“It was scary.”
An understandable reaction for someone just diagnosed with stage three rectal cancer like Anna Trammell. As a wife and mother of two living in Baton Rouge, Anna loves to spend time with her family, travel and attend LSU sporting events. Now, with this diagnosis, there was a threat that her world would come to a screeching halt.
That is why Anna was relieved when her team at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center instantly sprang into action.
“I immediately started with a multitude of scans,” says Anna. “Meeting with my colorectal surgeon, my radiation oncologist, all of my doctors to come up with what the treatment approach for me should be.”
Anna quickly noticed an advantage that she had on her side: all of her physicians were working together as a team.
“Communication was key. Everybody involved was using their expertise to play a part, and all the specialists worked together to provide the best treatment plan for my disease.” This type of multidisciplinary approach is viewed as the gold standard in cancer care. Specialists from each diagnostic, treatment and supportive care discipline review every rectal cancer case to make sure every detail is covered.
The rectal multidisciplinary team recently led the Cancer Center in becoming the first facility in the state and one of only 15 in the country to receive a three-year accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer. It was this team that quickly and effectively came up with a treatment plan for Anna.
Anna’s treatment included surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, but a majority of the time she went on with her everyday life.
“Staying in my normal routine and continuing my normal activities in a comfortable environment made all the difference in the world,” she says. Anna credits the expertise of her entire team along with their personal, individualized care for the success of her treatment.
“Everyone has been extremely compassionate and patient with me. I always felt comfortable. They took the stress out of the whole process.”
Today, Anna is cancer-free and living a happy, healthy life.