Patient Experience

Carole Nolan

Breast Cancer Patient Testimonial

Cancer never comes at a good time. St. Simons Island resident Carole Nolan found that out in August 2012 when she discovered a lump in her breast about two weeks before she was scheduled for shoulder surgery to repair a painful rotator cuff.

Within about a week, the lump was confirmed as malignant but only at Stage 1. "I was never very good about self breast exams, but my oncologist said that it probably saved my life in this case. The cancer was aggressive but we caught it early."

Carole, whose sister had been treated for breast cancer at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, originally planned to seek treatment there, but changed her mind after consulting with the surgeon who performed her biopsy, Vincent K. Arlauskas, M.D., Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-Glynn General & Vascular Surgery. "Dr. Arlauskas was so kind and wonderful. I felt I would be in excellent hands, so I decided to stay right here for my cancer treatment," she says. "While my sister's experience was very positive, I felt my cancer regimen here was just as thorough and focused."

One of the first people Carole met during her cancer journey was Donna Perkins, R.N., CBPN-IC, the Health System's Breast Care Center patient navigator. "Donna was pulled in immediately and assisted me on numerous occasions. She was always available to help alleviate my fears and anxieties. She is a real gem. "

Carole went through Mammosite Targeted Radiation Therapy under the direction of Timothy A. Jamieson, M.D. of Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-Radiation Oncology. Mammosite is a treatment option for certain types of early stage breast cancer and can be completed in just five days. She then had a series of chemotherapy treatments for three months under the direction of Duane P. Moores, M.D., Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-Hematology & Oncology. Thankfully, her orthopaedic surgeon was able to get her shoulder pain under control with cortisone shots, so she has been able to postpone shoulder surgery.

"My experience with the Cancer Care Center was extremely positive every step of the way," Carole says. "All my physicians and the entire cancer care team were so professional, supportive and caring. I was so impressed with how closely all the departments worked together. The Southeast Georgia Health System Cancer Care Center is second to none in my opinion, and I would recommend it to anyone who has breast cancer."