Wellstar offered support to Phyliss every step of her breast cancer journey.
Passing the Baton
From the very beginning, Phyliss had a fighting spirit. She was determined to beat breast cancer and be there for her family for years to come. There was also no question about who would be on her healthcare team.
"As soon as I was diagnosed, I knew to go to Wellstar. There was a team of people supporting me there, and it was so close to home," Phyliss shared. "Wellstar made me feel like I wasn’t on this journey alone."
Wellstar quickly formed Phyliss’ care team of health experts and advocates, referring her to breast cancer specialists within the robust cancer network.
The health system’s digital patient portal, MyChart, also helped her appointments run smoothly so Phyliss could focus on her care without any added stress. In her MyChart account, all of her medical records were already together in one digital space.
"It was like passing the baton," Phyliss explained the seamless specialty care process. "With MyChart, all my health information was organized and easily accessible. I didn’t have to worry about gathering information or having a copy of my medical chart with me. It was all ready to go as soon as I came to the next appointment."
Between her devoted care team and expert treatment, Phyliss felt as though she was part of a close-knit healthcare family.
"The doctors took the time to answer my questions and told me to call if I thought of anything else when I got home. They said, ‘I don’t want you to be worried about something if I could answer your questions and ease your fears.'"
Wellstar Radiation Oncologist Dr. Sheree Brown became a key player in Phyliss’ cancer treatment. The specialist shared how Wellstar cares for each and every patient throughout the diagnosis and treatment process.
"For each patient, I present the information in an easy-to-understand way. I make sure to discuss treatment options without overwhelming them," Dr. Brown said of her approach to care. "I always allow ample time for people to ask questions to allay their anxiety."
Wellstar’s compassionate care made all the difference. Phyliss left her cancer treatment consultation with peace of mind and a concrete treatment plan in place.
Beating Breast Cancer
Phyliss’ cancer was caught at an early stage. But even so, her care team didn’t waste any time and sprang into action so Phyliss would have the best possible outcome. The medical experts quickly created a customized cancer treatment plan, which included surgery to remove the tumor and radiation to prevent the disease from returning.
Following Phyliss’ successful lumpectomy, she received daily rounds of radiation at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital. Dr. Brown led the treatment, using her knowledge and expertise to treat Phyliss’ cancer effectively.
"In Phyliss’ case, external beam radiation was delivered using the prone technique. That meant she received treatment lying face down instead of sitting up," Dr. Brown explained. "This particular process allows the breasts to hang away from the body, minimizing radiation exposure to the lungs."
Using this specialized method, Dr. Brown could target the cancer without endangering healthy tissues. For cancer patients, access to innovative treatments and technology is critical to improving their outcomes.
"Wellstar has state-of-the-art equipment available, which allows us to offer many cutting-edge cancer treatments," Dr. Brown said. "We also have multidisciplinary tumor boards to help provide comprehensive treatment plans for our patients."
The radiation sessions were a success. Now after finishing treatment and becoming a breast cancer survivor, Phyliss can focus on being there for her entire family.
Phyliss encourages women who may be putting off preventative health screenings to take the ultimate step towards practicing self-care.
"Women are the heart of the family. We make sure our loved ones are taken care of, but we need to see ourselves as important too," she said. "Don’t neglect your health. Take the time to go for your yearly physical and mammogram. It’s the cornerstone of your health."