She’s only in her mid-30s and awaiting test results to determine if her breast cancer is genetic. The waiting is the hardest part, especially when you have kids, especially when you don’t know what to expect.
The patient came to the right place – the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center’s Breast Health Center at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. “The Disney” is the only comprehensive cancer center in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding communities.
“We’re seeing more and more younger patients. Many have kids,” said Erwin Grussie, M.D., a hematologist and oncologist, who will tailor the latest treatments to meet this patients’ individual needs. “There’s a lot of anxiety. The unknown is more scary than someone taking the time to explain to you what comes next.”
At Providence, care begins with compassionate guidance through diagnostics, results, care and treatment, all coordinated by a nurse navigator who works with doctors, schedulers, social workers and even family members. The Breast Health Center offers the latest advances in cancer care, access to ground-breaking clinical trials, genetics testing and Eastern therapies including yoga and acupuncture.
The entire care team embraces the Providence promise: Know me, care for me,
ease my way.
Providence Has L.A. Covered For Breast Care
Providence offers the same comprehensive, advanced services offered by major academic centers, provided close to home in hospitals our patients have come to know and trust. Teams of specialists in every aspect of breast care collaborate across the Providence organization, providing not only clinical care, but the personal support patients need, beyond treating the disease.
“Our patients have the same access to diagnostics, radiation therapies and genetic panels as they would at the high-profile cancer centers,” Dr. Grussie said. “The difference is we provide more personalized care. We know our patients very well. They know we try to provide everything they need.”
Providence Saint Joseph in Burbank and Providence Saint John’s Health Center’s Cancer Center in Santa Monica are hubs for Providence’s robust cancer research programs. Providence Holy Cross Medical Center Mission Hills and Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in San Pedro and Torrance partner with City of Hope. And Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center patients have access to the expertise at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The goal of these partnerships is to enhance care in the community by teaming with two of the nation’s most recognized cancer care hospitals.
Whole Person Care
Providence caregivers treat the whole person, honoring cultures, traditions, personal preferences and an understanding of the patient’s expectations while they’re under our care. This is especially important for patients with breast cancer who may face mastectomy or endure the side effects of chemotherapy treatments. Anticipating significant changes in our appearance can add to the fear of the cancer itself. At Providence, patient navigators, nurses as well as breast cancer survivors, support you from diagnosis through recovery and beyond.
“It’s a huge thing for patients, it makes all the difference to them to come to a cancer center where people know them and have a lot of time to spend with them,” Dr. Grussie said. “Sometimes they’re coming back for years and it’s important that you choose a cancer center where you’re taken care of and have your questions answered quickly.”
At Providence Little Company of Mary, patients talk with Sacred Cartwright, RN, a nurse navigator whose role is to guide patients as soon as they learn from their doctor they have breast cancer. Cartwright interprets the doctor’s words to “layman’s terms,” provides illustrations of the specific cancer and offers written material to ensure her patients understand. Most importantly, she offers hope, encouragement and partnership through the cancer journey.
“If I were a patient coming to see me, I would feel relief because I’m overwhelmed just hearing the diagnosis of cancer,” she said. “I don’t have time to truly process anything because I must follow up on referrals and make appointments.
“A navigator to me is someone not necessarily holding my hand, but guiding me through this technical course, empowering me. A patient feels good knowing they have someone beside them to help lead the way.”
Learn more at providence.org.