October is approaching fast and for most people that means pumpkins, Halloween, and a chance to indulge in candy and other sweets. For those at the Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center, though, the start of October kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness month and a strong emphasis on their goal to stop breast cancer in its tracks.
For Dr. Anastasia Siatras and Dr. Kenneth Segel, the month is business as usual, with an uptick in the number of people they see. For them, the emphasis on year-round treatment, visits, and breast care is vital to their goals.
“Our priority is to get women in the door,” Siatras said. “I think one of the biggest hurdles is coming in for mammograms in general. Our job is to find cancer at its earliest stage before it can be felt. We encourage women to come in every year to do their breast exams.”
According to Dr. Siatras, when breast cancer is caught early enough, there is a 99% survival rate. For many women, the decision to have an exam done only comes after feeling a lump, and many put off the appointment, nervous for what the results may be.
“We see a number of women who will come in and they’ve found a lump or have something going on, and they wait before coming because they’re worried,” Segel said. “The important thing is, if you find a lump, get it checked out right away. If we do find something, waiting months or years to get it checked out isn’t going to improve your situation.”
For both doctors, the key is catching the cancer early and treating it quickly. With Methodist Hospital’s 3D mammography capabilities, highly trained physicians, and improvements in treatment, a woman’s chance to catch a problem early and get treatment is even better than ever.
“Every woman here gets a 3D [mammogram],” Siatras explained. “It’s state of the art equipment and it’s the best way to detect breast cancer. It finds cancers earlier and it’s really good for women who have dense breasts.”
The Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center isn’t just about helping those with insurance, either. For women who believe they cannot afford a mammogram or who may not have insurance to assist with cost, Dr. Siatras and Dr. Segel encourage them to come in anyway since special programs are available to assist those that meet financial criteria.
“We are inclusionary of all women, whatever their financial status, background, or socioeconomic status,” Siatras said. “We have our doors open for all women, even those who feel they may not be able to afford it.”
“The mission statement of the hospital is about providing compassionate healthcare for all those in need,” Segel added. “Every year we have some charitable money available. We have capacity and funds and it’s just a matter of filling the slots and getting people to come in.”
While October focuses on breast cancer awareness and encouraging women to receive mammograms, the Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center is available year round. To learn more about the center and their services, visit their website here: http://www.methodisthospitals.org/clinical_services/breast-care-center/