Marjorie – Breast Cancer Patient Story
In December 2022, Marjorie “Margie” had her annual mammogram. After her results came back suspicious, her doctor advised her to have a second mammogram, as well as an ultrasound. The tests and biopsy revealed Margie had early-stage breast cancer.
“My doctor said the tumor was deep within the chest wall and wouldn’t have been found during a self-exam,” says Margie, 76.
To help determine the extent of her breast cancer, Margie underwent a bilateral breast MRI, followed by a lumpectomy to remove the cancer from her breast in March 2023. Her surgeon also recommended radiation treatment.
Cancer Care, Close to Home
Margie made an appointment with Maury Rosenstein, MD, PhD, a radiation oncologist at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at Heritage Valley Health System in Beaver. Dr. Rosenstein said she was an excellent candidate for radiation treatment and his team explained the process to her.
“Dr. Rosenstein was so nice. I looked at him and said, ‘I want to do this,’” says Margie. “He explained everything so well.”
His team immediately started to plan Margie’s treatment, which involved positioning her body on the CT machine, making marks on her scan, and taking imaging scans – all in the same day.
For the next four weeks, Margie underwent radiation treatment five days a week. Her husband accompanied her to every appointment at the office in Beaver, which is a convenient, short drive away from their home.
“Everyone – from the technicians to the front desk staff – were super nice and helpful,” says Margie. “They explained how I should take special care of my skin during this time and gave me a gift bag of different kinds of radiation cream to use.”
Margie has been cancer free ever since she completed treatment and recently returned for her annual mammogram, which showed great results. She also has regular follow-up visits with her surgeon and medical and radiation oncologists scheduled. “I’m doing great!” she exclaims.
The Importance of Breast Cancer Screening
Margie hopes her story encourages women to get their yearly screening mammogram.
“Don’t put it off,” she warns. “If I hadn’t had my mammogram, my cancer wouldn’t have been found and the tumor would have grown and increased in size.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Margie’s daughter had delayed getting a mammogram for a few years. But when Margie told her about her cancer diagnosis, her daughter immediately scheduled her screening appointment.
“Mammograms are very important – and they don’t take long,” says Margie.