WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Cancer survivors living in Westchester and surrounding counties can now receive comprehensive care that addresses their unique needs through the Cancer Survivorship Program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital Cancer Center in Bronxville. Dr. Nancy Mills, Director of Survivorship at the NewYork- Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital Cancer Center, is spearheading this innovative program that addresses the growing and often unmet needs of cancer survivors.
“The number of cancer survivors is skyrocketing thanks to excellence in cancer screening, diagnosis, and care, yet only until very recently has the medical community recognized their unique needs and challenges,” said Dr. Mills, a medical oncologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Westchester. “At NYP/Lawrence we take cancer survivors’ needs very seriously and are proud to introduce this excellent program to the large population of cancer survivors in our community.”
Approximately 50,000 cancer survivors reside in the NYP/Lawrence service region, which comprises Lower Westchester and parts of the Bronx. The NYP/Lawrence Cancer Survivorship Program is available to those who have completed active cancer therapy, no matter where they live or where they were treated.
“The goal of our program is to provide outstanding care that is tailored to the individual survivor,” explained Dr. Mills. “The program is based on a shared-care decision-making model in which a team of disease management and survivorship experts coordinate care according to a customized survivorship care plan that specifies everything the survivor needs. Every member of the team, which may include a medical oncologist, a surgical oncologist, an OB/Gyn, in the case of a female patient, and the survivor’s primary care physician, knows exactly what to do to help the survivor achieve lasting wellness.”
Essentially a prescription for healthful living, the customized survivorship care plan (SCP) provides the survivor with recommendations for follow-up visits, screenings, and tests related to the cancer diagnosis; recommendations for surveillance of other cancers and strategies to reduce cancer risk; and a review of common symptoms that can result from cancer treatment and strategies for their management. The SCP also includes wellness and healthy living guidelines and referrals to community resources and specialists at NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Westchester and ColumbiaDoctors.
Dr. Mills specializes in treating women with breast cancer and gynecologic cancers and has a particular interest in survivor care. “I have treated multitudes of breast cancer patients to cure, many of whom are expected to live out their full life expectancy,” she said. “Survivorship programs often begin with breast cancer survivors because breast cancer is such a common disease and has a higher survival rate due to the development of better screening and treatment which has led to vastly improved outcomes.”
The recently opened NYP/Lawrence Cancer Center is the perfect setting for Dr. Mills and her colleagues to provide comprehensive and lifelong patient-centered care. “We’re very excited to have this new state-of- the-art facility where we can provide academic and innovative breakthroughs in oncology to our patients who can receive this care in their local community, close to the support of their family and friends,” she said. “To further serve our breast cancer patients, we are developing a bone health program, a cardio-oncology program that addresses the cardiac consequences of breast cancer treatment, and a palliative care program.”
Dr. Mills is consistently named one of the “Best Doctors in Westchester County” by Westchester Magazine and was named a Local Legend from New York by Congresswoman Nita Lowey. “I’ve been treating women’s cancer in the Westchester area for the past 20 years and I’m a resident of Westchester,” said Dr. Mills. “I find it highly rewarding and empowering to help guide women through their cancer journey and apply recent innovations in treatment to improve the outcomes and quality of life for the women in my community.”
To make an appointment with Dr. Mills, please call 914-787- 3100. Learn more about the NYP/Lawrence Cancer Survivorship Program at http://www.nyp.org/lawrencecancer/survivorship-program.html.