• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: 2 Teams, 1 Mission: Defeat Breast Cancer

July 1, 2018

breast cancer patient Elena Blevins with her grandchildren for Sharing Mayo Clinic
Diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, Elena Blevins worked with providers at Phoenix Indian Medical Center and Mayo Clinic through a collaboration that provides patients with comprehensive cancer care.

Elena Blevins spends much of her time caring for others. Her career as an aide takes her into the homes of elderly individuals, where she cooks, cleans and runs errands for those who have trouble taking care of themselves. Elena also cares for her elderly mother.

"I like to help others. That's me in a nutshell," says Elena, who also is the mom of two grown children and grandmother to two young boys.

Six years ago, after discovering a lump on her right breast as she was getting dressed, Elena was forced to put herself first. But it took her some time. "At first I thought it was cyst," she says. She initially dismissed the lump as she focused on her job and family. After several months, she became increasingly tired. And the lump appeared to get larger and harder.

At the urging of her daughter, Elena, who is a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation, scheduled an appointment with Indian Health Service at Phoenix Indian Medical Center. It would be the first of a series of medical appointments that would bring medical experts from Phoenix Indian Medical Center and Mayo Clinic together to coordinate Elena's care. Read the rest of the story.
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.