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South Nassau in the Community


Gift Supports Breast Cancer Services for Underserved Women

The Long Island 2 Day Breast Cancer Walk (LI2DAY) has awarded South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Cancer Center with a $20,000 gift in support of its breast cancer screening, early detection/diagnosis, and follow-up treatment program for underserved and minority patients. This is the second consecutive year that LI2DAY has donated a gift to the program for a combined total of $51,500.

“We are grateful for LI2DAY’s generosity and support of our mission,” said Christine Hodyl, DO, Director of Breast Health Services. “The funds will help women with breast cancer, who need special support, transportation, child care, and other services, attend their appointments with their doctors to receive the screening and diagnostic mammograms and procedures that they need to fight the disease.”

More than 300 walkers participated in the 2009 LI2DAY walk held June 6 -7, raising $300,000 that is donated directly back to Long Island community-based grassroots organizations. The two-day, 35-mile walk began Saturday morning at Smith Point County Park at the Fire Island barrier beach in Shirley and continued along safe and scenic Suffolk County roads with continuous support from the Suffolk County Police Department, a qualified medical team, and local ambulance personnel. After completing a 20-mile walk on Day 1, participants camped overnight at Cathedral Pines County Park in Middle Island. Walkers complete a 15-mile route back to Smith Point County Park on Sunday.

According to the American Cancer Society there are about 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, including women who are still being treated. Underserved and minority women have the highest mortality, lowest survival, and fastest-rising incidence rates for breast cancer in the U.S. “South Nassau’s Breast Health Services Program offers a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary breast care program, with a full spectrum of clinical and support services, from screening and diagnosis to treatment and counseling,” said Rajiv Datta, MD, Medical Director of the Cancer Center, Chair of the Department of Surgery, and Chief of Surgical Oncology/Head & Neck Surgery. “The program is recognized for its advanced treatment of both cancerous and benign breast problems.”

Early detection is the focus of South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Complete Women’s Imaging, which offers women the special diagnostic and imaging technologies to detect breast cancer in its earliest stage. Located at 440 Merrick Road in Oceanside, Complete Women’s Imaging is home to two of Long Island’s premier breast imaging specialists, Dr. Abraham Port and Dr. George Autz. Complete Women’s Imaging uses an array of state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies, including digital mammography, high resolution ultrasound and MRI of the breast. Minimally invasive procedures can detect breast cancer long before it becomes a serious threat to your health and wellness.

If a tumor or abnormality is detected, South Nassau’s Breast Health Services Program offers the most advanced treatments for breast cancer and uses targeted surgical techniques that aim to preserve as much of the healthy breast and surrounding areas as possible. This includes Mammosite® brachytherapy, which utilizes a balloon catheter to deliver highly localized radiation to the lumpectomy bed; breast-conserving surgery (commonly known as lumpectomy), in which only the tumor or abnormality is removed from the breast; or mastectomy, an operation in which the whole breast is removed. For invasive breast cancer, these procedures may be accompanied by a sentinel lymph node biopsy or axillary lymph node dissection if needed.

Led by Dr. Hodyl, the program also uses oncoplastic surgical techniques. Oncoplasty combines surgical cancer removal with plastic surgery techniques to produce a superior cosmetic end result. This is an option for patients with certain tumor locations or tumor sizes, which may not have been amenable for breast conservation previously. Recommendations for whole body or "systemic" treatments, such as hormonal therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of two of the three therapies, may follow either surgical approach. If the patient has early-stage breast cancer, sentinel lymph node biopsy is used as an alternative to traditional lymph node dissection.

For more information about South Nassau’s Complete Women’s Imaging Center or Breast Health Services Program or to schedule an appointment, please call 1-877-SOUTH-NASSAU.

Long Island 2 Day Breast Cancer Walk

Since its inception the LI2DAY has raised over $2 Million from the annual 35-mile, two-day walk. LI2DAY helps fund programs that assist with medical expenses, transportation, prosthetics and wigs, physical therapy, child care and more. While researchers forge ahead to determine why breast cancer rates are so high on Long Island and to find a cure, LI2DAY will continue to raise awareness and much needed funds for the women and men in our community who are fighting breast cancer right now - emotionally, physically and financially. For more information, visit or call 631- 863- 2DAY (2329).

Elizabeth Nardone and Georgette Toulis accept check from LI2DAY for $20,000

Elizabeth Nardone, vice president of development and Georgette Toulis, administrative assistant, accept a check from LI2DAY for $20,000, on behalf of South Nassau Communities Hospital.


Reps from all organizations receiving LI2DAY funds are pictured.
Representatives from all organizations receiving LI2DAY Breast Cancer Walk funds are pictured.


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