ANOTHER BATTLE BEGINS
When the mammogram showed suspicious results, Maria underwent a series of imaging studies, including ultrasounds, an MRI, and biopsies of lesions in both breasts. With insight from the same radiologists who had monitored her lung results months earlier, tests confirmed cancer in her left breast.
“It was overwhelming,” says Maria. “The news came when I had finally gotten myself back together.”
Dr. Portadin referred her to John Pellegrino, MD, breast surgeon and medical director of CentraState’s Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program at the Women’s Health Center.
“It was astounding that Maria had just survived this terrible disease and was now facing another one,” says Dr. Pellegrino. “But she had an interdisciplinary team on her side throughout it all, and I was confident that we could get her through this next hurdle.”
Maria underwent a mastectomy performed by Dr. Pellegrino in late September, and plastic surgeon A.K. Bhattacharya, MD, placed an expander in her breast in preparation for reconstructive surgery. She was also under the care of oncologist Bhavesh Balar, MD, who determined that no chemotherapy or radiation was needed after the successful procedure. Maria had reconstructive surgery in January and has been focused on better days since then.