The Avera Queen of Peace Cancer Center in Mitchell is celebrating its 10th anniversary with an open house in November. We met one of the 3000 patients in the area to be diagnosed and or treated at the center over the last decade.
The Avera Queen of Peace Cancer Center is celebrating 10 years of service to the Mitchell area. Teri Burgess from Mitchell is celebrating too. She's coming up on her own 10 year anniversary of being a breast cancer survivor. She was also one of the first patients treated here at the Cancer Center.
Teri says, "I had a lumpectomy first and they said there was still cancer cells in the margins so I opted for a mastectomy."
She went on to have 4 rounds of very aggressive chemo therapy followed by 33 radiation treatments... having a cancer center in Mitchell meant everything for this working mom and wife.
Teri says, "Absolutely! I could work, I would have a treatment and go home and rest. Rest was very important I didn't have long travel time and since I wasn't feeling well after chemo, you know, I look back on it now and I don't know if I could have done it.
Adding a linear accelerator radiation was a big piece of the puzzle in keeping people in Mitchell for their cancer treatment.
Avera Queen of Peace Radiation Oncologist Dr. Anwarul Haq says, "It reminds me of a story of a patient who had breast cancer. I told her the options, either a mastectomy or radiation, but she would have to drive to Sioux Falls for 6 weeks for that radiation treatment. Her husband, who was older, said you have more risk of dying on the road so you better take off the breast. Before the program people had to drive to Sioux Falls, now we can do everything here."
Charlene Berke, RT is the director of AQOP Radiation Oncology. She says, "We've been able to keep people local. When you have support here like your spouses, family, kids, it makes a tremendous impact on the care and makes everything better for you when you go through cancer treatment."
Teri says, "Physically I feel great. I'm clean. I haven't had to re-check with Dr. Haq in 4 years and my last mammogram was good."
Early diagnosis, plus excellent treatment close to home; two very important components to survivorship.
There is an Open House at the Avera Queen of Peace Cancer Center on Tuesday, Nov. 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. There will be prayer, a program and rededication at 5 p.m. The open house is cosponsored by the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce, and all are invited to celebrate the first 10 years of the center's service to the Mitchell area.
For more information call 1-877-AT-AVERA or 605.995.2430