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Breast Cancer Patient Stories

Janet Blair

Breast Cancer

Janet Blair

Breast Cancer

I was 62 years old in January 2014 when a routine mammogram detected a cluster of calcifications in my left breast. Further testing showed that I had stage 3 breast cancer. I was scared and knew I needed to make some decisions.

Linda Snow

Breast Cancer

Linda Snow

Breast Cancer

Linda Snow was active, maintained a healthy diet, and underwent genetic testing, followed by two double mastectomies and a hysterectomy. So she was shocked that even with all of these precautionary procedures that she still got breast cancer. Linda sought treatment at Fox Chase Cancer Center, where she met with her treatment team. After a long road, she is now cancer free and credits her survival to Fox Chase. "Where you start your cancer treatment really does make a difference," said Linda. "You have got to act with a sense of urgency because it can mean the difference between life and death. I unequivocally believe that I am alive today because I chose Fox Chase."

Karen Lucas

Breast Cancer

Karen Lucas

Breast Cancer

For more than 20 years, I had been diligent about getting annual mammograms, as well as yearly visits to my OB/GYN. At 65 years old, during a routine mammogram in August 2012, my test showed calcification in both my breasts.

Denise Portner

Breast Cancer

Denise Portner

Breast Cancer

In May 2008, Denise Portner, 45, underwent genetic testing that showed she carried the BRCA2 mutation, just like her mother and aunt, who had breast cancer. Genetic counselors at this hospital advised her to consider prophylactic oophorectomy, a surgical procedure to remove one or both of her ovaries to help reduce her risk for breast and ovarian cancers. Denise decided to get a second opinion from the Risk Assessment Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, and on June 16, 2009, she learned that she had breast cancer, which changed her treatment plans. Instead, she had a double mastectomy that summer, followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and, later, the originally planned oophorectomy. "It was a challenging ride, but I always felt that I was getting the best possible treatment and that I was fortunate to have a world-class cancer center within a 10-minute drive of my home," Denise said. "If I had not been aware of my genetic status, I would not have had the MRI and would not have known that I had breast cancer."

Rosella Nelson

Breast Cancer

Rosella Nelson

Breast Cancer

In 2007, Rosella Nelson was diagnosed with breast cancer after years of being treated for noncancerous fibroids in her right breast. A general surgeon she met with recommended a double mastectomy within a week, which meant removal of both of her breasts and her lymph nodes. Anxious for a second opinion, Rosella scheduled an appointment at Fox Chase Cancer Center, where her surgeon recommended a much less invasive surgery to remove the tumor. Because the surgery was an outpatient procedure, she was able to go home the same day. And because it was Stage 2 cancer and had not metastasized, she did not need any additional treatment. "I can’t say enough about everyone at Fox Chase. There was not one person I met that wasn’t helpful, supportive, and knowledgeable," Rosella said. "I feel very protected in the Fox Chase environment, and I feel that they really care for me and about me. Thanks to Fox Chase, I have both of my breasts and my life to prove it."

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