This post is brought to you in partnership with Inspira Health, but as usual, all opinions are my own.
You all know 2020 is my year to continue to aim to live my healthiest life ever! You’ve been following my posts with the steps I’ve taken so far to stay on course. Today, I’ll be sharing why being proactive is the key to taking charge of your health in 2020!
Taking Charge of Your Health in 2020
Finding a health care provider
After my recent cancer scare, it was more important than ever for me to make sure I had a health care provider that not only met my needs, but was also on top of the newest research and treated me as more than a number, because at the end of the day, that’s the difference between most health care providers and Inspira Cancer Services.
I matter, and you matter, too!
At Inspira, patients have access to a wide array of health care professionals. They work around the clock to make our lives easier, providing better, more effective and personal service to us!
Prevention is key
As you know, I recently had a full checkup and my mammogram detected an anomaly, which lead to a second check and subsequently a biopsy. Thankfully, it turned out to be nothing.
While I’m relieved with the results, the driving and visiting multiple doctors in different places left my head spinning.
That’s why I can’t wait to go to my 6-month follow-up appointment at the new cancer unit at new Leading Edge Cancer Center at Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill, scheduled to open in just a few weeks!
All the professionals and services in one place is a dream come true and a time-saver, right?
Because who has time to waste?
Inspira’s commitment to cancer prevention and detection
I know Inspira is out in my community providing needed education about breast cancer.
And, Inspira’s goal is 10,000+ breast cancer screenings in 2020. 1,000+ of those breast screenings will be free again this year. Inspira works with NJ CEED to provide free cancer screenings, including mammograms for women who are underinsured or uninsured.
For those who are at high risk for hereditary cancers, Inspira provides genetic testing along with a personal prevention and screening plan, and everyone gets a free high-risk assessment with a mammogram.
They also offer a tobacco quit center that helps current smokers lower their risk of breast, lung and other cancers by quitting. I love that!!! Those that are smokers and have tried quitting will know exactly how hard it is to try and completely kick the addiction. Offering help to those that are needing a little guidance when quitting can look to improve the quit succession quite dramatically. Of course, what may work for one may not work for another, so it’s important to find as much aid as possible when looking to quit. Whether that’s through quitting programs, using alternative nicotine intakes such as gum, or maybe using a vape pen that allows someone to decrease nicotine consumption levels over time, giving them a greater chance of quitting in the long run.
I had a chance to sit down with Dr. Nandini N. Kulkarni M.D., F.A.C.S. in the Frank and Edith Scarpa Regional Cancer Pavilion in Vineland.
Dr. Kulkarni is a fellowship-trained, board certified surgical oncologist dedicated to serving the people and communities of Southern New Jersey. Also, she is Director of Surgical Oncology for Inspira Health. Inspira is proud to have her in their network of accomplished surgical experts.
We started talking about the importance of breast screening and how your mammography can save a life. Dr. Kulkarni recommends that patients do it once a year, starting at 40!
History also plays a big role in early screening, so depending on the relative and type of cancer they had, it will determine how early you should have a mammogram and/or additional screening steps.
These are all decisions patients make alongside Dr. Kulkarni’s team!
We talked about all the reasons why Breast Cancer Treatment at Inspira is innovative and embodies integration:
- Inspira’s second cancer center, opening this February in Mullica Hill, is designed to support comfort and encourage care team collaboration for the treatment of breast and other cancers. These goals are achieved with help from the center’s multidisciplinary office space. Patients can see multiple specialists in one visit and enjoy details like natural light and warm wood finishes.
Also, Inspira’s Breast Cancer Program includes a nationally accredited Breast Center in the Frank and Edith Scarpa Regional Cancer Pavilion at Inspira Medical Center Vineland, where we met.
- Breast cancer treatment at Inspira is delivered by an intimate team committed to personal care.
In addition to physicians who are specialists in breast cancer and specific treatment methods, the team includes cancer navigators, social workers, clergy, dietitians, physical therapists and behavioral health specialists.
I could feel that when I met Dr. Kulkarni. Her friendly smile and disposition made me immediately comfortable enough to talk about my fears and concerns regarding my own health!
Keep in mind we were not at her office. When she impressed me with her knowledge and made me feel so comfortable…I started sharing about my own history!
- Advanced imaging services by board certified and fellowship trained radiologists with interests in specific types of cancer.
Six Inspira Imaging Centers offer 3D mammography. Additionally, some sites offer breast ultrasound and MRI.
Image guided procedures are used for multiple types of cancer. When breast cancer is suspected, women can move forward quickly through diagnostic imaging, and if needed, biopsy. Inspira’s goal is to reduce your stress whenever possible.
- State-of-the-art radiation oncology suites with technologies that allow high-precision radiation therapy with board certified and fellowship trained radiation oncologists.
- Operating rooms for cancer treatment and reconstructive surgery. Examples of technologies used in the OR include wireless breast tumor location.
- Expertise in immunotherapy and targeted therapies, as well as oral and traditional chemotherapy, allows their oncologists to explore the best treatment options.
- Cancer navigation, rehabilitation and support services can begin before treatment. Each patient has one medical record and a cancer navigator who can ensure all services are coordinated.
Services to meet physical and emotional needs include counseling and support groups.
Their navigators are available to connect with anyone who has an abnormal mammogram, breast changes or lumps.
They continue to work with anyone diagnosed with breast cancer for as long as needed to provide support through treatment and a complete survivor care plan.
- Inspira’s physicians participate in clinical trials and offer new treatments. The goal is to make discoveries available to patients as quickly as possible.
- Inspira’s dedication to providing reproductive information, support and services helps cancer patients make active, informed decisions about fertility preservation options prior to cancer treatment. So important!
These options include a SEEDS program that provides depository and storage services for semen, embryos and eggs.
Dr. Kulkarni also reminded me that genetics play a big part in early cancer detection and determining the best treatment options for certain cancers. Inspira’s high-risk program helps women consider genetic testing based on family history and other risk factors. For patients who have already been diagnosed, doctors often review genetic test results and prepare for related discussions before they meet with a patient for the first time. Late last year, Inspira launched Inspira Insight, a powerful platform for cancer risk assessment. Everyone who receives a screening mammogram at an Inspira Imaging Center will receive a free high-risk assessment.
We talked about my family history, including how all of my dad’s siblings and some of my mom’s relatives have or had cancer. As a result, I’ll probably be considering genetic testing, which I would not have considered if I had not tapped into the knowledge of Dr. Kulkarni and her many years of experience helping patients at Inspira Health.
She also demystified a few of my concerns regarding genetic testing:
*It’s generally covered by insurance, if your family history warrants it.
*It may be justified even if your family members had a cancer that is not found in women. For example, prostate cancer has been linked to a higher risk for breast cancer.
*Home test kits only detect a few of the many genetic predispositions – less than 20% of the results achieved by Inspira Professionals.
Health is the pillar on which our lives stand. A simple test can find an abnormality, and if it’s treated on time, the cure rate is practically 100%!
Why not take charge of our life and health?
Are you also taking charge of your health in 2020?
You can find out all about the New Inspira Health Hospital in Mullica Hill HERE. Or, 3D mammography at Inspira here . A free tour of the center will be offered by Inspira Spirit of Women on February 25, 2020 at 6:00 pm – register here.
Can’t wait to hear what you think!
As usual, give us a Trendy Shout!