Audrey Lam - Patient Story

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"Entrusting my care to both Dr. Boraas and Fox Chase was the best decision I could have made."

— Audrey Lam, Breast Patient

Born in Hong Kong in 1957, Audrey Lam traveled to the United States as a young adult in order to further her education. After earning a doctoral degree in School Psychology, she was the first Chinese bilingual school psychologist to work in the School District of Philadelphia. In December 2010, at the age of 52, Audrey suddenly felt her world turn upside down when she was diagnosed with breast cancer (ductal carcinoma). Her doctor recommended a mastectomy with an option of immediate breast reconstruction. Audrey decided to ask for a second opinion.

Many of her friends were also breast cancer survivors and several suggested she make an appointment with Dr. Marcia Boraas, MD, FACS, at Fox Chase. Audrey learned that Dr. Boraas had recently rejoined the staff at Fox Chase Cancer Center after spending 7 years at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania. Audrey made an appointment with Dr. Boraas, and had all her previous test results transferred to Fox Chase. "Entrusting my care to both Dr. Boraas and Fox Chase was the best decision I could have made," shared Audrey. 

Audrey describes herself as a deeply spiritual individual. When she walked into the Women's Cancer Center for the first time in early January, 2011, she was particularly moved by the beautiful architectural design. "The daylight streaming in along the long hallway gave me a sense of hope when my mind was confused and my world seemed chaotic," she shared. "The warm and friendly staff welcomed me to Fox Chase. During my meeting with Dr. Boraas, I sensed that she was genuinely interested in and concerned about my well being. She was informative and recommended the same surgical procedures as the first doctor, but explained in greater detail about my diagnosis and subsequent treatments."

For Audrey's reconstructive surgery, Dr. Boraas recommended her colleague, Dr. Sameer Patel, MD, FACS who specializes in plastic and reconstructive breast surgery at Fox Chase. Personable and mild-mannered, Dr. Patel quickly put Audrey at ease. He clearly explained the various procedures, including a free TRAM flap in which he would use Audrey's abdominal tissue to reconstruct the breast. "Dr. Patel made it easy to decide which procedure to go with," Audrey admitted. After the surgery, Audrey confirmed what she had heard from others; that Dr. Patel's surgical incisions are precise, neat, and leave minimum scarring.

While recuperating in the hospital, Audrey noted that the quality of nursing care and the support she received exceeded her expectations. "Nothing was overlooked; the pastoral care staff took care of my spiritual needs and the physical therapists were terrific."

Audrey shared that as a result of the free TRAM flap, in which her abdominal fat was used to reconstruct the breast, she is now able to fit into "those unrelenting, tight-fitting traditional Chinese gowns, called 'cheung-sams,' once again after 10 years!"

"I am very grateful to everyone at Fox Chase," commented Audrey, "The staff's attentiveness and kindness were comforting. They made confronting cancer less difficult. I feel so blessed to have been under the care of everyone at Fox Chase. For anyone wondering where they should seek medical care and treatment, I want them to know that they'll find the best, and more, at Fox Chase."

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