Sutter Cancer Centers
Gwen - Gwen's Breast Cancer Story
As an engineer by profession, Gwen is gifted with a detailed-orientated, type-A personality. And she expects the same level of precision in her personal life, especially by her medical team.
After having both her mother and sister succumb to breast cancer in their late 50's and another sister currently fighting it, Gwen has taken a proactive approach to her own breast health with yearly mammograms and pap smears. Last year, after a mammography and biopsy she was given the news that she too had breast cancer, and was referred to Sutter Roseville cancer surgeon Elizabeth (Min Hui) Kim, M.D., FACS. Sutter Roseville Breast Center is an American College of Surgeon, National Accreditation Program For Breast Centers (NAPBC), accredited breast center dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered and State of the art breast care.
"Dr. Kim was very detailed and thorough," said Gwen. "She presented me with a lot of statistics around current treatments and I found it very informative and reassuring with her fund of knowledge."
Gwen began her own research as well. Talking to her sister who had recently went through treatment, interviewing her oncologist, medical oncologist, reconstructive surgeon, and a genetic counselor.
"After taking in all the research I had done and talking to Dr. Kim about all my options, speaking with a rest of the breast multidisciplinary team including the medical oncologists, genetics team, and plastic surgeon, I decided it was important for me to move forward with a double mastectomy," said Gwen. Dr. Kim and Gwen's reconstructive surgeon Jonathan R. Freed, M.D.,worked together to perform her nipple-sparring mastectomy with immediate reconstruction so she would only have to undergo one procedure.
"My family and friends that had been through similar experiences were all surprised how fast I recovered," said Gwen. "I attribute that to doing my research and having a treatment team that supported my goals. And I really believe that being in good shape and health before surgery contributed to my remarkable recovery as well."
Now that Gwen is on the recovery track, her focus has switched to making sure she has expanded genetic tests available so her teenage children are aware of her risk and options in the future. She's also looking forward to getting back in the pool and continuing her swim training and competing in a few long-distance races later this year.
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