Written by on 6/17/2014 8:00:00 AM
This is the second post in a four-part blog series. Stacy Costa is a breast cancer survivor who was treated at Community Regional Cancer Care Center. One year into survivorship, she credits Dr. Robert Goulet and her breast cancer team for her survival.
Community Cancer Care provides breast health navigators to patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast health navigators are available to answer questions concerning breast health, provide education and support, coordinate care as needed, and prepare breast cancer patients for survivors
“I had three nurse navigators, Natalie, Sharlee and Tracy,” said Costa. “I think I’ll be seeing Dr. Goulet, Dr. Walling and the wonderful ladies of my breast care team on and off for the rest of my life.”
Breast health navigators provide continuity for patients and their families throughout their healthcare experience, during what can be a very stressful time in a woman’s life.
“Natalie calmed me down when I first learned of my diagnosis and had so many decisions to make,” said Costa. “I had a lot of questions and concerns. She tackled each one and we got answers together. It didn’t matter how crazy the question was, she delivered the answers in ways that I could manage them.”
Breast health navigators also provide assistance with appointments, surgery preparations and at treatments. continue reading ...
Written by on 6/3/2014 6:00:00 AM
Courtney Larson was performing a breast self-exam when she discovered a suspicious lump. Concerned, she followed up with her physician. A diagnostic mammogram was performed and revealed Larson had breast cancer.
"I went in on for my mammogram on a Thursday and was diagnosed with cancer that same day," said Larson.
Within a day of her diagnosis Larson had a dedicated cancer care team ready to help her fight her cancer.
"Following my diagnosis Dr. Erin Zusan, breast surgeon at Community Health Network, arranged a family meeting," said Larson. "My husband and family members were able to ask all of their questions up front and be on the same page prior to the start of my treatment. Dr. Zusan even left her own family during that time to come and comfort me in my time of need. That was the start of a great relationship."
By the time Larson left that first meeting she had all appointments scheduled and a comprehensive treatment plan outlined.
"I didn't have to make a single phone call to set up an appointment or worry about communicating between each of my doctors," said Larson. "Community took care of all of that. There was a clear plan of attack, and that was a huge relief."
Not only did Courtney have the support of Dr. Zusan, but a nurse navigator who accompanied her to every appointment to take notes, answer questions and provide advice.
"The first time I met Sharon (my nurse navigator) she walked into the room and said to me, 'We're going to be sisters and I'm going to get you through this'," said Larson.
And Larson got through it. continue reading ...
Written by on 4/16/2014 3:30:00 PM
Community Cancer Center South will open to the public tomorrow! Located on the Community Hospital South campus this facility is approaching cancer care in new ways.
At our new cancer center we have combined a multidisciplinary team of medical experts with state-of-the-art technology in a healing environment – all under one roof. Our coordinated approach to care enables patients to see all their care providers at one place, saving time and reducing the need for multiple appointments. Patients are supported by a team that includes an oncology social worker, oncology dietitian, financial counselors and dedicated patient navigators.
Executive Director at Community Cancer Center South, Regina Ward, and Community Health Network CEO, Bryan Mills, talk about the unique approach our facility takes to cancer care.
Visit our website for more information about Community Cancer Center South.
Written by on 2/13/2014 1:15:00 PM
There's a lot of chatter in the news about whether or not mammograms are useful at detecting breast cancer. A recent study by the British Medical Journal reported that screening mammograms could lead to overdiagnosis and treatment. We know you have questions, so we asked our experts to weigh in.
“Personalized medicine and empowering women with the right information is what we do,” said Robert J. Goulet, M.D., FACS, Community Breast Care specialist and an MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician. “Breast cancers grow slowly, and that gives women the opportunity to become well informed and not make rash decisions. That’s not to say that we don’t react quickly to, we do, as attested by our 24-hour appointment response to each call we receive from a patient at Community.”
Many breast cancers are actually detected by mammograms before any symptoms appear and can help women who are diagnosed early increase their risk of survival. So, our physicians recommend asking yourself five questions to start to determine your cancer risk and get to know symptoms of breast cancer.
There are other risk factors including regular alcohol consumption, long-term use of supplemental estrogen and progestin menopausal hormone therapies. Postmenopausal women who are obese but have not used hormone therapy are also at high risk.
- Do you have a history of radiation treatment to the chest for any medical condition?
- Do you have a genetic mutation linked to breast cancer? Gene abnormalities include BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, or the syndromes Li-Fraumeni, CDH1, Cowden’s, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba.
- Do you have a history of lobular neoplasia (LCIS) or atypical ductal Hyperplasia (ADH)? Also, called LCIS, this condition is not considered breast cancer, but a risk factor. LCIS is an area of abnormal cell growth in the lobules (the milk-producing glands at the end of breast ducts) that begins in the breast tissue and remains in the lobule and does not spread.
- Do you have a family history of breast cancer? And if so, were these women diagnosed before the age of 50?
- Know your reproduction and menstrual history. Did you begin your period before the age of 12, start menopause after the age of 55, have your first-full term pregnancy after the age of 30, or never had a full-term pregnancy or are obese after menopause?
After answering these five questions, you can actually calculate your risk of developing breast cancer using the American Cancer Society's calculator. The NCI breast cancer risk calculator and other online surveys are a tool to getting better informed, but Community Breast Care specialists say it’s just a starting point.
“These are exciting times for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr. Goulet. “We have the latest, cutting-edge tests onsite including second generation genetic testing. It’s truly ‘STAR WARS' medicine and we have the ability to make a confident diagnosis within 48-72 hours. Now, add our affiliation with the MD Anderson Cancer Network™ and patients are getting an expertise in breast care like none before." continue reading ...