Breast Cancer Patient Stories

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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Patti Rose

  • Breast Cancer

At 36, Patti Rose, a wife and mother to seven children, was shocked to learn she had a rare form of breast cancer. Because her husband works in construction and had done several projects for Fox Chase Cancer Center, they knew right away Fox Chase was the right place for Patti's treatment. At Fox Chase, Patti underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy, followed by a lumpectomy and additional surgery. The experience was extremely difficult, but Patti credits the staff at Fox Chase for giving her a positive outlook and helping her get through it. Today, she is cancer free and could not be more pleased with the treatment she received. "Fox Chase helped me to be positive. If I didn’t have that connection with doctors and nurses and even the security guard that I would talk to every time I was there, I think I would have felt more afraid," she said. "Knowing all those people were praying for me, thinking of me, and trying to get me through it made me feel like I could overcome it."

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Jill Scheetz

  • Breast Cancer

At the age of 37, in 2002, I was just getting back into shape after the birth of my two daughters. I considered myself to be physically active and a healthy eater. My only vice was a caffeinated iced tea almost every day. Although it doesn't sound terrible, my doctor recommended I stay away from caffeine because I had a benign tumor which was removed from my breast when I was 18. When my left breast began to hurt, I made an appointment for a mammogram (it had been five years since my last one).

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Kathy Petrozelli

  • Breast Cancer

When Kathy Petrozelli found out she had breast cancer in 2005, she was shocked even though she screened for it every year since her mother had breast cancer. After genetic testing revealed she was a carrier of a genetic mutation that increased her risk for breast cancer and recurrence, she sought a second opinion at Fox Chase Cancer Center. She first opted for a lumpectomy and then a hysterectomy to rule out her chances for getting ovarian cancer. Later, she underwent a simple bilateral mastectomy, which she, at first, tried to avoid. Kathy's final treatment at Fox Chase was in 2013, and today she is cancer free, though she still follows up regularly with her doctors. "I will never forget what the doctors at Fox Chase did for me and for my family. There is no doubt in my mind that they saved my life," she said. "I was impressed with everyone at Fox Chase. They proved to be some of the most compassionate, caring people I’ve ever met."

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