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Director's Message October 12, 2021

Doctor Adam Robinson, Director VAPIHCS

The month of October is Breast Health Awareness Month.

I encourage both female and male Veterans to reach out to VAPIHCS for information, resources, and tools and to have conversations with their health care provider team about their breast health, including getting checked and treated for breast cancer. 

Getting regularly checked for breast cancer is important as it is the most common cancer in women (after skin cancer) and black women are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. VA leads the nation’s health care systems in providing mammograms to those who need them. VA offers state-of-the-art, coordinated care and resources for Veterans who want to get checked for breast cancer to help ensure their overall health and wellbeing.

We think of October as Breast Cancer Awareness month, and think that only women get breast cancer, but men can get breast cancer too. Breast cancer screening in not recommended for all men. However, it is recommended for some men at increased risk of breast cancer.  Men have breast tissue, and breast symptoms in men can also present as a lump or swelling, skin dimpling or puckering of the breast, nipple retraction (turning inward), notice redness or scaling of the nipple and even discharge from the nipple. Like women, men should be familiar with their breasts and chest wall tissue, so if they feel something abnormal, or notice something abnormal, they should schedule an appointment with their PACT Team and discuss their concerns. A discussion with their PACT Team Provider, will determine if a mammogram is needed. The American Cancer Society has excellent male and female breast cancer awareness information, and the VA adopted the American Cancer Society mammogram screening guidelines in 2017.

Both men and women can call to schedule a mammogram Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with our radiology department 808-433-7629.

VA recognizes that some Veterans may be concerned about their breast cancer risk amid the COVID-19 outbreak or may have missed their regularly scheduled mammogram due to COVID-19. Veterans can reach out to our Women Veterans Program Manager or VA health care provider team for additional information at 1-800-214-1306, press 8, then press 1.

Our clinics will be closed Saturday Oct. 9, and Monday, Oct. 11, in observance of Columbus Day. The curbside pharmacy will remain open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday October 9.

One Team, One Ohana!
Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MD, MBA, CPE
Director, VA Pacific Islands Health Care System
36th Surgeon General, USN

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