Learning you have breast cancer can be devastating. Many patients get lost in the process of what happens next. Health experts have a program that’s keeping the patient and all of their physicians on the same page throughout the entire treatment.
Liz Bachoo-Garib, a breast health nurse navigator with Lee Health, says patients are overwhelmed when they first hear they have breast cancer. “Patients just hear ‘oh my gosh I have cancer’ and that’s all that they hear. Most patients hear the word cancer and they think ‘am I going to die?’ Breast cancers are the most treatable, curable cancers, especially if they are detected early.”
Once diagnosed, patients participate in a multidisciplinary breast clinic at the Regional Cancer Center, where they can learn more about their cancer and meet their cancer team. “They also get a base line of ok this is what my diagnosis means, these are my treatment options, and this is what my plan may be,” said Bachoo.
During their clinic, patients spend a day meeting with their surgeon, oncologist, radiation oncologist, and nurses. The goal is to give them a chance to ask questions and discuss all treatment options. After meeting with the patient, the physicians then meet to discuss the best way to give the best possible care. “Every patient that comes through has been really, really happy being a part of the clinic and just feeling supported, knowing that their doctors are all there,” said Bachoo.
Throughout treatment, patients remain in touch with their cancer team in case any treatment adjustments need to be made. “They feel comfortable knowing ok all my physicians are on the same page and this is my best plan,” said Bachoo.
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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.