MDNews - Greater Kansas

October/November 2018

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I T 'S BEEN A N eight-year journey that has included three other cancer treatment centers — one in Dodge City, the others hundreds of miles away in Houston and Phoenix. However, for nearly two years, mother and daughter have found optimal care and comfort at Heartland Cancer Center in Garden City. The state-of-the-art cancer treatment center is a partnership between Central Care Cancer Center, St. Catherine Hospital and Centura Health. "The oncologists [at Heartland Cancer Center], other cancer specialists, plus the nursing staff deserve more praise than there are words for," said Charles. "It's so much more than just getting chemo for my daughter. It is about this group of nurses who don't ask, they just make things happen. Whether you're the patient or the caregiver, they [Heartland Cancer Center staff ] are so dedicated and tuned in to your needs and moods. I just can't say enough good things about what this group of compassionate professionals has done for us during a very stressful and frightening time." Charles, who lives in Dodge City, and Kramer, who hails from Cimarron, began the breast cancer battle in 2010, when Kramer was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) — a rare and difficult breast cancer to treat due to its sheer aggressive nature to spread throughout the body. It occurs when the cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin of the breast, making it appear bruised and swollen because of the reddish purple color. In March 2010, Kramer began radiation and chemotherapy treatments at another treatment center in Dodge City. Later that year, she had a double mastectomy that included the removal of 13-plus pounds of tissue. The pathology came back with clear margins, and no signs of cancer in other parts of her body were found. However, at Kramer's checkup in March 2012, her family practice physician noticed a lump on her neck. After the usual battery of tests showed new cancer growth, Kramer ultimately made the decision to seek cancer treatment care in Houston. She participated in a three-year-long trial that lasted well into 2015. Following the clinical trial in Houston, Kramer and her hus- band, Cory, traveled to Phoenix in late 2015 to another leading cancer treatment center. She underwent more radiation and chemo in a pattern of three weeks of treatment in Phoenix, a return home to Kansas for a week and then back to begin the process again. The frequent changes with clinics and medical providers over the years brought a barrage of testing for Kramer, much of it repeated testing. It became a disheartening process for Kramer and Charles. "It's really frustrating to have to repeat the same tests every time you go to another specialist or medical center," Charles said. "No one, it seems, can read another entity's results or scans because they have a different system. It's a huge disservice to patients when tests are repeated and repeated." Anis Toumeh, MD Medical Oncologist, Central Care Cancer Center MOTHER AND DAUGHTER RETURN HOME FOR OPTIMAL BREAST CANCER CARE FOR MARCIE HARRIS CHARLES, 60, AND HER DAUGHTER, MEGAN CHARLES KR AMER, 37, BOTH FROM WESTERN K ANSA S, RECEIVING TRE ATMENT CLOSE TO HOME FOR THEIR VERY DIFFERENT BRE A ST CANCERS HA S MADE A HUGE IMPACT ON THEIR FAMILIES, A S WELL A S THEMSELVES. Heartland Cancer Center, located at 410 E. Spruce St. in Garden City, Kansas. Central Care Cancer Center has partnered with St. Catherine Hospital and Centura Health to build the state-of-the-art facility and bring the highest level of oncology care in western Kansas. 0 6❱❱❱❱❱ F E A T U R E

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