Anna Jaques Cancer Center, affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), is a place that Lisa Lewis has come to know well during her yearlong battle with breast cancer. “Getting a cancer diagnosis is very hard, and the treatment is harder. You have to trust a process that you don’t fully understand.”
Lisa is grateful to Dr. Peter Hartmann, her surgeon; Dr. Neelam Desai, Dr. Donielle Sliwa, her oncologists; Dr. Claire Fung, her radiologist; and to her entire medical team. “I’ve received the best care at the Anna Jaques Cancer Center. The physicians, nurses, staff- everyone has been kind, supportive, and so positive. I have had all my treatments here—it is my one-stop shop! I’m so thankful I don’t have to drive to Boston for any of my medical care.”
After 20 weeks of Chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, followed by 20 radiation therapy sessions, Lisa’s breast cancer treatment is over, but her cancer journey is not. She is one of the 16.9 million cancer survivors in the United States. As the number of cancer survivors living years beyond their cancer diagnosis has grown, so has the emphasis on cancer survivorship, which starts from the time of diagnosis, continues well after treatment, and includes cancer patients, as well as their family and caregivers.
Since opening its doors, the Anna Jaques Cancer Center, affiliated with BIDMC, has continued
to raise the bar of comprehensive cancer care offered to patients locally. Our cancer survivorship program aims to provide complete care for the whole person, including managing the long-term effects of treatment, managing the risk of second cancers, and addressing the patient’s social, physical, and psychological effects. Our multi-disciplinary team includes a dedicated oncology social worker and oncology dietician, who provide “whole-person” patient-centered care to cancer patients. They offer recommendations on general wellness issues such as nutrition, diet, stress reduction, exercise, and behavioral health counseling. They also help patients connect to practical resources, such as transportation, financial assistance, house cleaning, childcare, community resources, and support groups. These Cancer Center “Giving Fund” services have been supported through the philanthropy of local foundations and grateful patients.
Lisa appreciates the emotional and financial help she has received from the Cancer Center. “The social worker, Sara Lahaie, provided me with resources that have helped me get through this journey. She has connected me to a therapist and support groups and helped our family financially through gift cards for gas and groceries.”