When Laurie, a 52-year-old financial advisor from New Jersey, went to the doctor for her annual mammogram and ultrasound, she was expecting it to be a routine visit. Though Laurie has no family history of breast cancer, an ultrasound technician noticed a lump during her scan. She was advised to get a biopsy, which revealed early-stage breast cancer.
Because she receives all her medical care at NYU Langone, her gynecologist referred her to oncologist Marleen I. Meyers, MD, and breast surgeon Deborah M. Axelrod, MD, at Perlmutter Cancer Center.
“I walked into my initial consultation with Dr. Meyers with a sense of dread, but she was so reassuring, patient, and receptive that I left thinking, ‘OK, I can do this,’” recalls Laurie, who was diagnosed with stage IA invasive ductal carcinoma. She also tested positive for a gene mutation called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which makes an excess of proteins that promote the growth of cancer cells.
As part of her treatment, Laurie had surgery to remove the breast cancer, called a lumpectomy, followed by 12 weeks of chemotherapy. This was followed by one year of targeted therapy designed to attack the HER2-positive breast cancer, and three weeks of radiation therapy. “Before my surgery, Dr. Axelrod and her team answered all my questions and explained everything step-by-step. I wasn’t nervous at all—it was a very smooth process.”
“I am back to doing what I love. I went skiing in France over the Christmas holiday, and I’m working out with my trainer three times a week.”—Laurie, Age 52
During her treatment at NYU Langone, Laurie especially appreciated not having to worry about administrative hurdles and just focusing her energy on getting better. “I would leave the doctor’s office and be able to see details of my visit and upcoming appointments, and also view test results, all through the NYU Langone Health app.”
A year after her treatment ended, Laurie is now cancer-free and continues to see her oncologists at follow-up visits. “I am back to doing what I love. I went skiing in France over the Christmas holiday, and I’m working out with my trainer three times a week,” she says.