Caring for those at high risk for breast cancer

Dr. Lisa Chism

By Lisa Chism, DNP, nurse practitioner in the High Risk Breast Clinic and member of the Breast Multidisciplinary Team at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center

My name is Dr. Lisa Chism and I am a nurse practitioner within the Breast Center at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center, specializing in high-risk breast care.

Wait – did I just call myself doctor? You may be asking yourself that question right now. The answer is yes! There is indeed a doctorate degree in the nurse practitioner profession. I hold that credential, having obtained it from Oakland University in 2007. I am also credentialed as a board-certified nurse practitioner and a certified menopause practitioner with the North American Menopause Society.

I have found that this additional education has improved my ability to provide high quality care in a very challenging health care environment.

It is an exciting time to be a nurse practitioner and I find my work at Karmanos’ Breast Center to be very rewarding. I also consider it a privilege to be part of the Breast Multidisciplinary Team at Karmanos, which sees every individual who comes to our hospital to be treated for breast cancer.

We offer full service, comprehensive breast services at our breast centers in Detroit and Farmington Hills, providing evaluation and treatment of various breast problems. Karmanos doctors, my fellow nurse practitioners and I work as a team to evaluate and diagnose new patients and care for breast cancer survivors who have completed their treatment. The nurse practitioners in the high risk breast clinic manage all high risk breast patients who may have a higher than normal risk of developing breast cancer.

Common breast problems we see and for which we can provide treatment include breast pain, infections, lumps or nipple discharge.

If needed, we conduct diagnostic studies including mammogram, ultrasound and breast MRI, which are done at the breast center. In addition to nurse practitioners, we have a full spectrum of other specialists at the center to assist patients, including medical oncologists, surgeons, radiologists and radiation oncologists. Highly-skilled registered nurses who specialize in oncology are also available.

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are board certified nurses who have a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing. They are prepared to provide full service nursing care and can diagnose and treat acute and chronic illness. Beginning in 2015, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing has recommended that NPs be prepared with a doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.

Considering that the American Cancer Society estimates more than 200,000 new female breast cancer cases occurred in 2010, with 7,340 of those new cases occurring to women inMichigan, there is a real need for NPs with a high level of skill to treat these new patients. The NPs who work at Karmanos are among the best in their profession!

As an NP, I continue to be committed to both my profession and the patients I care for. I am fortunate to work with such wonderfully-skilled health care professionals from various disciplines at Karmanos and look forward to taking on the challenges and rewards of my practice in the future.

For those of you interested in receiving a consultation at the Breast Center at Karmanos Cancer Center, call 1-800-KARMANOS (527-6266) or sent an e-mail to You can also visit our Web site at


1 Response to “Caring for those at high risk for breast cancer”

  1. 1 jyan philep September 11, 2011 at 10:36 am

    thats fantastic act.. I cant describe how kind you are doc.

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