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The new Littleton Adventist Hospital Breast Cancer Support Group provides breast cancer patients with the opportunity to spend time and interact with fellow breast cancer patients anywhere in their breast cancer experience from being newly diagnosed to survivorship. The focus of the group is to gain information
about breast cancer and build relationships amongst others dealing with breast cancer. Our hope is that each participant gain knowledge and perspective regarding their experience, while increasing their breast cancer support network.
This support group meets once a month on the second Tuesday of each month from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Conference Room 3. It is open to any woman at any stage in her breast cancer experience to meet socially with other breast cancer patients and hopefully gain
support and perspective. This group also provides free daycare services by Littleton Hospital Volunteers during goup meetings. This service needs to be requested at 303-730-8900.
Even with a strong family history of breast
cancer, Jenn Jennings, a 44-year-old Littleton wife, mother, and
part-time education consultant, was shocked to learn the lump she found
in her right breast during a self examination last September was Stage 1
Her disbelief, however, didn't stop her from acting quickly. She turned to a team of Littleton Adventist Hospital providers for help.
"My gynecologist, Dr. David Watson, referred me to general surgeon Dr. Ed Smith, who performed an ultrasound and biopsy," Jennings says. "It was the biopsy that confirmed my diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed my tumor was a bit bigger than
previously thought, and some precancerous spots were present in the same breast."
A Calming Voice
Before Jennings underwent her MRI, she received a call from Ellen Buchannan, RN, FNP, CBCN, Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator at Littleton Hospital. Buchannan, a breast cancer survivor herself, helps women find peace of mind during one of life's most trying
times by steering them through appointments, information, and resources. As it turned out, Buchannan learned as much from Jennings as the patient learned from her.
"I had just recently assumed my role as breast cancer nurse navigator, and Jenn was one of the first patients I met who went through the entire spectrum of breast cancer care here at Littleton Hospital," Buchannan says. "I've learned a lot about being a
navigator in the time I've known Jenn - she's helped me understand what I can do to support patients."
In October 2010, Jennings underwent a mastectomy and a hysterectomy during the same operation, with the latter procedure performed to correct some gynecologic issues she'd suffered from for much of her life. She went through four rounds of chemotherapy
through January 2011 to complete cancer treatment, and currently, she is cancer free.
"Ellen was such a comfort to me throughout the whole process, but especially when she showed up at my last chemotherapy session," Jennings says. "I was anxious about finishing chemotherapy because when I was going through it, I felt like at least I
was doing something to take care of any remaining cancer - what would happen when it was over? When Ellen told me it was common to feel that way, I was so relieved. She was a good person to have in my corner."
At Littleton Adventist Hospital, we don’t believe anyone should face breast cancer alone or without access to exceptional care and resources. Research shows that breast cancer patients who receive advocate interventions and education through patient navigation programs report improved ability to cope,
quality of life, access to care, functional status, patient satisfaction, decreased anxiety, and obtain better financial assistance.
Our Breast Cancer Patient Navigator:
Additional services include:
To contact our Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator, please call 303-738-7787.
Meet Our Breast Cancer Patient Navigator Ellen Buchannan, RN, FNP, CBCN, our Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator is a registered nurse as well as a breast cancer survivor. Her cancer experience has given her knowledge and understanding of the cancer treatment process from both a patient
and provider’s viewpoint. She feels she has been blessed by her experience with the ambition to help others through their cancer journey. For additional information or to make an appointment with Ellen, please call 303-738-7787.
The Littleton Adventist Hospital Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic is designed to help patients understand the cancer care process and get patients into breast cancer treatment quickly. Traditionally it can take patients up to eight weeks to complete the first round of appointments before they even start
treatment, the multidisciplinary clinic saves valuable time.
Our multidisciplinary breast clinic allows patients to meet one-on-one with each member of our breast cancer team. This includes meeting with a surgeon, nurse navigator, nutritionist, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and genetic counselor (if
indicated). This allows the patient to leave the clinic with a proposed treatment plan, in hand, and the reassurance that coordinated, expert cancer care will be provided to them by our experienced breast cancer team.
Littleton Adventist Hospital introduced Colorado’s first Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT), an innovative form of radiation therapy for breast cancer patients with small, early-stage tumors. The treatment is called intraoperative radiation therapy because
it can be given during a lumpectomy operation shortly after the tumor is removed. IORT can also be done as a second procedure if a patient prefers to have a lumpectomy at another hospital and then come to Littleton Adventist Hospital for the radiation portion of the treatment.
The localized procedure, which is administered for 20 to 30 minutes, delivers radiation precisely to the tumor site with minimal exposure to surrounding tissues, which are shielded during the IORT. The procedure destroys microscopic tumor cells, reducing the risk that tumor cells will grow back.
Littleton Adventist Hospital chose the Zeiss INTRABEAM® IORT system because it is backed by more than 13 years of successful clinical use, having treated more than 8,000 patients with early breast cancer. The system was also used in the highly reputable TARGIT-A Trial.
The TARGIT-A Trial is the largest randomized clinical trial in the field of IORT. After the trial, researchers concluded that INTRABEAM IORT (concurrent with lumpectomy) should be considered as an option for certain patients with breast cancer as an alternative to postoperative
traditional external beam radiotherapy (EBRT).
Compared to EBRT, INTRABEAM IORT offers several significant advantages: It directly targets the tumor bed with radiation, while minimizing radiation to healthy tissue; it can be administered concurrently with the lumpectomy, allowing less time for
tumor cells to grow back; it can be administered in one day so it offers the potential for significantly faster recovery time and a return to your every day activities sooner; and it can be used in conjunction with a standard EBRT regimen as an additional boost treatment. Benefits of
boost treatments include: very low recurrence rates, low rate of side effects, and very good cosmetic results.
Compared to EBRT, Zeiss INTRABEAM® IORT offers the potential for:
As an NAPBC comprehensive breast cancer center, we believe the Littleton Adventist Hospital IORT program is consistent with our mission to improve care and quality of life for our breast cancer patients. The multidisciplinary program includes breast
surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, medical physicists, surgical staff, and nurse navigators.
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