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Brenda Vorters: A Medical Emergency Leads to Early Detection of Sarcoma

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“Fox Chase treats all of their patients like they are the top priority.”

— Brenda Vorters

Found by Accident

In 2014, I had just retired and was looking forward to traveling with my husband, Leonard. I had been dealing with a multiday headache that just kept getting worse, and at one point, I passed out. I woke up four days later to learn that I had suffered a massive brain bleed. As a result of this, my doctors ordered a complete CT scan to get an idea of what was going on.

It was through the CT scan that they also discovered I had a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), a type of soft tissue sarcoma, in my stomach. I wasn’t experiencing any symptoms related to the tumor, and it was found as a fluke.

After being discharged to a rehab center to recover from the brain bleed, I decided I needed to go to Fox Chase as soon as I was home.

A Trusted Cancer Center

I never thought about going anywhere other than Fox Chase because Leonard had such a great experience there when he had prostate cancer years earlier.

At my first appointment, they decided that because the tumor was found at an early stage, surgery was my best option. I was to have the tumor taken out by Dr. Jeffrey Farma, a surgical oncologist. I was still very surprised by my diagnosis, but I was grateful it was caught early enough that I would not require additional treatment after my surgery.

My care team wanted to be thorough, so before the surgery, I had a PET scan that caught a lesion on my thyroid. I saw an endocrinologist at Fox Chase to evaluate it, but luckily it turned out to be nothing. I was glad that my care team was so thorough and looked beyond the obvious diagnosis to make sure everything was in order.

In the days before my operation, I was nervous about having to go under anesthesia. But, Dr. Farma and his team members were so attentive that I was put at ease. I also had a great support network of family members and friends who were by my side through it all.

My surgery went well, and because it was done laparoscopically, I recovered almost fully in four days!

Moving Forward

It’s been six years since my surgery, and I am still cancer free! Leonard retired in 2019, and although we haven’t been able to travel as much as we like, I have really enjoyed cooking and baking more.

I still have follow-up appointments at Fox Chase, but now I only go in once a year. Dr. Farma always answers all of my questions, and his honesty and kindness are what keep me coming back.

I am not sure where I would be if my tumor was not caught in its early stages, but I do know that if someone is facing something cancer related, I tell them to go to Fox Chase.

Learn more about sarcoma treatment at Fox Chase

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