Suzanne Buck - Patient Story

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"Your oncologist is your ally for life. I am so blessed to have the team at Fox Chase in my life."

— Suzanne Buck, Ovarian Cancer Survivor

I have lived with cancer since 1989, when I was first diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer. Although I’d had a full hysterectomy, the ovarian cancer cells migrated to my colon in 1993 and then to my liver in 1996. With each new diagnosis I underwent surgery and six months of chemotherapy at my local hospital in the Poconos, about two hours north of Philadelphia.

I was again diagnosed with cancer 10 years later at age 54, this time a form of ovarian lesions on my lung. I had a lung resection and then started chemotherapy, but unfortunately had an allergic reaction to one of the drugs. My oncologist recommended that I consult with a medical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center who specializes in advanced forms of ovarian cancer. I met with an oncologist at Fox Chase, who advised that I continue with the therapy, but this time as an inpatient at the hospital over a longer period of time. The therapy worked and lesions were gone.

In 2009, a CAT scan revealed something suspicious my lung. After close monitoring, a tiny growth was detected in 2010, and I was referred to Shelly Hayes, MD,  a radiation oncologist and director of Fox Chase Buckingham, for further evaluation. Dr. Hayes was helpful and devoted to my treatment, and I trusted her expertise. She determined that I was a good candidate for the minimally invasive, targeted radiation technique called CyberKnife, which delivers radiation with sub-millimeter accuracy using image-guided technology and computer-controlled robotics.

I underwent the unique procedure, and I had absolutely no side effects at all. Dr. Hayes and her staff are just amazing, and I can’t say enough about how fabulous Dr. Hayes has been. I completed four CyberKnife treatments by March 2011 and that summer my blood work was clear.

I am one for the record books. If you look at the history of ovarian cancer, you will see it’s not a good one, but I’ve actually been very fortunate. I’m not one of those people who are treated and then are cancer-free in five years. I believe in good energy, the power of doctors and nurses and chemo, and I really believe in CyberKnife.

It is important for people to understand that you can live a full life and still deal with cancer. I am always vigilant, and I never relax my regimen of six-month check-ups, blood work, and CAT scans. My story is proof-positive that cancer is indeed a chronic disease and must be monitored once the patient is diagnosed for the rest of his or her life. Your oncologist is your ally for life. I am so blessed to have the team at Fox Chase in my life. 

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