MIAMI (CBS4) — If you’ve had a baby or had friends with babies, then you’ve heard about lactation consultants. They teach women how to breast feed their newborns. Two Broward women are hoping to get lactation consultants to teach how to spot breast cancer too.

According to Dr. Mindy Williams, a breast surgical oncologist at Memorial Cancer Institute, some types of cancers may be more aggressive during pregnancy.

She wants women to know that’s not the only danger for new mothers.

“They feel a mass. They think it’s associated with lactation or with their breast feeding and they just brush it to the side. Also they’re a new mom, they’re overwhelmed, they’re trying to take care of their baby.”

For Dr. Williams, those feelings are pretty fresh. She’s a new mom.

Her daughter was born prematurely, and spent several days in the neonatal intensive care unit.

That’s where she met registered nurse and lactation consultant Marianne Cesarotti.

“I got a call that there was a mom that delivered and that needed assistance with pumping. It came to my attention that she was a breast oncologist surgeon,” explained Cesarotti.

“Marianne shared with me her history of having breast cancer. Chemotherapy and then a bi-lateral mastectomy and then radiation on top of that,” said Williams.

Through Marianne’s personal pain, they realized lactation consultants could be the first line of defense.

“Interacting with us, I think they feel a little bit more comfortable, and were readily available.”

And for the women who do find out they have cancer, Marianne has a personal message.

“They’re not unusual. They’re not alone.”

Next month Memorial Healthcare system is hosting a conference for its lactation consultants to meet with Dr. Williams and learn some extra information about breast cancer during lactation.

If it’s successful, they may formalize the program after that.

For more information about breast cancer education, diagnosis and treatment, just go to this website, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Chapter.


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