Karen Leone - Patient Story

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“I felt safe going [to Fox Chase] and I knew that’s where I wanted to be.”

— Karen Leone

Karen Leone was grieving the unexpected loss of her husband to kidney cancer just a year prior when she received her own diagnosis of cancer in 2013.

“There were no symptoms,” said Karen, who went in for a routine screening when her OB/GYN found abnormal endometrial cells. Testing soon revealed that Karen had endometrial cancer.

Karen’s doctors referred her to Fox Chase Cancer Center, and she knew immediately that it was the right fit. “I live in the area and I know their reputation,” said Karen. “I felt safe going [to Fox Chase] and I knew that’s where I wanted to be.”

Under the care and advice of Cynthia A. Bergman, MD, a gynecological oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Karen decided to undergo a full hysterectomy in January 2014. “Dr. Bergman did an amazing job with the surgery,” said Karen. “I was in the hospital for two days and discharged a day early with a minimal incision and zero pain. I was really grateful.”

Soon after surgery, Karen was introduced to Angela Jain, MD, a medical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center, who recommended follow-up treatment with chemotherapy and localized radiation.

“When I had my consultation with Dr. Jain, I listened to her recommendations, and as far as I am concerned, she saved my life,” said Karen. “During the last round of my chemotherapy treatments, I had an allergic reaction. Within 10 minutes, Dr. Jain was checking on me and telling me that I was going to be OK.”

Undergoing chemotherapy treatments was a very humbling experience for Karen that revealed the power of the human spirit.

“All of the people going through this process are wonderfully positive and supportive of each other,” said Karen.

Karen is currently in remission and will receive scans and blood work every six months. Shortly after undergoing radiation treatments, Karen returned to work as a Training Coordinator at Philadelphia Family Court and began teaching part-time for the Trio Veterans Upward Bound Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently enjoying her time with family and friends, especially her three grandchildren.

“It’s a very scary experience to be faced with your own mortality,” said Karen. “The staff and patients at Fox Chase offered their encouragement and kept me positive and moving forward. I feel blessed and lucky.”

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