SAMC Pushed New Approach For Breast Cancer Patients

By: Deanna Bettineschi Email
By: Deanna Bettineschi Email

Imagine you've been diagnosed with breast cancer, but won't know how to treat it for weeks?
Unfortunately, that's the reality for most women.
From the time they're diagnosed, it usually takes 14-days before doctors come up with a plan.
But the Southeast Alabama Medical Center wants to change that.

"We designed a patient centered a approach. We got a committee together and wanted to come up with the center that was very best in breast patient care.” Oncology director Melissa Lewis said.

In most cases, a patient sees several doctors in different places.
The medical center is bringing those doctors, to them.
It's all in an effort to make the visits, as stress free as possible.

“During this visit, she’ll meet with an oncologist, medical oncologist, and surgeon. These physicians will have already discussed her case prior to visiting with her and her family.” Lewis said.

Something that isn't usually done in hospitals.

“We'll have a treatment plan available for them within three to five days. We’ve had a patient that went into surgery the next day so it’s definitely decreased their anxiety.” Lewis said.

Even with the faster-paced treatment options, patient comfort isn't forgotten.

“My job is to help a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient get through treatment efficiently and in a timely manner. Answer their questions and make sure they have everything they need.” RNC health navigator LaDonna Danford said.

The s-a-m-c foundation has played a large role with getting the plan off the ground.
They've donated more than 10-thousand dollars to provide spa robes, and notebooks detailing specific treatment plans to each patient.

“That was one of the key findings was that we wanted to give that patient that piece of mind.” Lewis said.

Lewis says patients can now find out if their screenings are abnormal in 24 hours.
They can also get a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound in the same day.


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