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A UF Health breast surgeon goes the distance to save lives

Published: October 20, 2017 By: Kristen Sibbitt
Bharti Jasra, M.B.B.S. (M.D.), F.A.C.S
Fauzia N. Rana, M.D.

Dr. Bharti Jasra strives to build breast cancer awareness on and off the clock through participation in community walks and health fairs.

Most people leave work with unfinished tasks and to-do lists when the clock strikes 5 p.m. For Bharti Jasra, MD, a breast surgeon at UF Health Breast Center – Jacksonville, the mission continues.

Not only does Jasra work with patients every day to treat and surgically remove breast cancers, she also participates in community walks and events to promote breast cancer awareness. She says her patients are the drive behind her determination.

“It’s very satisfying to be able to help somebody through their struggle,” Jasra said. “And it’s really inspiring to see these women who are facing surgery and medication with smiles on their faces.”

Jasra was initially attracted to this area of medicine because of the patient population, as some women would rather discuss their medical concerns with a female surgeon.

“Often these women feel so relieved, and we can really connect,” she said. Those connections are what transformed her interest into a passion.

Jasra, along with Fauzia Rana, MD, an oncologist at UF Health Jacksonville, formed the Breast Cancer Awareness Committee to ensure there are successful and dedicated efforts in place to provide information on breast health and wellness to the community.

The committee is hosting a Breast Health Expo on Thursday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the LRC Atrium on the UF Health Jacksonville campus. The event will help educate women about the importance of early detection and inform them about resources in the community.

“Early detection improves the prognosis and survival of breast cancer,” Jasra said. “It’s a two-way process, though. We do have facilities doing mammogram screenings, imaging and breast cancer treatment, but the patient has to participate in the early detection.”

Women can’t be proactive about breast cancer if they are not aware of the signs and symptoms. This is why Jasra and 21 team members are participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk Saturday, Oct. 21, to support its mission of increasing breast cancer awareness.

“These programs educate the general population on the importance of breast self-exams and when to seek medical advice,” Jasra said. “These events also help raise funds for women who are undergoing or have completed treatment. These campaigns and walks provide social support for women who have to cope with treatment and the effects. They also provide guidance and support to women who are newly diagnosed and help them throughout their experience.”

UF Health Jacksonville has been participating in the Making Strides walk since 2013 and has raised more than $6,000. It’s another way UF Health Breast Center – Jacksonville helps patients and others undergoing medical treatment to fight this disease.

“It’s a privilege to do a job where every morning I can wake up and go to work thinking I’m being helpful, Jasra said. “My patients are a big inspiration for that, and they keep me going. I can’t think of doing anything else that would be as satisfying.”

Join the UF Health team “In the Pink Zone” at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk Saturday, Oct. 21, at Metropolitan Park. You can register to participate.

Mark your calendars for the Breast Awareness Expo Thursday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the LRC Atrium. Information will be provided on breast self-exams, nutrition, genetic counseling, community resources, and prevention and early detection, along with massages, acupuncture and Q&A sessions with UF Health physicians.

Bharti Jasra, M.B.B.S. (M.D.), F.A.C.S
Fauzia N. Rana, M.D.

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