Breast Cancer Program Accreditation Pursuit Brings About Important Changes at the Floyd Memorial Cancer Center of Indiana

March 8, 2012

Anxiety and fear are recurring themes in breast cancer patients, but they needn’t be for those seeking treatment at the Floyd Memorial Cancer Center of Indiana. That’s because we’re striving to become the first and only American College of Surgeons’ National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) facility in Southern Indiana. Read on to learn more about what this means for our patients.

Multidisciplinary Panel of Experts

While a multidisciplinary ‘Tumor Board’ to discuss cancer cases at length and develop optimal treatment plans has been in place for many years, 2012 ushered in a new type of review board for breast cancer cases in particular. The Breast Cancer Conference is made up of a team of experts who meet bi-weekly to review cases and make treatment recommendations for each and every breast cancer patient.

Julie Hutchinson
“As a general surgeon, I’m often the first person to deliver a breast cancer diagnosis to a patient. Statistics tell us that when people are given shocking news, they remember less than 50 percent of what they’re told. But I can assure you it’s often even less than that, which is why we’re so thrilled to have a breast cancer nurse navigator on board. She is the patient’s advocate from the moment of diagnosis, making sure they don’t miss a single beat.”

Julie Hutchinson, MD

Board Certified General Surgeon
Floyd Memorial Medical Group-Surgery
Anthony Dragun
“The treatment of breast cancer is becoming more and more successful. However, it’s also getting more and more complicated. The success that has been achieved has been in coordinating multiple treatment modalities, including chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy and hormonal therapy. So our challenge is to find methods to tie these specialists together to coordinate our efforts and make sure that each patient is getting the optimal course of treatment for their specific condition.”

Anthony Dragun, MD

Board Certified Radiation Oncologist
Floyd Memorial Cancer Center of Indiana
Assistant Professor & Vice-Chairman of Radiation Therapy
U of L School of Medicine
Firouzeh Rabbani
“A large component of what we are doing is to help breast cancer patients become partners in their care and the decision making process. When patients fully understand their options and actively participate in the decision-making and treatment planning process, they have a feeling of ownership that helps them complete their otherwise sometimes lengthy treatment.”

Firouzeh Rabbani, MD, BA, FRCPC

Board Certified Medical Oncologist
Floyd Memorial Cancer Center of Indiana
Kristy Helm
“I’ve been an oncology nurse for over 33 years, and one of the things I’ve noticed is that it’s easy for breast cancer patients to feel lost during their cancer journey. It can be an extremely overwhelming, scary process. Knowing that they have someone who will guide them along the way and make sure they don’t get lost in the shuffle is extremely comforting. And I’m honored to do it.”
Kristy Helm, RN, OCN
Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator
Floyd Memorial Cancer Center of Indiana

The conference gives patients access to input from multiple specialists at one time, simplifying the treatment planning process, and providing several viable options to choose from, each tailored to their unique needs. It includes representation from:

  • Medical oncology
  • Radiation oncology
  • General surgery
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Pathology
  • Radiology
  • Physical therapy
  • Dietitians
  • Social workers
  • Oncology nursing
  • Diagnostic imaging technologists

Clinical Research & Trials

Participation in clinical research and trials is something that many breast cancer patients feel personally called to. As women, they often possess a strong desire to prevent future generations from having to deal with their own struggles. As part of the process of becoming an accredited breast cancer program, the Cancer Center will be conducting numerous original clinical research studies and trials so patients can rest assured that not only will they have the most up-to-date care available, they’ll also be able to provide for the health of future generations at the same time.

Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator

Just what is a breast cancer nurse navigator? To put it simply-a breast cancer patient’s best friend. As Kristy Helm, RN, OCN, breast cancer nurse navigator at the Floyd Memorial Cancer Center of Indiana, explained, “I will be each patient’s advocate and point person from the moment of diagnosis. When they receive that news, I’ll be by their side taking notes on what the surgeon is telling them, so that we can discuss the particulars later when they’ve recovered from the shock. I’ll help them decide on a treatment plan, and make their appointments so that they don’t have to worry with it. I’ll evaluate their needs for complementary therapies such as massage, physical therapy and counseling. I’ll connect them with financial planning experts and give them information on support groups and survivors that they can meet with. I’ll even ensure that they are taken care of after they’ve gone into remission, since so many patients are struck with a sense of loneliness at the end of their journey.”

Kristy continued, “As the sister of a breast cancer survivor, I have a special place in my heart for these patients, and have witnessed someone I love experience what they’re going through. They can rest assured that they will never lack for compassion and caring at our center.”

Susan G. Komen for the Cure
The new Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator position may not have been possible without the support of the Louisville affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which generously granted $50,000 to the Floyd Memorial Cancer Center of Indiana. The funds were granted to launch a comprehensive community initiative to increase the early detection of breast cancer through education and reduction of barriers to mammography screenings and treatment, which included the hiring of a breast cancer nurse navigator to assist patients along the way. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to this community landmark for their continued support.

Schedule Your Mammogram at Floyd Memorial’s Women’s Imaging Center
The Women’s Imaging Center is open extended hours with evening and Saturday appointments available. Call (812) 949-5570 for an appointment.

Visit the Floyd Memorial Cancer Center of Indiana and Get a Free Gift!
Come to the Cancer Center with your HealthScope magazine in-hand, and we’ll give you a free breast cancer awareness pink ribbon reusable grocery bag! Quantities are limited and bags will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Must present this offer to receive a bag.

Support Groups

Look Good…Feel Better

Monday, March 26, April 23 and May 28, 6 pm
Floyd Memorial Cancer Center of Indiana

This American Cancer Society class provides volunteer cosmetologists who teach make-up techniques and ways to disguise hair loss to women who are battling cancer. Registration deadline is Thursday, March 22, April 19 and May 24. To register, call (502) 560-6035.

Breast Cancer Support Group

Second Thursday of every other month, 7 pm
Floyd Memorial Paris Health Education Center

Contact: Pat Kasse, (812) 948-1215

Angels of Hope Cancer Support Group

First and third Thursday of each month, 6:45 – 8 pm
Floyd Memorial Cancer Center of Indiana

Contact: Helen, (812) 945-4000 ext. 6231

Cancer Caregiver Support Group

First and third Thursday of each month 6:45 – 8 pm
Floyd Memorial Cancer Center of Indiana

Contact: Helen, (812) 945-4000 ext. 6231

Together for Breast Cancer Survival: A Men’s Caregiver Support Group

Fourth Tuesday of each month, 6:30 pm
Floyd Memorial Cancer Center of Indiana

Contact: Doug Drake (812) 945-4393, www.cosurvivors.org