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Tell us about yourself- your background and what led you to become a breast surgeon?

Dr. Erin Bowman is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native, who graduated from Spelman College in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She now considers Atlanta to be her second home. Upon receiving her degree, she returned to Philadelphia to complete a Masters in Biological Science at MCP Hahnemann University before heading to Boston University School of Medicine, where she earned her Medical Degree. Dr. Bowman eventually found her way back to Atlanta for surgical training at Morehouse School of Medicine. Following her general surgery residency, Dr. Bowman completed a Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine. She is now managing partner and owner of Atlanta Breast Care in Atlanta, GA.

I always knew I wanted to practice in a field that involved women’s health. Growing up, I thought I would become an obstetrician-gynecologist. During my medical school training at Boston University, I realized I wanted to do surgery and specialize in a field where I would make a difference in a woman’s life. With breast surgery, I specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the breast. I enjoy the challenge of effectively treating breast disease while minimizing scarring and preserving a woman’s sense of self.

From your experience, what kind of emotional support can be given to Breast Cancer patients to help them through their treatment?

Caregivers can provide a variety of emotional support to their loved ones going through cancer treatment. It is a difficult time and most likely an enormous change in the patient’s life. Trying to maintain some form of “normalcy” is key to a lot of patients going through treatment. They want to be treated the same as well. So don’t be “afraid of what to say.” Be available to listen without offering opinion unless asked upon. Sometimes a patient may just want to have a cry-it-out or screaming session to release tension and just want you to be a sounding board. Many people will never ask for help even though they need it. Help her with practical things like cooking a meal, grocery shopping, housekeeping or driving to medical appointments. Offer to watch children or walk the dog. A simple check in by phone or text on a routine basis can also go a long way for many patients.

Therapy is also available for patients. I encourage patients to seek counseling from a licensed practitioner when seeking support.

Share an encouraging message with a patient who’s going through treatment.

You are stronger than you know! Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t give up on your life. Find your medical team who will be there fighting with you every step of this journey from diagnosis through survivorship.

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