MemorialCare physicians and employees creates a larger-than-life ribbon to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Many women delay or skip their annual mammograms for various reasons. Whether the delay is due to anxiety, busy work schedules, or responsibilities at home with the family that cause women to prioritize everyone else and put themselves last. This can result in breast cancer being caught at a more advanced stage at the time of diagnosis, which makes the treatment more complex and the road to recovery more challenging.

To encourage women to prioritize their wellbeing by getting their mammogram, physicians, employees, and breast cancer survivors from the MemorialCare Breast Center at Long Beach Medical Center stood together on the first Monday in October for breast cancer awareness month.

Beth Navarro, a former patient at Long Beach Medical Center, shared her experience as a breast cancer survivor. At the time of her diagnosis, Beth was an oncology nurse at MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Medical Center. Her treatment entailed chemotherapy, mastectomy, and physical therapy. Beth gained a patient’s perspective every step of the way and it helped her relate to her patients in an even more personal way. She is thankful for the consistent reminders that she received from MemorialCare regarding appointments, as well as having the support of her mentors and physicians.

“You’re never ready to hear you have cancer,” says Beth. “Even though I have a family history of breast cancer, it was not easy to hear. But from the moment my care team saw a suspicious mark on my scans confirming that I have breast cancer, the Breast Center provided unwavering support. They gave me numerous resources and connected me to groups like the Women Guiding Women Program to help me connect with other women who have been in my shoes.”

Beth was so moved by the women who provided support to her in the Women Guiding Women Program, that she became a mentor herself. The Women Guiding Women Program provides support and peer mentoring to recently diagnosed breast and gynecologic cancer patients.

Every mammogram at the MemorialCare Breast Center at Long Beach Medical Center is read by a team of women who are sub-specialized in breast radiology. Their only focus is breast care. Research has shown that this level of training and expertise results in higher quality, more accurate mammogram findings.

“At MemorialCare Breast Center we offer the latest in diagnostics to catch these breast cancers early,” says Jessica Rayhanabad, M.D., medical director of breast surgery, MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Medical Center. “We want to give you the best opportunity for a successful outcome and the most important part of that is early detection. At the Breast Center, we pride ourselves in offering our patients the most advanced treatments available personalized exactly to their needs. We know that every woman is different, and there is no one solution to fit all needs. That’s why together, with our patients, we select a personalized treatment plan to provide them with the best possible outcome.”

Schedule a mammogram at the MemorialCare Breast Center.


Beth Navarro reunites in an embrace with her breast surgeon, Dr. Jessica Rayhanabad at the Hope Lives Here event at MemorialCare Breast Center.