New Lenox Woman Grateful for the Breast Care She Received at Silver Cross Hospital and the Center for Women’s Health
For retired dental hygienist, Sue Chopik the thought that she may have breast cancer was a very scary moment. However, she now has a new appreciation for life thanks to the compassionate and advanced care she received from her healthcare team at Silver Cross Hospital and the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health.
Pictured from left to right is Neda Zelehovitis, CBCN, breast imaging nurse navigator at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, New Lenox resident Sue Chopik and Dr. Laura Ragauskaite, general surgeon and medical director of the new Silver Cross Breast Center.
“I was so frightened to think that I might have breast cancer, but after having a wonderful experience with the highly skilled physicians and nurses at Silver Cross Hospital and the Center for Women’s Health, I want other women to know that they don’t need to be scared because state-of-the-art healthcare is nearby,” said 62 year-old Sue Chopik.
Chopik has a history of fibrocystic, dense breast tissue and microcalcifications. This May, her annual 3D mammogram at the Center for Women's Health revealed a new group of suspicious microcalcifications. This discovery made a stereotactic breast biopsy necessary. Neda Zelehovitis, certified breast care nurse, walked Chopik through the procedure. Zelehovitis is one of a select group of certified nurse navigators in the entire country to give specialized care and guidance to women facing a possible breast cancer diagnosis.
“Neda went above and beyond as she served as the liaison between my physicians and me,” said Chopik. “During my biopsy, she held my hand and carefully explained each step. I felt like I had my best friend supporting me through the entire procedure, all the while in the beautiful environment of the Center for Women’s Health.”
When biopsy results showed possible abnormal cells present in her breast, Chopik’s primary care physician, Dr. Jose Penaherrera referred her to see Dr. Laura Ragauskaite, general surgeon and Medical Director of the new Silver Cross Breast Center at the Center for Women’s Health. In the Breast Center, patients can see one of four specially trained breast surgeons for the evaluation and management of breast pain, benign lumps and cysts and abnormal mammograms, in addition to breast cancer.
“After discussing my options with Dr. Ragauskaite, I was impressed by her expertise and caring demeanor,” said Chopik. “I knew she was the right physician to perform my surgery.”
Fortunately, Chopik’s lumpectomy removed the abnormal cells and proved they were not cancerous.
“Sue is a great example for other women to be sure to get their annual mammogram,” said Dr. Ragauskaite. “Since breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women, it’s imperative to monitor any changes in breast tissue to avoid further health complications.”