Ingalls Introduces

Ambassadors for Cancer Research

The Ingalls Cancer Research Center has introduced its Ambassadors for Cancer Research program. Armed with nearly two dozen volunteers – many of them cancer survivors – the program educates new patients about the availability of cancer research studies at Ingalls.

“One of the primary goals of our Ambassadors is to educate the community at large – and newly diagnosed cancer patients – about the many opportunities for involvement in cancer research studies at Ingalls,” explains Patty Gowland, R.N., B.S.N., O.C.N., C.C.R.C., director of Ingalls Cancer Research Center.

“Individuals might be surprised to discover that Ingalls is affiliated with more cancer research studies and clinical trials than any other cancer program in the South Suburbs.

That means our patients can participate in the same cancer research being conducted at large university hospitals, without having to travel far from home.”

“It’s really about having treatment options – knowing what they are and making informed decisions,” adds Judith Hanzelin of Homewood, a retired oncology nurse and an Ingalls Ambassador.

Breast cancer survivor and Ingalls Ambassador Kimberly Haug of Mokena agrees. Haug speaks from the heart when she talks about cancer research. The 40-year-old mother of two teenaged boys, enrolled in a clinical trial involving the breast cancer drug Herceptin at Ingalls in 2004. (She also underwent radiation therapy and chemotherapy as part of her treatment.)

“I had undergone a double mastectomy and was told that eight of the 20 lymph nodes in my left arm tested positive for cancer,” Haug explains. “When they offered the clinical trial to me, I thought it was a great opportunity for me and it would help cancer research.”

Five years later, Haug, who also takes the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, remains cancer-free. “I truly believe it was the Herceptin,” she adds.

“How can we beat this disease without trying new things? Other people facing cancer can look at me and see that I’m all better. I can reassure them that a clinical trial is not about being a guinea pig. You’re receiving outstanding cancer care.”

For more information about the Ingalls Cancer Research program, call 708.915.HOPE (4673).

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