Caring team works with Northwest Indiana breast cancer patients
Supportive: St. John resident Shelley DeYoung (center) has the support of not only her entire health-care team at Community Hospital and the Women's Diagnostic Center, but from her employers Sue and Tom Krygsheld of Illiana Heating and Air Conditioning. The owners held a fundraiser to honor DeYoung and help other local women in need of diagnostic mammograms. The event raised about $3,000. | Supplied photo
It truly was the last thing 37-year old Shelley DeYoung of St. John, Ind., expected when she finally went in for her very first mammogram at the Women’s Diagnostic Center of Community Hospital in Munster.
“I was waiting for my results, but instead was asked to come back a couple days later for an ultrasound guided-biopsy,” DeYoung says. “I wanted to know what it was that Dr. Nicholson was seeing and asked her to tell me. She said it was cancer.”
“Breast cancer is at the top of the list of a woman’s worst fears,” says Mary Nicholson, M.D., fellowship-trained, dedicated breast radiologist at Community Hospital and regional director of breast imaging services for Community Healthcare System. “We’re working to help women believe the truth that early breast cancers can be treated successfully.”
Friends recommended M. Nabil Shabeeb, M.D., FACS, general surgeon on staff at Community Hospital for the MRI and subsequent surgery, DeYoung says, but ultimately the decision was her’s. Beforehand, he wanted me to meet everyone who might possibly be on my health-care team during my cancer journey – an oncologist, plastic surgeon, radiation oncologist. He gave me the names of everyone who I might see and then let me decide if I would use them or not for my care, DeYoung says.
“Every single one of my doctors said, ‘We’re going to help you. We’re going to make you better.’ and that was HUGE,” DeYoung says.
Today, DeYoung remains cancer-free. She credits the entire team of Community Hospital experts who stayed at her side from the moment she heard it was cancer including Nicholson and Suzanne Ruiz, RN, MS, NP-C, certified breast health navigator.
“I felt very cared for,” DeYoung says. “They deeply cared about my diagnosis; they deeply cared about me.”
Community Hospital’s Breast Center is NAPBC-accredited and offers a complete range of services; a multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best available treatment options; information about ongoing cancer clinical trials and new treatment options; access to prevention and early detection programs, cancer education, and support services; and ongoing monitoring and improvements in cancer care.
Supporting this exemplary breast cancer care at Community Hospital are:
Surgeons who are members of the American Society of Breast Surgeons
CAP “Breast Predictive Factors Testing” accreditation of the Pathology department
Radiation oncologists who participate in PAAROT (Performance Assessment for the Advancement of Radiation Oncology Treatment)
A High Risk Clinic — currently the only such clinic in Northwest Indiana
A Lymphedema Clinic, with certified lymphedema therapists
‘A tremendous relief’
With the advances in same-day results reporting and the coordination and cooperation between area physicians, women, including DeYoung, generally begin treatment for breast cancer within a week or two after diagnosis, helping to save lives.
“Treatment at the Women’s Diagnostic Center and Community Hospital was absolutely wonderful,” DeYoung says. “I wouldn’t go anywhere else. My nurses were all caring. Everyone was ready to help. I’m so pleased that Dr. (Mohamad) Kassar, my oncologist, and Dr. (David) Robinson, my plastic surgeon, kept in touch with my primary care physician Dr. (Mark) Feldner. The fact that they all talked so that everyone knew what was going on and when it was going on; it was a tremendous relief.”
Working in tandem with the hospital is the Community Cancer Research Foundation which advances the detection, diagnosis, treatment, education and prevention of cancer. Through the Foundation’s efforts, residents have access to clinical research trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and major research cooperative worldwide, only closer to home in their own neighborhood. Patients have access to research for prevention and/or treatment for every stage of breast cancer.
Complementing the advanced cancer treatment options at the hospital is a support program of the Community Cancer Research Foundation, called the Cancer Resource Centre. The Centre, which is located at 926 Ridge Road in Munster, is free to anyone needing help in coping with a cancer diagnosis.
Provided by Community Healthcare System