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Breast cancer survivor credits AdventHealth clinic for giving her hope, saving her life

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Simona Lazinsk patient breast cancer waiting to go into surgery
Breast cancer patient Simona Lazinsk waits to go into surgery as part of her AdventHealth Breast Multidisciplinary Clinic treatment plan.

Having breast cancer can be overwhelming and confusing, especially trying to understand treatment options. The goal of one program available to AdventHealth patients is to make it easy for patients to understand their treatment journey. The Breast Multidisciplinary Clinic (MDC) is improving patient outcomes by functioning as a functioning as a collaborative team with providers practicing the most up-to-date guidelines and cutting-edge science to deliver the best and most recent treatment to patients, which has exceeded the national average. It’s also focused on providing a better patient experience, such as lowering stress by providing a one-stop shop for patients to meet their breast cancer team all at once, which means less trips and faster time to treatment.

Dr. Wassim Mchayleh is medical oncologist at the AdventHealth Cancer Institute
Dr. Wassim Mchayleh is a medical oncologist at the AdventHealth Cancer Institute.

“It was so devastating,” said Simona Lazinsk, who was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago at 42. “I’m so grateful to still be alive and be here after five years. I can’t imagine if I didn’t go through the treatment and I didn’t have the support from my team of doctors, where I would be today,” she recently shared with WFTV – Channel 9 News.

“Every Monday afternoon, I dedicate my afternoon to seeing patients who have newly diagnosed breast cancer,” said Dr. Wassim Mchayleh, a medical oncologist at the AdventHealth Cancer Institute and one of Lazinsk’s physicians, recently told Becker’s Healthcare podcast. “I have a breast surgeon and radiation oncologist together – the advantage of this model is that the patient has a one-stop shop – they are diagnosed and then see their three specialists who are going to formulate a treatment plan for them.”

In addition to the three physicians, patients also work with a breast cancer navigator onsite as well as the genetics department to discuss and create, in real-time, a customized care plan.

“There is nothing better for a patient with a diagnosis of breast cancer than having a clear, unified plan,” said Dr. Wassim Mchayleh.

Lazinsk added, “Facing cancer treatment is overwhelming enough without the added stress of commuting between multiple offices.”

Dr. Mchayleh stresses the importance of maintaining regular screenings, the standard screening age for breast cancer is 40. He recently told The Healthy most cancers develop over a period of six to 12 months – the more aggressive types can emerge between regular mammogram screenings. Because of this, he warns it is essential to seek further evaluation if there are any changes, even after a negative mammogram.

“I’ve come to view these doctors (on my Breast MDC team) as family,” Lazinsk told The Healthy. “Life blooms, even after cancer.”

On February 20, 2022, Simona Lazinsk married her boyfriend, Jack, who supported her through her breast cancer journey.
On February 20, 2022, Simona Lazinsk married her boyfriend, Jack, who supported her through her breast cancer journey. Lazinsk says planning ahead while battling cancer gave her hope to push forward.

Lazinsk celebrated her five-year milestone of being cancer free last month.

The AdventHealth Breast MDC started in 2019. In that time, this innovative model has treated over 2,000 patients and expanded from Altamonte Springs to Orlando, Winter Park, Celebration and a fifth MDC will open later this year in Kissimmee. To learn more about the AdventHealth Breast MDC, click here.

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