October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
FAYETTEVILLE (Oct. 19, 2009) – While being treated for complications related to a blood clot, a CT scan revealed that community resident Ida “Kathy” Capes, 42, had a small cancerous lump in one of her breasts. Not only was she lucky that her cancer was detected so early, Capes also was able to take advantage of the expertise of Nicole Sroka, M.D., a Piedmont Fayette Hospital surgeon specializing in breast surgery.
“The whole experience was stunning, but I suppose God works in mysterious ways,” Capes says philosophically of the original illness that precipitated the discovery of her cancer. “If they hadn’t found the lump until later, it would have been bigger. I’d have probably had to go through worse chemo, and things could have been much, much worse.”
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Piedmont Fayette Hospital (PFH) wants to remind women of the importance of regular mammograms and self-breast exams. According to the American Cancer Society, 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women this year, and breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American women.
“This is a terribly traumatic experience,” said Sroka. “Instead of making it even more complicated by adding travel into the mix, we try to streamline everything so all our patients have to worry about is getting healthy.”
Capes was treated successfully with a lumpectomy and radiation. She tells of being thankful for two things: not having to go anywhere else for her treatment and her husband’s support.
“A lot of people don’t know how to handle the news that you have cancer, but my husband was always there when I needed him and has loved me through the whole thing,” said Capes. “I knew I wanted to grow old with him, and it was too early to leave.”
Piedmont Fayette Hospital Cancer Wellness offers “Get a Move On,” a combination nutrition and exercise program for breast cancer patients and survivors. Eligible participants will receive one-on-one nutrition and exercise consults with a registered dietitian and an exercise physiologist, both of whom specialize in the needs of breast cancer survivors. In addition to personalized nutrition and exercise plans, participants will take part in healthy-eating cooking workshops and demonstrations, and twice-weekly group exercise classes.
Piedmont Fayette Hospital plans to further simplify cancer patients’ experiences with its new comprehensive cancer center, set to break ground in November, which will bring a host of oncology services together. For more information about breast cancer prevention and detection, as well as cancer services available at Piedmont Fayette Hospital, visit fayettehospital.org.