Shalini Chitneni, MD
Dr. Shalini Chitneni is certified in internal medicine, hematology and oncology.
Her research interest centers on breast and gynecology-based cancers.
Dr. Chitneni is FWMOH’s lead primary investigator on immunotherapy with triple-negative breast cancer clinical trials.
She also leads our team serving patients in Hicksville, OH.
What A Cancer Doctor Wants
You to Know About Breast Cancer
It’s a life-changing moment when a woman learns she has breast cancer.
I’ve helped thousands of women get through the shock, fear and worry that follows diagnosis. I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned about this disease and how it affects everyone around you.
- Most of the time breast cancer is discovered by mammography and it’s a total shock. Only about 25% of women had symptoms or suspected a problem. There is no doubt mammograms save lives. I suggest women age 40-54 have one every year.
- It’s important to bring someone with you to our first appointment. I like to spend an hour or more explaining what we see in X-rays and pathology reports, and what may be ahead. I know your mind will be reeling and you’ll remember only about 20% of what I say. Having someone there to take notes helps a lot.
- We’ll be spending lots of time together in the months to come. Feel free to talk with me about health concerns beyond your cancer. Even if it’s not cancer-related, I want to help. If we can avoid sending you to see yet another doctor, let’s do it.
- Single moms face a special challenge. Chemotherapy is better than ever, but still takes a toll and may leave you exhausted. We’ll do all we can to minimize side-effects, but I know the demands of parenthood can’t be ignored. We’ll discuss creating a support system so the kids get what they need while you get what you need.
- Stress, anxiety and depression are cancer’s best friends. It’s important you are comfortable enough with me to share how you feel emotionally. I may suggest relaxation techniques or prescribe antidepressants to help.
- You’ll grow weary of tests, appointments and everything to do with a doctor’s office. That’s why Fort Wayne Medical Oncology has clinics in 13 hometowns around northeast Indiana and Hicksville, Ohio. It’s more driving for us, but we think it’s best you stay close to home for treatment and follow-ups whenever possible.
There is so much more I wish to share, but most important is my gratitude to the brave women I treat for what they have taught me and how they’ve changed my life, too.