Cancer treatment with care in Munster

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Cancer-free: Shelley DeYoung (left), of St. John, is today cancer-free. She credits the entire team of Community Hospital experts, including Dr. Mary Nicholson, fellowship-trained breast radiologist, who stayed at DeYoung's side during her battle with the disease. | Supplied photo

It truly was the last thing 37-year old Shelley DeYoung of St. John 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.”

Mary Nicholson, M.D., fellowship-trained, dedicated breast radiologist at Community Hospital and regional director of breast imaging services for Community Healthcare System, says breast cancer is at the top of the list of a woman’s worst fears.

“We’re working to help women believe the truth that early breast cancers can be treated successfully,” she said.

A caring team

DeYoung says that treatment at the Women’s Diagnostic Center and Community Hospital was absolutely wonderful.

“I wouldn’t go anywhere else,” she says. “My nurses were all caring. Everyone was ready to help. I’m so pleased that Dr. (M. Nabil) Shabeeb, my general surgeon, 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.

“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 Cancer program has been recognized for excellence by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and the American College of Radiology (ACR). The hospital 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:

Surgeon members of American Society of Breast Surgeons

CAP “Breast Predictive Factors Testing” accreditation pathology

Radiation oncologists 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 therapists

With 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.

Community Hospital’s Women’s Diagnostic Center has two convenient locations - the Community Diagnostic Center in Munster and the Community Hospital Outpatient Centre in St. John. Appointments can be scheduled for either location by calling (219) 836-4599.

Provided by Community Healthcare System