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Penny R. Anderson, MD

Clinical Locations

Primary Location

Fox Chase Cancer Center
333 Cottman Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111

About

Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Director, Breast and Gynecologic Radiation Oncology
Vice Chair for Quality Assurance and Process Improvement

 

 

 

Treatment Focus

Brachytherapy

Treatment Philosophy

After completing my training at Fox Chase, I joined the radiation oncology department attending staff in 1999. I chose to stay at Fox Chase because I wanted to remain in a research setting at a hospital with the highest excellence in cancer care. In my practice, I specialize in treating patients with gynecological cancers, breast cancer and sarcoma.

As a female oncologist, I address the many unique treatment issues specific to women. My patients discuss their personal issues surrounding their cancer, as well as the side effects of treatment. It is gratifying to offer comfort, not only through radiation treatment, but afterwards in their follow-up care.

As director of breast and gynecologic radiation oncology, I believe it is important to spend time educating my patients. These women have many personal issues related to quality-of-life. We provide education and support from diagnosis throughout treatment and follow-up care.

A particular accomplishment of mine was changing the practice of gynecological high-dose-rate brachytherapy in 2001 from an inpatient to an outpatient procedure for patients. This procedure is now much easier for patients to tolerate, while maximizing our highest quality of care.

At Fox Chase, we use the most sophisticated technology for both external beam (IMRT) radiation therapy and brachytherapy. We have a CT and an MRI simulator for gynecological cancer treatment planning. We use CT/MR-based brachytherapy treatment planning for patients with gynecological cancers.

As a breast cancer specialist, I am part of the Breast Evaluation Center's multispecialty team at Fox Chase. My role is integral in developing the best course of treatment for our newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. At Fox Chase, we use IMRT to treat women with breast cancer.

In treating patients with sarcoma, I collaborate with the surgeons and medical oncologists to determine the best course of treatment. Before surgery, radiation therapy helps to reduce the tumor's size, making it easier to remove. Following surgery, radiation therapy can improve local control and chance for cure. In treating sarcomas, we use an MR simulator in the planning process, which helps improve accuracy of treatment.

Research is another interest of mine. I am a member of multiple national committees aimed at constantly improving and advancing the treatment and outcome of gynecologic and breast cancers. I am the principal investigator for several national trials evaluating novel, innovative approaches for breast and gynecologic cancer treatment. Each year, I am invited to present at many professional meetings, including the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), ASTRO (American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology), and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG).

Education, Training & Credentials

Educational Background

  • Fellow, Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia,PA
  • Resident, Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
  • MD, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, 1994

Certifications

  • American Board of Radiology, Therapeutic Radiology

Memberships

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
  • Radiation Therapy Oncology Group
  • Gynecologic Oncology Group
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group
  • American Brachytherapy Society
Patient Stories

Judith Ingraham

Sarcoma

Judith Ingraham

Sarcoma

In November 2014, at the age of 58, Judith Ingraham noticed a small lump on the lower part of her left leg near her ankle. “I went to my primary care physician who sent me for an ultrasound and then an MRI.  The results were inconclusive so I went for a second opinion and an X-ray. I was told by that doctor to leave it alone unless it grew larger and he insisted it would never be cancer,” recalls Judith.

Linda Snow

Breast Cancer

Linda Snow

Breast Cancer

“I had triple-negative breast cancer,” explained Linda. “Even after two prophylactic double mastectomies, I still got cancer.” Linda’s shock that she had breast cancer turned into a determination to beat it. 

Michelle Palandro

Sarcoma

Michelle Palandro

Sarcoma

In the spring of 2011, Michelle Palandro noticed a hard bump on her hip so she had her doctor check it out. The doctor ordered an X-ray which showed “fatty tissue in normal limits.” She followed her doctor’s recommendation and didn't worry about it, especially because she was so healthy and active. Then in July, after a moderate mountain hike, she developed excruciating pain in her lower leg. She went to a general surgeon to have the growth removed the following month. Tests revealed she had malignant stage 3 liposarcoma, a type of tumor that grows within the fat cells in deep soft tissue.

Karen Lucas

Breast Cancer

Karen Lucas

Breast Cancer

For more than 20 years, Karen Lucas has been diligent about getting annual mammograms, as well as yearly visits to her OB/GYN. At the age of 65, during a routine mammogram in August 2012, the test showed calcification in both breasts.

Rosella Nelson

Breast Cancer

Rosella Nelson

Breast Cancer

"Get a second opinion, and go to a nationally recognized cancer center!" This is the advice Rosella Nelson wants everyone who has been diagnosed with cancer to hear. Had she not practiced what she preaches, Rosella would have had both breasts removed needlessly in 2007 at her local hospital. Fortunately, a second opinion at Fox Chase Cancer Center provided Rosella with alternatives, as well as hope.

Pages

Research Profile

Research Interests

Breast Cancer; Gynecologic Cancers; Brachytherapy