Diane Smith - Patient Story

"Making an appointment at Fox Chase was the best thing I could have done."
‐Diane Smith

I was 55 years old when I was diagnosed with colon cancer. It was in September 2015 when I noticed blood in my stool and quickly made an appointment with my local gastroenterologist, who ordered a colonoscopy. The colonoscopy showed that I had a two-inch bleeding polyp on my colon.

The doctor initially said I had hemorrhoids because I had none of the common symptoms of colon cancer, such as weight loss or stomach pain, but I decided that I needed a second opinion. I made an appointment with Dr. Sanjay S. Reddy, a surgical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Making that appointment was the best thing I could have done.

Dr. Reddy was so compassionate, so kind, and so reassuring. He ordered additional tests that confirmed the diagnosis of colon cancer and assured me that he would take care of it and that I should not worry. His recommendation was that my tumor be removed with a laparoscopic procedure.

He explained that a laparoscopic procedure would result in no scarring and would allow me to heal faster. It also meant that Dr. Reddy would be performing a more difficult surgery, and he went above and beyond for me. Dr. Gina Mantia-Smaldone, a gynecologic surgical oncologist at Fox Chase, joined my treatment team, and they both recommended that I have a hysterectomy at the same time as the laparoscopy.

The two surgeries in May 2016 were successful. Dr. Mantia-Smaldone was incredible, and she and Dr. Reddy were so considerate of my recovery by performing the procedures at the same time. I stayed in the hospital at Fox Chase for one week, where the staff was also incredible, especially my nurses. Each nurse who attended to me was extremely kind and compassionate.

After my surgery and week in the hospital, I returned home to finish my recovery. I am now enjoying my time with friends, reading, walking in Pennypack Park, living a healthy lifestyle, and attending church regularly. I came back from cancer, and I thank God every day for directing me to Fox Chase.