Helping patients navigate their way through a breast cancer diagnosis

It's the second Monday in October and News 18 is continuing its month long breast cancer awareness month series.

Posted: Oct 8, 2018 7:05 PM
Updated: Oct 10, 2018 8:58 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. WLFI) — It's the second Monday in October and News 18 is continuing its month long breast cancer awareness month series. Each Monday, thanks to our partners at IU Health Arnett, we will feature different breast cancer topics to help spread awareness.

This Monday we're diving into what it's like after a person receives their breast cancer diagnose. There's a person at the IU Health Cancer Center who is with you during every step of your journey through treatment. This nurse wants to help people win their fight against breast cancer.

"They didn't want breast cancer, but if they've got somebody who can help then that's what they need," said Nurse and Breast Cancer Patient Navigator Deidre Smith.

Once a person receives their breast cancer diagnosis, Smith steps in.

"I try to reassure them and find something positive in the diagnosis so they are more relaxed about the future," Smith said.

Smith helps her patients in four different areas. Fighting breast cancer requires radiology to make a diagnosis, a radiation oncologist to treat the cancer with radiation, "A surgeon to size the tumor and an oncologist to treat it with either chemo therapy or hormone medication," said Smith.

This process can get very complicated if you are trying to figure this all out on your own. So Smith makes sure patients don't feel lost and get their appointments in the right order at the right time.

"I'll be with them," Smith said. "I'll help them"

She is there to answer questions and even makes appointments. These doctors and treatment centers are located in medical buildings across Greater Lafayette and it can be overwhelming.

"We try to get their appointments in the beginning as quickly as we can," Smith added. "I meet with them the day that they get their biopsy results."

Smith encourages women to get screened for breast cancer during October. IU Health Arnett recommends women ages 40 years old and older be screened once a year and even earlier age if you have a family history of breast cancer.

During the patient's fight, Smith stays close in the beginning by going to her patient's first appointments and she tries to keep a close eye on her patients during their appointments as much as she can.

"But I have generally 35 patients I follow a month," said Smith. "I can't be as close to them the entire time."

Smith wants people to know a breast cancer diagnosis isn't a death sentence, especially if you are on top of your breast cancer screenings and if breast cancer is detected at an early stage.

"And so it's more of a chronic disease than something they're gonna die from tomorrow," Smith added.

West Lafayette
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 83°
Kokomo
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 74°
Rensselaer
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 79°
Fowler
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Williamsport
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 76°
Crawfordsville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 73°
Frankfort
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 74°
Delphi
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Monticello
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Logansport
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Warm Weekend Continues Sunday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 72254

Reported Deaths: 3023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15503725
Lake7447274
Elkhart476082
Allen3789161
St. Joseph337381
Hamilton2668105
Vanderburgh188813
Hendricks1833106
Cass17749
Johnson1719118
Porter126639
Clark117846
Tippecanoe117711
Madison91565
LaPorte88330
Howard87265
Kosciusko84012
Marshall77122
Bartholomew76647
Floyd76045
Monroe72230
Delaware70152
Dubois67612
Boone66246
Noble65929
Hancock64138
Vigo58610
Jackson5725
Warrick57030
LaGrange55610
Shelby54227
Grant52130
Dearborn49328
Morgan45934
Clinton4093
Henry37320
Wayne35410
White35410
Montgomery34821
Lawrence33627
Decatur33232
Harrison32123
Putnam2868
Miami2672
Daviess26320
Scott26310
Greene24634
Franklin23813
Jasper2272
DeKalb2264
Jennings22012
Gibson2144
Steuben2063
Ripley1977
Fayette1837
Perry18112
Carroll1772
Starke1767
Posey1670
Orange16624
Wabash1633
Wells1622
Fulton1612
Jefferson1552
Whitley1506
Knox1490
Tipton1336
Spencer1313
Washington1311
Huntington1213
Newton11510
Randolph1154
Clay1095
Sullivan1031
Adams952
Jay860
Owen841
Pulaski761
Rush744
Brown731
Fountain682
Blackford622
Ohio624
Benton600
Pike520
Parke511
Vermillion500
Switzerland450
Crawford440
Martin430
Union370
Warren221
Unassigned0202

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events