TRUE or FALSE: “You can only come to Fox Chase if you have cancer.” ANSWER: FALSE.
Did you know that thousands of patients come to Fox Chase each year for their annual screening tests including mammography, colonoscopy, PSA and DEXA screening to rule out cancer? Mammography is the most widely used screening tool for breast cancer. So why do so many women choose Fox Chase for their mammograms? There are several factors, including convenience and sophisticated technology, but most importantly Fox Chase is home to world-class radiologists with unmatched expertise because they read more mammograms for women with established breast cancers, and therefore, they know what to look for. On behalf of the Women’s Cancer Center, I warmly invite you to make your next appointment at Fox Chase. Learn more about Fox Chase mammograms.
You are about to meet Pamela, an active wife and mother and attorney. Although Pamela knew it was time to get a baseline mammogram when she turned 40 in 2011, she put it off for an entire year. Then, when her next birthday arrived, she took action and made an appointment at Fox Chase. Here is her story – and a brief video that takes you through her experience.
Be well, Bob
My name is Pamela. I am 41 years old and have 3 children. Despite knowing several women, some young, who were diagnosed with breast cancer in recent years, I never had a mammogram myself. Admittedly, I thought about it for 8 years. I finally decided that this was it, and I’m going to do it. A few weeks ago, I called my friend, Lisa, who works at Fox Chase Cancer Center. I mentioned to her that I’d never had a mammogram and she explained that unfortunately there are so many young women like me out there like me who have never done it. Lisa told me that she gets her annual mammograms at Fox Chase because of the expertise of the radiologists – and would not consider going anywhere else.
Making the Call
Just after Memorial Day Weekend, I called Fox Chase to make an appointment. Although I had to speak with several people (insurance questions!), everyone was so pleasant. I made an early morning appointment for later that week because I figured there would be less chance of me backing out!
Time to Go!
On Friday morning, I was so nervous, but I knew this was something I had to do. The drive to Fox Chase was really easy and took less time than I thought. I arrived at the East Garage, which had plenty of parking and was a short walk to the Women’s Center. I was relieved to see Lisa waiting for me, knowing she’d be there with me! When we walked into Mammography, we were greeted by Helen Ayers, who was very friendly. The paperwork was simple and easy and took just a few minutes to complete. Then, Jean Hummel walked in and introduced herself as the technician who would be doing my mammogram. I was feeling really nervous and asked Jean whether it would hurt. She said that it may be uncomfortable, but that she’d make it as quick and painless as possible. She took me to a waiting area and a small room with lockers where she handed me a little hospital shirt/robe. I put my belongings in my locker and took the key with me, which was conveniently attached to a bracelet. Then Jean and I walked to the Mammography Suite while Lisa waited in a room across the hall.
After the test was completed, Jean and I walked over to the waiting room where Lisa was waiting for me. She asked me how it was, to which I responded that it wasn’t that bad! Jean informed me that Dr. Evers, the Director of Mammography, would be reading my mammogram. A few minutes later, Dr. Evers entered the waiting room and introduced herself to me. She told me that my mammogram was normal and that she’d see me back here next year. I was relieved to hear those words! She took time to answer some questions which I really appreciated.
What a Relief!
From start to finish, I was at Fox Chase for about one hour and now I have a baseline mammogram! I can’t believe it took me this long to finally get the test done. I am relieved that I did it and I’m glad I had it done at Fox Chase. Although I’m not looking forward to my next mammogram, I know that it is something I have to do and going to Fox Chase will make it that much easier and that much more comfortable.
If you ask these patients, they would say “yes!” On Friday, May 18, 2012, six Fox Chase Cancer Center patients were treated to a special opportunity. Love Versus Cancer teamed up with Lancome & Bloomingdale’s in Willow Grove, PA to introduce the women to Lancome’s National Make-Up Artist, Manuel Villegas, who lifted their spirits with a make-up lesson. Because treatment can affect a patient’s skin, eyebrows, lashes and hair, Manuel provided useful tips for each patient. Everyone left with a cosmetic gift bag, a white rose and a big smile on her face!
“This was the best medicine Fox Chase has ever given me!” said Maureen, who is being treated for ovarian cancer, as she was leaving. Read more comments below:
“The experience with Lancome made me realize that I am still beautiful. My confidence was high that day. Thank you for everything!” Jessica Cerpegi, the mother of a three-year-old daughter, Victoria, is being treated for stage IV breast cancer.
“My daughter, Jess, thought that Manny was great and really liked his sense of style,” she said. “I am glad that I brought her with me. Thank you for my special treat! The pampering was just what I needed. I enjoyed all attention that was spent on me.” Maureen Robinson, mother of three and a nurse at Fox Chase, is being treated for breast cancer.
“Thanks for including me in a great day. It was an indulgence I never would have done for myself – so thank you Fox Chase!! I had rave reviews from family and friends and am having fun “playing” with my new make up.” Marilyn Lemke, retired teacher and an accomplished harpist, is being treated for stage IV breast cancer.
Stay tuned for a similar event at Fox Chase Cancer Center in the works …