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Cancer (Oncology) Treatment Program

Words from Our Patients

When a Physical Therapist Becomes the Patient

Andrea, Breast Cancer Patient

Less than 5% of women with breast cancer are under 40. At age 38, Andrea is hardly the poster child for the disease.

This mother of three had just started to think seriously about breast health. During her first self-exam, she found a lump. Her primary care physician felt it was nothing more than a calcification but sent her for a mammogram – just to be safe.

That appointment happened on a Monday. By Friday, she was diagnosed with stage 3 HER2 + Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. “Within the course of a week, my life drastically changed,” Andrea says.

As an employee of MossRehab, part of the Einstein Healthcare Network, Andrea already knew Einstein’s commitment to quality care. During her treatment, she came to experience that care from the patient’s perspective. She credits her nurse navigator for helping her at every step in the process. “She was always willing to talk – even outside of scheduled appointments,” she says, adding, “It was reassuring to receive such thorough, research-based, yet compassionate care from my entire medical team at such a precarious time in my life.”

Her treatment consisted of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and physical therapy. “I really appreciated the team approach at Einstein,” says Andrea, adding, “My breast surgeon took the time I needed to answer questions, and was very detailed about recommendations for surgery and lifestyle choices that followed.”

Andrea is grateful to say the treatment, while challenging, was successful. Today, she enjoys her life in remission, and appreciates every moment with her husband and two sons. As she continues to recover, she remains optimistic. “I’m prioritizing my health as I return to my roles of wife, mother and part-time physical therapist,” Andrea reports.

To her care team, she says, “Thank you for every effort you take to go the extra mile to help those around you.”

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