MENU

Andrea Snyder - Patient Story

"My experience at Fox Chase was just fantastic. From scheduling appointments to the nursing staff and doctors, everything was great."

— Andrea Snyder

I had a lumpectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy at Fox Chase Cancer Center in 2006 after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Five years later I was cancer free and feeling good. I had continued to go back to Fox Chase for follow-up care, even though it is a 2-hour drive from my home in Stroudsburg, PA.

It was during one of those follow-up visits in 2012 when a mammogram found a different type of breast cancer. Rather than risk another recurrence, I decided to undergo a double mastectomy with breast reconstruction.

 I was 56 and had developed lymphedema, which causes severe swelling, and I was afraid the surgery might make it worse. I met with a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Fox Chase who was skilled at a microsurgical procedure called vascularized lymph node transfer (VLNT), which transfers lymph nodes from the groin to the area under the arm and reduces and sometimes eliminates the effects of lymphedema. VLNT can be done at the same time as the mastectomy.

Dr. Elin R. Sigurdson, a surgical oncologist, and the plastic and reconstructive surgeon performed my 16-hour surgery. About 2 months later, I was back at work managing my hair salon.

I managed fine, even though I had to work 7 days a week for a few weeks after some of my employees left. I didn’t feel wiped out or tired. My lymphedema also improved a lot after the procedure.

I am very lucky. I have a wonderful husband and 2 daughters. My experience at Fox Chase was just fantastic. From scheduling appointments to the nursing staff and doctors, everything was great. If you have to go through major surgery, they are the doctors you want taking care of you.

Connect with Fox Chase