Tag Archives: breast cancer nurse navigator

LMC Receives Grant for Breast Cancer Screenings

Lexington Medical Center has received a grant from the SC Mountains to Midlands Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation to provide breast cancer screenings for uninsured and underinsured women in the Midlands. Lexington Medical Center is the only hospital in the Midlands to receive the grant this year, and one of only four in South Carolina.

Lexington Medical Center applied for the grant to help women in need in our community. Mammograms can help to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages. Clinicians know that early detection is key to successful treatment of breast cancer. Many times, women without insurance or financial resources don’t have a routine screening mammogram.

L to R: LMC VP of Community Relations Barbara Willm; Stephanie Miller and Emily Bugay of the Susan G. Komen Foundation; LMC Board Chair Jan Burt; LMC President & CEO Mike Biediger

L to R: LMC VP of Community Relations Barbara Willm; Stephanie Miller and Emily Bugay of the Susan G. Komen Foundation; LMC Board Chair Jan Burt; LMC President & CEO Mike Biediger

“Lexington Medical Center works with local partners to find ways to help provide screenings where they are most needed,” said Barbara Willm, vice president of Community Relations at Lexington Medical Center. “Recently, that’s included outreach into the Korean and Hispanic communities, including a health fair at a Hispanic grocery store with Lexington Medical Center’s mobile mammography van.”

In addition, the Susan G. Komen Foundation honored Lexington Medical Center and breast cancer nurse navigator Kelly Jeffcoat as “Komen Champions.” In its inaugural year, the “Komen Champion” award celebrates an organization or person that shares the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s mission to create a world without breast cancer.

L to R: LMC VP of Community Relations Barbara Willm; Stephanie Miller and Emily Bugay of the Susan G. Komen Foundation; Kelly Jeffcoat; LMC Board Chair Jan Burt; LMC President & CEO Mike Biediger

L to R: LMC VP of Community Relations Barbara Willm; Stephanie Miller and Emily Bugay of the Susan G. Komen Foundation; Kelly Jeffcoat; LMC Board Chair Jan Burt; LMC President & CEO Mike Biediger

As a breast cancer nurse navigator at Lexington Medical Center, Kelly Jeffcoat helps newly diagnosed women work their way through treatment, providing helpful information and emotional support along the way. Kelly is a breast cancer survivor herself, diagnosed at the young age of 37. Kelly also leads support groups for women with breast cancer at the hospital and in the community.

Kelly Jeffcoat participates in TV news interviews

Kelly Jeffcoat participates in TV news interviews

Lexington Medical Center diagnoses approximately 250 breast cancer patients each year. The hospital’s breast program is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and the American College of Radiology (ACR). Lexington Medical Center has four Women’s Imaging centers and a mobile mammography van, all offering digital mammography. During treatment, breast cancer patients receive the assistance of a nurse navigator who provides education and emotional support. Lexington Medical Center’s cancer program is also accredited with commendation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

This is the fourth time that this affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation has awarded Lexington Medical Center a grant for breast cancer screenings.

Breast Cancer With Help From Our Friends

Patti Handel is a four-time cancer survivor.

“’Cancer’ is the scariest word in the English language,” she said. “But it’s only part of us. It doesn’t define us.”

The 61-year-old from Irmo shares words of wisdom at monthly meetings of Woman to Woman, Lexington Medical Center’s support group for breast cancer survivors.

Handel started attending Woman to Woman meetings after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2007, just one month after she and her husband moved to Irmo from Long Island, New York.

Patti Handel and Brenda Osteen at the West Columbia Riverwalk

Patti Handel and Brenda Osteen at the West Columbia Riverwalk

“I didn’t have a South Carolina driver’s license yet and I needed an oncologist, surgeon and other doctors. It was overwhelming.”

So, she found comfort – and new friends in a new town – at the support group, which is designed to offer companionship to women who are recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

At Woman to Woman, cancer survivors share their experiences, learn about the latest treatment options and swap tips including how pickle juice seems to help cure chemotherapy-induced nausea.

That’s where Patti met Brenda Osteen in 2010.

Brenda, age 67, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 after a mammogram. The Lexington resident endured a mastectomy, chemotherapy and reconstruction.

At the meetings, Patti and Brenda hit it off.

“Patti’s been where I’ve been,” Brenda said. “You can’t explain cancer to someone who hasn’t gone through it. It’s like trying to explain a migraine to someone who never had a headache.”

When you see Patti and Brenda together, you can tell they’re close. Both impeccably dressed, they laugh like college friends and share jokes and stories that make you laugh from your belly.

From trading bestsellers they’ve read to talking about their grandchildren while sipping a cocktail at a weekly dinner, they understand each other well.

Brenda and Patti

Brenda and Patti

“When it came back, I was mad as a hornet,” Patti said.

“We need friends to hold hands with, laugh with and cry with,” Patti said.

Patti especially needed Brenda’s support after a cancer recurrence in her leg in 2010, and another in her abdomen and pelvis one year ago.

Patti has had chemotherapy three times and lost her hair twice. She’s monitored every 8 weeks, with scans every three months.

Brenda has inspired Patti to stay positive.

“We get up, put on our makeup, lipstick and earrings – and head out. Life is too precious to waste,” Brenda said.

Kelly Jeffcoat, breast cancer nurse navigator at Lexington Medical Center, runs the Woman to Woman support group at the hospital. As a breast cancer survivor herself, she has a first-hand understanding of the group’s experience.

Kelly Jeffcoat

Kelly Jeffcoat

“This crazy, horrible thing called breast cancer ends up giving you these beautiful relationships,” she said.

Having a cheering section during cancer is important. Studies have shown that women with friends who support them through their cancer journey may experience better outcomes.

Patti and Brenda count Kelly as a big part of the cheering section.

“Kelly is instrumental in the treatment, care and recovery of women going through breast cancer,” Patti said. “Kelly can really say, ‘I know how you feel. I understand.’”

Patti and Brenda will attend Women’s Night Out on October 14, Lexington Medical Center’s annual dinner that recognizes October as breast cancer awareness month and honors cancer survivors and their families. More than 900 people attend each year.

Kate Larsen

Kate Larsen

The event includes a silent auction, physician exhibits, fashion show featuring models who are breast cancer survivors, dinner and a talk with keynote speaker Kate Larsen. A breast cancer survivor, Larsen will talk about the importance of friendship during cancer treatment.

For more information about Women’s Night Out or to purchase tickets, visit LexMed.com or call Lexington Medical Center Community Outreach at (803) 936-8850.

The Woman to Woman support group at Lexington Medical Center meets on the 4th Thursday of each month at 5:00 p.m. inside the Women’s Imaging lobby at 2728 Sunset Boulevard in West Columbia. That’s Lexington Medical Park 1 on the hospital campus. The support group is free and open to any woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, regardless of where she has received her treatment.

For more information about Lexington Medical Center’s cancer services, visit LexMed.com.