Published on September 11, 2015

lean on me

Someone to Lean On

At Adventist HealthCare, women with breast cancer have access to the support they need, from diagnosis to treatment

Soon after her 40th birthday, Ana Medina had her first mammogram. With no symptoms or family history of breast cancer, she was shocked when her mammogram showed a concerning mass. She was referred to the Adventist HealthCare White Oak Breast Center for an ultrasound, biopsy and consultation with breast surgeon Cynthia Plate, MD. Tests showed that the mass was cancerous. “Hearing I had cancer was very hard,” Medina says. “I have three daughters, and it was a difficult time for them.”

The encouragement of family and friends helped Medina through a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. She also had the doctors, nurses and staff at the White Oak Breast Center on her side. “A cancer diagnosis is a very scary thing,” she says, “but they made me and my family feel supported.”

Comfort in a Difficult Time

The White Oak Breast Center is committed to providing a supportive experience for women while minimizing the time to diagnosis through coordination of care. Medina received an ultrasound and a biopsy on the same day. “We were able to get Ana in and diagnosed very quickly,” Dr. Plate says. “She has been able to receive much of her care—diagnosis, support, postoperative care—all in one place. Our center has a range of resources to help women feel comfortable and at ease during what can be a very difficult and stressful time.”

For patients like Medina, the White Oak Breast Center’s nurse navigator, Michell Manu, RN, provides support from the very beginning of an abnormal finding to diagnosis, surgery and treatments. “Michell was very nice and helpful in orienting me,” Medina notes.

Through Adventist HealthCare’s comprehensive cancer services that include the White Oak Breast Center in Silver Spring and the Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical CenterAquilino Cancer Center in Rockville, patients have access to the support and resources they need. Manu and other cancer navigators are available to work with the care team to support patients and their families throughout the cancer journey.

Coordination is Key

With surgery behind her, Medina stresses the importance of annual mammograms and the benefits of coordinated care. “My cancer was detected early, and the care I received from Dr. Plate and the all-women staff at the [White Oak Breast Center] was excellent,” she says. “It was a wonderful experience, and I felt very supported.”

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