Patient Story: Patient Spotlight: Finding hope through a shocking diagnosis

Sandra found the support she needed after a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis
patient spotlight

When 38-year-old Sandra felt a lump on her right breast, she was hesitant to get it checked out. Cancer didn’t run in her family, and she was 12 years younger than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended age to begin annual mammogram screenings. Yet as a Pharmacy Technician at Parkland Health, Sandra knew that waiting too long could be fatal, so she scheduled a screening through Parkland’s Moody Center for Breast Health – and thank goodness she did.

The screening of Sandra’s right breast showed no areas of concern but found an otherwise undetectable mass in her left breast and left lymph node. A biopsy confirmed the masses were cancerous – invasive ductal carcinoma and metastatic carcinoma.  

The shock of a Stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis understandably left Sandra with fear, confusion and many questions. Fortunately, support from the National Breast Cancer Foundation meant that a Parkland Patient Navigator was available to help her begin taking the first steps toward a cancer-free future.

The navigator met with her to answer questions, provide emotional support, orientation with the cancer care team and general breast cancer care education. The navigator then arranged for Sandra’s referral to the Multidisciplinary Breast Surgery Clinic for management. The navigator also helped Sandra coordinate her appointments (breast surgery, breast medical oncology, financial services and the scheduling team) and relayed her needs and concerns to the appropriate team members.

Sandra is now an established patient utilizing the full spectrum of Parkland’s Breast Cancer Care services. While her breast cancer journey is just beginning, she is deeply grateful for the personal touch given to her experience and to have the navigator by her side for every step of the way.

Help support patients like Sandra by donating today.

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