March 1, 2021
Your Guide to Genetic Testing & Counseling

At the Premier Surgical Network, we are proud to offer both genetic testing and counseling services to our patients to support them throughout their breast health journey. Our team of surgeons are here to help you every step of the way when making informed decisions about your health.

What is genetic testing?

Genetic testing is done for individuals who have a genetic predisposition for developing breast cancer in the future, such as a family history. The BRCA gene test utilizes DNA analysis to identify changes in certain genes. These mutations can signal one of the two most common breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2; Angelina Jolie and Christina Applegate raised public awareness regarding these genes. Both BRCA mutations are uncommon and make up only 5% to 10% of total breast cancer cases.  One of the genetic panels that we use is made by INVITAE, which tests for 47 genes, not just BRCA1 and BRCA2. When patients have multiple gene mutations present, their risk for breast cancer increases significantly. If you test positive for a mutation, our team of specialists can better evaluate the potential benefits of surgery and other forms of preventive treatment.

To learn more about genetic testing and to see if you may be a candidate for genetic testing, click here.

What counseling services are offered?

Upon finding out results from genetic testing, a patient may experience many different emotions if they receive a positive BRCA test result. Feeling scared, overwhelmed or upset is completely normal and your surgeon will be able to discuss all your options with you. Additionally, finding that the BRCA testing result is negative can also bring on feelings of uncertainty, or a feeling of “survivors’ guilt” if their family members either tested positive for the gene, or have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Our surgeons know how extremely difficult these emotions can be to deal with, and are here not only as your doctor, but as someone you can talk to while navigating your choices.

Patient Story

A patient of Dr. Anjeanette Brown recently underwent prophylactic mastectomies and a hysterectomy after discovering that she tested positive for a BRCA 1 mutation. Upon this discovery, she opted to have bilateral nipple sparing mastectomies and a hysterectomy to decrease her risk of developing cancer.

Many patients elect to have prophylactic, or preventative procedures for a number of reasons, the first reason being testing positive for the BRCA gene after going over their family history with their healthcare provider. Other patients choose to remove their second breast if they’ve already had cancer in the other breast, as a preventative measure for future cancers. Only after referral to the genetic counselor with an in-depth analysis, do our surgeons perform surgery. They also work with fertility doctors if the given patient is at a reproductive age.

Prophylactic mastectomies reduce the risk of developing cancer by 90 to 95% for patients with the BRCA1 or BRCA 2 mutation, so it is a great choice for patients who test positive for the gene. It also helps them reduce their anxiety or fear of developing breast cancer, so it has many psychological benefits as well.

However, our surgeons understand the psychological and emotional impact that mastectomies, prophylactic or not, can have on a patient. It is a huge decision to make and comes bearing other decisions as well, such as whether or not to undergo breast reconstruction. Our team is here for each patient throughout their breast care journey.

To schedule a consultation, please contact or office at (844)-973-0002 or visit our website premiersurgicalnetwork.com

January 31, 2021
Living a Heart Healthy Lifestyle: Tips from Premier Surgical Network

heart made of fruits and veggiesDid you know February is American Heart Month? In the US alone, about 500,000 open heart surgeries are performed each year. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in both men and women in our country. This month and all year long, our physicians encourage implementing daily practices that help create a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Check in with your diet. Making minor changes in your diet can impact your long-term health. Your diet is the best tool to use in the fight against heart disease. Even if you are in great shape currently and experiencing no heart issues, a healthy diet is the best preventative measure you can take. Implementing a diet with plenty of fruits and veggies, lean proteins like chicken or fish, whole grains, beans and legumes, and low-fat dairy products, can lead to a healthier heart.

Get regular cardiovascular exercise. Exercise of any kind is beneficial for your heart health, but cardiovascular exercise is most beneficial.  “If you are nervous about starting to exercise, I recommend to patients to start a walking program where I tell them to walk 15 minutes away from their home and then turn around and walk back,” says Dr. Desiree D’Angelo. “Do this each day, trying to go a little farther in those first 15 minutes each day. It is an easy way to start to get your heart pumping.” Always consult your physician before starting a new exercise program.

 See your primary care physician for regular checkups. Being on top of what’s going on with your health is the best thing you can do to combat any sort of illness. By going to your annual physical appointments and getting routine blood work, your doctor will be able to advise you of any changes you may need to make. “I recommend seeing your primary care physician for yearly exams and getting routine lab work to make sure their blood pressure and cholesterol are within normal level,” says Dr. D’Angelo.

