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Breast Cancer

With you every step of the way

Breast cancer specialists throughout the Community Healthcare System work collaboratively to provide patients with comprehensive cancer treatment and support services from screening to survivorship. This team offers exceptional coordination so newly diagnosed patients can be seen by multiple specialists soon after diagnosis to fully explore their options for care. To help with this process of getting quick referrals, Breast Health Navigators at all three hospitals will make appointments, coordinate follow-up testing and get questions answered. With the help of the Breast Health Navigators, patients can generally be seen by a surgeon and medical oncologists within two weeks.

Community Healthcare System offers patients access to the latest great cancer treatments, including advances being made through research. Treatment recommendations, which are based on the type of breast cancer, its stage, grade and type, can include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. Our oncologists use genetic and molecular profiling to identify which early stage cancers may be at high risk for recurrence. Tumor conferences held at all three hospitals bring together physicians and other breast cancer treatment specialists in a multidisciplinary manner to discuss cases and reach a consensus on a treatment plan. This focus on multidisciplinary care is exemplified by our national accreditations from the American College of Surgeon’s.

Through the Community Cancer Research Foundation, patients can access clinical trials for all stages of breast cancer. The Cancer Research Foundation was the first in Northwest Indiana to offer access to novel treatments such as the use of Herception that has significantly improved survival for women with HER2 positive breast cancer. Today, the research foundation is offering access to trials using immunotherapies for triple negative breast cancers and targeted therapies for HER2 positive breast cancers. Our oncologists serve as principal investigators for breast cancer trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and major research cooperatives around the globe. Through this participation in research, our patients can be treated close to home while accessing the latest advances being made in cancer research.

Our comprehensive care includes preventative therapies, helping individuals who have a higher risk of developing breast cancer because other members of their family have had particular cancers. The high-risk breast clinics located at our Women’s Diagnostic Centers helps patients be proactive in their care, with on-site screening, educational services and genetic counseling.

Our cancer care focuses on treating the whole person – mind, body and spirit. To help patients and their loved ones cope with a diagnosis of breast cancer, we offer free, education and mind-body programs such as yoga, tai chi, reiki and art therapy through the Cancer Resource Center in Munster, as well as classes at our hospitals. A professionally-led breast cancer support group enables patients and their loved ones to share their unique experiences with others who are coping with a similar diagnosis. A free lending library at the Cancer Resource Center enables patients to check out books and video tapes as well as use computers to conduct their own research.

Cancer care is complex, and it can be difficult to know where to start, where to turn to for help. As a free service to our patients, Breast Navigators are available to connect patients with services and resources at any point in their care – whether newly diagnosed, in treatment or through survivorship. To connect with a Navigator, call:

Community Hospital Breast Health Navigator: 219-934-8869
St. Catherine Hospital Breast Health Navigator: 219-392-7346
St. Mary Medical Center Breast Health Navigator: 219-947-6835

For patients who have completed their treatment at Community Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center, a navigator is available to assist with survivors and their follow-up care:
Breast Cancer Survivor Nurse Navigator: 219-836-6875