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Touched by an Angel at Chilton Hospital's Comprehensive Breast Center

Touched by an Angel at Chilton Hospital's Comprehensive Breast Center

With a family history of breast cancer, Marilyn Weinstein of Wayne had been preparing for it all her life. She had been going to Chilton for mammography since she moved here from California 11 years ago. She even had the BRCA genetic test two years ago, which was negative.

Marilyn Weinstein of Wayne (left) is comforted by her "angel," Angela Arcuri of Chilton Hospital's Comprehensive Breast Center.

Weinstein, who had a previous lumpectomy, was at the Comprehensive Breast Center for a follow-up ultrasound on her left breast to monitor an encapsulated cyst that recurred after an earlier mammogram. "I was happy to see Angela Arcuri's familiar face as we went into the ultrasound room," Weinstein admitted. Arcuri is a Chilton radiology technician who is licensed in x-ray, mammography and breast sonography. Weinstein, however, referred to her as "my personal angel." Although doctors had requested that one particular spot be re-examined, Arcuri scanned the entire breast just to be sure.

"Minutes later, we saw something unusual," Weinstein recalled. A speedy biopsy confirmed an invasive lobular carcinoma (a certain type of breast cancer) that, even after the biopsy, only showed up as a small cloudiness on a mammogram. "I had immediate surgery for a lumpectomy and lymphectomy at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center," explained Weinstein.

The tumor, which had already grown to double its size in four weeks, was removed with clear margins, and because it was detected in the first stage and had not invaded her lymph nodes, she was able to make the decision not to have chemotherapy. "I began radiation treatments at the Chilton Cancer Center for seven weeks right after that," said Weinstein adding, "Doctors at Sloan told us that if I had had the follow-up ultrasound at Sloan, they probably would not have found it because they would have only checked the original spot. It is because of Angela's skills and thoroughness at the time of my ultrasound that I am now cancer free."

Arcuri, who modestly deflected any credit for going beyond standard measures, commented, "I did what I always do. Because I don't feel comfortable checking just one site, I always scan the entire breast." With high praise for her colleagues, she added, "It's not just me. Everyone who works at Chilton's Breast Center shows pride and compassion for what they do. We're all here to help people. That's our job."

Weinstein agreed with Arcuri that everyone at the center is very comforting, reassuring and caring. "However, they do much more than just their job. They make you feel that whatever happens, it's going to be okay, and they'll help you through it," she reported, crediting Dr. Lisa Bash, Dr. Reena Wagner, Dr. Gail Eliot and all the technicians at the center for making a huge difference in her life and in her future. "Going to the Breast Center is very stressful for all women," she added, "because you go to do the routine check-ups and never know what's going to happen. The entire staff has always put me at ease. This is not just a breast center. It's a team of very caring professionals."

Comprehensive Breast Center Medical Director Lisa Bash, MD, is offering a presentation entitled, "Breast Health: What You Should Know About Screening and Detection," on Monday, October 24, 2011 at 11 a.m., at the Collins Pavilion of Chilton Hospital. Hear about the latest innovations including digital mammography and research regarding prevention, screening, detecting and diagnosing breast cancer.

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