During the month of October, breast cancer gets a lot of attention, but it’s not the most prevalent type of cancer being treated locally.
Lung cancer continues to be the most frequently seen cancer, according to Schneck Medical Center’s 2018 Annual Cancer Program Report.
“Lung cancer is very prevalent in Jackson County, and as with any cancer, prevention or early detection is on your side,” said Kristin Hines, director of the Don and Dana Myers Cancer Center. “Schneck offers an affordable, convenient way to help catch lung cancer early.”
She said a team consisting of an oncologist, a radiologist, a pulmonologist and a cancer center registered nurse meets once a month to discuss any positive CT lung screenings to ensure proper follow-up is being done.
“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States,” Hines said. “Survival after five years is only about 15.6%, due in part to advance-stage cancer at time of diagnosis.”
National studies have shown low-dose CT lung screenings are the best way to diagnose early stage lung cancer. An early diagnosis can save your life. The screening only costs $25 at Schneck.
Hines said patients considered high risk are eligible for this screening.
High-risk patients include those who are age 50 to 80 with a heavy smoking history who continue to smoke or who quit less than 15 years ago, have not had a lung scan in the last 18 months or chest CT in the past 12 months, have not had pneumonia in the past three months and have not had cancer in the last five years.
If you are eligible and would like to schedule this screening, call 812-522-0433. A physician’s order is not required to complete the screening. For information, visit schneckmed.org.
October is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in support, Hines said cancer center staff will be attending HOPE Medora Goes Pink today to offer breast and cervical cancer screenings for the uninsured and underinsured.
She said the event is designed to provide exams to women who may not already have access to these services and includes a clinical breast exam (not a mammogram) and a cervical exam with a pap test. All exams will be performed by qualified nurse practitioners.
“This event is funded by a generous grant from the Schneck Foundation, and we want to ensure that no woman in our community goes without regular pap smears and breast exams due to their inability to pay,” Hines said. “We hold this event annually.”
Hines said the cancer center provides both medical oncology and radiation oncology all under one roof.
“We have two wonderful medical oncologists here within the cancer center,” she said. “Dr. Jordan Maryfield joined our team in August 2021 and works at the center four days a week, and Dr. (Madelaine) Sgroi joined Schneck in 2018 and she works three days a week. Both Maryfield and Sgroi are board certified in hematology and oncology.”
Sgroi attended Midwestern University College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency and fellowship in hematology/oncology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Maryfield also attended the Indiana University School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at the Washington University School of Medicine and Hematology/Oncology fellowship at Indiana University School of Medicine.
“I chose to subspecialize in hematology/oncology because it allows me to experience all of the things I love about practicing medicine, and I cherish the close relationships I develop with patients and their families,” Maryfield said. “They inspire me to ensure I am providing the best care possible.”
The field of hematology/oncology is challenging, dynamic and requires lifelong learning to stay up to date on the latest research and therapies. He said he enjoys that and feels fortunate to look forward to going to work every day.
“I could not be happier with my decision to work at Schneck, and I was drawn to the practice for several reasons,” Maryfield said. “I have always had a desire to work in a small town, the variety of hematology and oncology cases is appealing and the cancer center facilities are very nice.”
He said the nurses and support staff do a wonderful job providing compassionate care for their patients, and he is so grateful to work with this group.
Hines said their oncologists are continuously researching treatments for each and every type of cancer to meet patients’ needs and continue to deliver safe, high-quality care.
“Currently, we are in construction for a new radiation treatment machine,” Hines said. “This project should be complete sometime the end of fourth quarter.”
Hines said the cancer center also can always use more volunteers.
“Our volunteer group is the most amazing group of individuals,” she said. “They strive to not only meet our patients’ and visitors’ needs but also all of the staff at Schneck Medical Center.”
She said the joy they create there is outstanding, and the volunteers touch people’s lives in many ways.
Anyone interested in volunteering may contact Amy Cockerham by emailing [email protected].