needed.

Cancer Patient Navigators

At Baptist Breast Center, your breast care team will include a dedicated group of doctors, nurses and specialists who will work with you to create a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. You’ll also receive your own Breast Care Nurse Navigator who is an experienced oncology nurse to walk with you on your breast health journey.

Andrea Kassem, RN, OCN, CBCN, NBC-HWC
Lead Oncology Navigator


Photo of Andrea Kassem, RN, OCN, CBCN, NBC-HWC
Kayla Byrd, RN, OCN
Oncology Nurse Navigator

Photo of Kayla Byrd, RN, OCN

Genetic Testing

Are you concerned about your cancer risk? We can help. At Baptist Health System, certified genetic counselors are available to work with you to create a personalized care plan aimed at lowering your likelihood of developing cancer or detecting cancer sooner, when it’s most treatable. Our goal is to empower you to make informed decisions based on your unique health care needs, desires and risk level.

During a genetic counseling session, you may discuss:

  • Personal and family history of all types of cancer
  • A cancer risk assessment based on personal risk factors and family history
  • Screening and risk-reducing options available to manage cancer risk
  • Identification of family members who may be at increased risk
  • Genetic testing if medically appropriate and covered by insurance

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer may not cause any symptoms in its early stages. Some breast changes can be felt, but most can be detected only with the use of imaging procedures, such as a mammogram, MRI or ultrasound. While it’s important to do breast-self exams, they are not a substitute for mammograms.

Schedule a Mammogram

Fill out a contact form and we’ll call you to refer a doctor.

If you have any of the following symptoms, see your doctor right away:

  • New lump in the breast or underarm
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
  • Irritation, itching or dimpling of breast skin
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood
  • Any change in the size of the shape of the breast
  • Pain in any area of the breast

What Do Lumps in My Breast Mean?

Lumps come in different shapes and sizes. Although lumps may point to cancer, many other conditions can cause lumps in the breast. Note that normal breast tissue can sometimes feel lumpy too. Some of the conditions that cause breast lumps are fibrocystic breasts and cysts.

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Top 9 Health Screenings for Women

We all need to have regular health screenings to make sure we are healthy and everything is on track. Having regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start, and they can help find potentially serious issues early, when your chances for treatment and a cure are better. By getting the right health screenings and treatments, you are increasing your chances for living a longer, healthier life.

What are the top health screenings I should get?

There are a number of screenings that are important, and depending on your age, health, family history and lifestyle choices, you may need to consider other screenings not listed here. However, as a general guideline, these are some of the most important exams women should be getting.

  1. Cholesterol – Over 30 percent of American adults have high cholesterol. High cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke. High cholesterol has no signs or symptoms, so it’s important to get it checked to know for sure.
  2. High blood pressure – High blood pressure is a common and dangerous condition. It’s called the “silent killer” because it often has no warning signs or symptoms. Be sure to get it checked regularly.
  3. Diabetes – Too much glucose in your blood can cause serious problems over time. This can damage your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes can also cause heart disease, stroke, and even the need to remove a limb. Have your doctor check your blood glucose, or blood sugar, regularly.
  4. Breast cancer – It’s unknown why some women get breast cancer, but there are many risk factors that include obesity, taking birth control pills and more. If you’re over age 50, it’s especially important to get a mammogram every two years. Women aged 40 to 49 should talk to their doctor about when to start and how often to get a mammogram.
  5. Cervical cancer – Cervical cancer found early may be easier to treat. So having a cancer screening can make a difference. Pap tests every three years are recommended for women ages 21–29. A Pap test and HPV test (co-testing) is recommended every five years for women ages 30-65. Or you can continue to get a Pap test alone every three years.
  6. Colorectal cancer – Colorectal cancer occurs when tumors form in the lining of the large intestine, which includes the colon and rectum. It is common in both men and women. If you’re 50 or older, you should get either a colonoscopy every 10 years or a virtual colonoscopy every five years. Alternatively, a stool-based screening can be performed every year.
  7. Skin Cancer – Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Report any unusual moles or changes in your skin to your doctor, especially if you are at an increased risk.
  8. Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis thins and weakens bones. Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but it is more common in older women. The best way to check for bone health is through a bone mineral density test.
  9. Lung Cancer – Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. More than 80 percent of the people who develop lung cancer get it from smoking. If you currently smoke, the best way to lower your risk is to quit.

Other screenings or exams may be appropriate for you. Keep an open dialogue with your doctor about your health and health risks. Your age, health and family history, lifestyle choices (i.e. what you eat, how active you are, whether you smoke), and other important factors impact what and how often you need healthcare.