No one knows until it happens how they’ll react to hearing they have cancer. It’s a diagnosis that brings about a lot of questions. The first questions oncologist Saritha Bolla, MD, hears most often however, aren’t about the disease specifically, or side effects of the treatments; they’re about how cancer will impact the patient’s family, or their travel plans, or their job. Will their entire world be about treating their cancer?
“I don’t want their life to revolve around their diagnosis,” says Dr. Bolla.
“I tell my patients that you don’t need to worry about everything right away,” says Bolla. “I tell them that we’re going to walk them through this. That they’re gaining a team.”
The team they’re gaining is the Winchester Hospital Center for Cancer Care and the Lahey Health Cancer Institute. Here, physicians, nurses, social workers, infusion and administrative staff and others work collaboratively every day to help each and every patient navigate their journey.
One of the most important tools on that journey, Dr.Bolla says, is communication. She encourages her patients to share their concerns, fears and questions so that she can better understand how to help.
“Good communication establishes a good relationship,” Dr. Bolla says.
Communication isn’t only essential between the patient and caregiver, but between every member of the care team as well. Frequent and extensive communication is one of the cornerstones of the Lahey Health Cancer Institute. Sharing best practices and standardizing care leads to better experiences and better outcomes for patients — while keeping care close to home. Dr.Bolla is proud to be part of an organization that builds a sense of community and provides such personalized care.
“The moment you walk through that door, you’re never alone here,” she says. Every patient has a team dedicated to helping them win their battle against cancer while living their life as close to normal as possible.
“The cancer doesn’t define you,” Dr. Bolla says. “We will get through this.”