Breast cancer survivor grateful for care received at HCHC

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Breast cancer survivor grateful for care received at HCHC

As a breast cancer survivor, Brenda Schrader is a true believer in the value of preventive health exams. Schrader learned first-hand that early detection is the best protection against cancer, and that procedures like mammograms and colonoscopies can save lives.


“My physician, Dr. Rynders, recommended that I have a mammogram as part of my routine annual exam. This was my first mammogram ever and resulted in a biopsy. My diagnosis was invasive ductal carcinoma. If I hadn’t had my mammogram, I don’t know where I’d be right now,” said Schrader.


After being diagnosed, she asked her physician what he would recommend for care if this were his family member. Since HCHC is a smaller facility, Schrader wasn’t sure if HCHC offered the services she would need. Dr. Rynders recommended Dr. Michelle Tansey, HCHC’s General Surgeon.


“I chose to stay at HCHC and it’s been a blessing. HCHC has been awesome. They treat you like family which is important to me because I’m not from Iowa and most of my family lives out of state. Cancer is scary; I didn’t know what to do. HCHC is a small hospital that offers just as good of treatment as larger facilities and I received one-on-one personalized care. I felt like I got better care at HCHC,” explained Schrader.


She discovered the majority of her cancer treatment could be done at HCHC. She had her mammogram and a week later her biopsy. A short time later she went into surgery with Dr. Tansey to remove the tumor. A month later she started chemotherapy.


“I’m from Lee County, but I work in Mt. Pleasant. Receiving my chemotherapy here allowed me to function somewhat normally during treatment. Not having to travel allowed me to still be able to work and keep a normal routine,” she said. “When I walked in the door for chemotherapy I saw the same faces every day. They made me feel like family instead of just a patient which makes you want to come back.”


Schrader’s positive experience was also attributed to the extraordinary medical care by Dr. Tansey. “Dr. Tansey took the time to explain everything despite having a busy schedule. My first meeting with her also involved my husband, three of my sons and my daughter who was on the phone. Dr. Tansey answered all of our questions. She was very patient and took me through it all step-by-step. She put me at ease by knowing she could get in there and take out the tumor during surgery,” said Schrader.


When Schrader recovered from her breast cancer treatment, Dr. Tansey recommended a colonoscopy, an important preventative test to screen for colon cancer.


“Brenda had an outpatient colonoscopy. Colonoscopies are both therapeutic and diagnostic. What that means is that we can find the problem and take care of it all at once. Brenda’s colonoscopy was completely normal, and she’s a breast cancer survivor and doing very well,” commented Dr. Tansey.


Schrader was pleased with her healthcare at HCHC. “My overall experience was wonderful. I had my mammogram, biopsy, surgery, chemotherapy and colonoscopy here. The staff made me feel like family, and I felt like they cared. It’s very important to not wait to have your mammogram. This was my first ever mammogram and I am thankful I had it. If it wasn’t for HCHC, I wouldn’t be here today.”