Ascension Via Christi’s Cancer Outreach and Risk Assessment program continues to add new programs designed to prevent cancer, identify it early or minimize its effect on those living with the disease.
CORA’s newest addition is a Lymphedema Prevention and Early Detection program launched last summer.
“Ascension Via Christi has for many years had a strong rehab program for patients living with lymphedema, which can become a chronic and painful condition if not treated at an early stage,” says Maggie Ward, who coordinates CORA’s growing list of programs. “This program is designed to be one more way we can help patients in their battles with cancer.”
Through this program, participating patients – primarily those newly diagnosed with breast cancer – undergo a pre- and post-surgical assessment and screening for extra-cellular lymph fluid.
“It’s a relatively simple and painless procedure that typically takes only 15 minutes,” says Shannon Little-Haines, the program’s coordinator. The screening is covered by Medicare as well as by many major insurance policies with proper documentation of medical need.
Research has found that many as three out of every 10 patients who undergo treatment for cancer will develop lymphedema within their lifetime, although their risk is reduced after 10 to 15 years.
CORA launched on Sept. 1, 2015, and since that time has provided genetic counseling and screening to nearly 1,200 men and women. Nearly two out of every 10 of those patients have tested positive for various genetic mutations that required additional testing or follow up to reduce their cancer risk.
As many as 1 in 10 American patients diagnosed with cancer may have a hereditary risk. CORA, the only comprehensive program in south-central Kansas, offers screening and genetic counseling to anyone whose personal/family history indicates that they are at higher risk for developing breast and other cancers.
“Our genetic counseling and screening empowers people to take actions that can prevent or lead to earlier detection of cancer and possibly save their lives,” says Ward, who works under the direction of Cancer Center of Kansas oncologist Pavan Reddy, MD, and Ascension Medical Group breast care specialist Patty Tenofsky, MD.
Other programs under the umbrella of CORA, which since June 2017 has been housed at the Ascension Via Christi Cancer Center at 817 N. Emporia, include:
- Cancer Wellness, which helps patients maintain their strength before, during and following cancer treatment.
- Low-dose CT Lung Cancer Screening, which helps patients to diagnose lung cancers at their earliest and most treatable stage.
- Insurance Navigation, which offers help in understanding and accessing insurance coverage to people who are un- or under-insured.
- Nurse Navigation, which provides ongoing support for patients living with cancer.
For more information about the Lymphedema Prevention and Early Detection or other programs or other outreach and risk assessment programs, call 316-268-5890 or go to viachristi.org/CORA .