The Compass Winter 2019 - Page 5

Managing Risk to Save Lives High-risk Breast Program uses information in a new way Advancements in technology have afforded us more patient-centric data that is actionable. Now, a team from Baylor Scott & White Health is utilizing that information to make important PHYSICIAN PROFILE Zeeshan Shah, MD Medical Director, Darlene G. Cass Women’s Imaging Center at BUMC and North Dallas predictions about breast cancer in its new High-risk Breast Program. “Up to 15 percent of women appearing at any time at a breast octor Zeeshan Shah is a More people are talking about risk, center are at a high risk for breast fellowship-trained breast imager especially with the passing of cancer­—and they don’t even realize with extensive clinical experience Henda’s Law. How does your vision complement this progress? it,” Zeeshan Shah, M.D., Medical who is board certified in diagnostic Director, Darlene G. Cass Women’s radiology from the American Board of Imaging Center at BUMC and North Radiology. With an undergraduate degree make sure that this program was personal. Dallas, said. in religion from Wabash College, Dr. Shah It’s good that more people are becoming earned a degree in medicine from the aware of risk, but we need to change the in mind, the program assesses risk, Indiana University School of Medicine. He tone. Let’s have the nurse discuss your counsels patients about reducing is the medical director for the Darlene G. risk with you face to face. Let’s give more risk factors within their control, and Cass Women’s Imaging Center at Baylor detailed information about what to do provides comprehensive, personalized University Medical Center and North Dallas. next. And then, if your risk is indeed higher Developed with these women One of the challenges for me was to based on analytics, let’s set you up with follow-up care. The program puts years of scientific findings to work for How did the idea for the High-risk Breast an additional screening modality and have women to identify and understand Program come about? a human navigate you through this. Let’s their risk factors through the use of Over the past five years, the medical make this a patient-friendly experience. new software systems that illuminate community had a change in mammography a patient’s potential for developing guidelines, and many of the guidelines What drew you to the field breast cancer, all based on complex are dependent on a woman’s individual of mammography? algorithms that integrate and analyze risk. But this struck me: Patients with a a host of risk factors. higher-than-average risk often don’t know that affects a lot of patients, and that they have this risk. The screening something can be done to help them. navigator, patients can discover guidelines are based on risk—but who is It’s just a matter of finding it! My parents and then act on that information. figuring out risk? In radiology, we are often brought me up to believe that whatever Additional testing may be conducted the first ones to inform patients of their you do in life, you should have an impact that has the potential to uncover even diagnosis, before they follow up with an beyond yourself and your home. This is an very small amounts of abnormal cells. oncologist or surgeon, so it is our mission area of medicine where I felt I could have Patients are provided counsel and to become experts on risk. an absolute impact. With the help of a dedicated The sad truth is that one in eight support from an experienced care team every step of the way. This is a definable disease process How does understanding risk help patients? women will develop breast cancer in their “We automated the process While there are some risk factors you of determining risk, and ancillary can control (quitting smoking or keeping I think of all the women around me—my technologies became available a healthy weight, for example) there are wife, Mona, and my nine-year-old twins, that let us do something with that many risk factors that you cannot alter Zoya and Sabrinah, who will one day grow information,” Dr. Shah explained. (your height, for example). So what can up, as well as other women around me. we do for those at a higher risk? Look for To think that even one of them may have is the human element. “One of it more. Find it early. Screen patients more to face this drives me to do better—for the challenges for me was to often and with different technologies than them, for everyone. My wife and I have make sure this process was we would a person with normal risk. Pair a always talked about the fact that we personal. It’s important to have a screening mammogram with a different want to have an impact on the world human face to this to make it a tool. That’s why we have to have different around us. patient-friendly experience.” screening modalities. Most important, he stresses, lifetime. That number is huge; it’s terrifying. 5 THE COMPASS / BAYLOR SCOTT & WHITE FOUNDATION NEWS / WINTER 2019