Drink plenty of water. “Find a plain water that has a high mineral content. Most of the water we buy in bottles has been purified, which usually means all the electrolytes have been removed. So, it’s best to look for electrolyte water to ensure maximum hydration.

Ditch the cigarettes or vapes. Smoking is detrimental to your health and should be avoided at all costs. Throw away the cigarettes, cigars, vaping pens, etc. Smoking can destroy your heart, lungs, esophagus and can become a very deadly habit.

 Know your family history. If heart diseases run in your family, you should be aware and discuss it with your physician. Starting prevention early is a great way to combat bad genetics. Developing healthy habits can go a long way!

Know the symptoms of a heart attack. Substernal chest pain, like the feeling of someone crushing you, pain in your left arm, pain in your jaw, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, or fatigue could be a sign of a heart attack. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, dial 9-1-1 immediately.

 

For more information on American Heart Month and tips on living a heart-healthy lifestyle, click here.

 

January 4, 2021
Achieve Your Best Health with New Year’s Resolutions
As 2020 was not a year we were sad to say goodbye to, we want to start off 2021 in the best way possible! Join us in making this year a healthy and happy one with some tips from the surgeons of Premier Surgical Network.   Go to your regular or annual doctor’s appointments. Make it a point to schedule regular appointments like the doctor, dentist and eye doctor. Your body needs to be upkept and tended to in order… Read More
December 2, 2020
Effective Strategies to Beat the Winter Blues
The “winter blues” affect many people each year; this year being no exception. With the large impact that COVID-19 still has around the world, the winter months may be exceptionally difficult for many. It is imperative to keep your mental health in check during these months, and there are several ways you can boost your mood when the days are shorter and colder. Get outside when weather allows. Even though it’s less enjoyable to be outside when temperatures become frigid,… Read More
November 19, 2020
COVID-19 Breast Screening Update
Premier Surgical Network is proud to follow the American Cancer Society’s breast screening guidelines during COVID-19. While we understand that this can be a very difficult and overwhelming time for many, we would like to remind you that your breast health is a priority. Women at average risk for breast cancer should have annual screening breast mammography starting at age 45, and women ages 40-44 should also begin annual screening if they choose. During COVID-19, there has been an estimated… Read More
September 30, 2020
Breast Cancer Awareness Initiatives in NJ
Breast Cancer Awareness month is celebrated each October. Breast Cancer is something that has impacted us deeply. As breast surgeons, this month means so much to us. We strive to provide compassionate care to our patients and their families as we navigate their treatment plan, surgery, and post-operative care. Breast Cancer Awareness Month allows us all to come together to support a common goal: The fight against Breast Cancer. This month, each of our surgeons answered a very important and… Read More
September 2, 2020
Empower Yourself: Lifestyle Choices for Breast Cancer Prevention
Breast Cancer is something that has affected so many people and impacted our lives in some way or another. As with many cancers, there are several risk factors besides family history that impact this disease. On the topic of Health & Fitness Day, Dr. Ann Chuang details the correlation of breast cancer and living a healthy lifestyle. 1 out of 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.  Most of these women do not have a family history of… Read More
June 3, 2020
June is National Hernia Awareness Month
National Hernia Awareness Month is observed each June. Hernias can be described as abnormal bulges created by a weakness or a hole, usually in the abdominal wall or groin. It occurs when an internal organ, such as the bowel or bladder, extends through the wall of the muscle or tissue where it normally resides. A bulge in the abdomen or groin caused by a hernia is a common condition in both men and women and can range from pain-free to… Read More
May 15, 2020
Prioritizing Your Health: National Women’s Health Week
National Women’s Health Week begins on Mother’s Day every year to remind women to take care of themselves and to make their health a priority, especially this year with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has several recommendations including getting the suggested screenings and preventative care, which may be delayed due to the pandemic. As health care providers, we hope that we will be able to resume breast cancer screenings as soon as possible. If… Read More
March 23, 2020
Dr. D’Angelo is Recognized for Her Outstanding Leadership in the Community
Atlantic City Weekly’s “Top 40 under 40” pays tribute to South Jersey’s most impressive community leaders. We are proud to announce that the Premier Surgical Network’s Dr. Desiree D’Angelo is among the inspiring individuals who made the list. Atlantic City Weekly's “Top 40 Under 40” is all about shining a spotlight on those young professionals under 40 years of age who go above and beyond, those who not only excel at their jobs, but who thrive as inspirations to others… Read More