PHOENIX – A BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSIS CAN BE DEVASTATING, OVERWHELMING AND CONFUSING
There are so many questions surrounding treatment options, or what steps to take and when. That is why a team of local doctors is working to bring patients peace of mind.
“It just hits you like a ton of bricks when you get told you’re going to be part of this club,” said Monica Miller, who was diagnosed with breast cancer just over a year ago. The wife and mother is also a nurse, but this was uncharted territory.
“Do I want a mastectomy? What do I want to do? How do I want to do this? I don’t even know who is first, who do I see first, who do I see second,” Miller said. “They explain all that to you.”
‘They’ is the Peace of Mind Conference.
“When they see the big team picture of it, and they see the timeline of what’s involved, they understand better and really it lessens their fear,” said Dr. Linda Liu.
Liu is a breast surgeon who helped create a team of a dozen doctors. They meet with patients, like Miller, all together, for free, to discuss the best options for surgery, treatment and recovery.“Now you’ve got a whole picture, and not just pieces, and I was no longer in the dark,” said Miller.
The conference helps the doctors, too.
“It’s so important for all the specialists to interact together,” said Plastic Surgeon Dr. Pablo Prichard. “That way I can plan the reconstruction so it doesn’t interfere with post-treatment.”
One year later, Miller is doing well and she is grateful for the guidance and care she received.
“I really felt like I was part of my plan of care and I loved that,” she said.
The team recently started doing free second opinions so you do not have to be a current patient or referred by one of the doctors involved.