COVID-19 forced Diane Romano and Patricia Goff—together for 50 years and married since 2012—to miss their annual mammograms. A mammogram in December 2021 revealed that Romano had two different types of stage 1 breast cancer, and months later Goff’s mammogram showed that she too had stage 1 breast cancer.
Both women were treated at NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center by Nancy Chan, MD, a medical oncologist and clinical research director for breast cancer, and Deborah M. Axelrod, MD, a surgical oncologist and director of clinical breast surgery and services.
Dr. Chan emphasizes the importance of breast cancer screening.
“The earlier you get diagnosed with breast cancer, the more likely it is that you will have a cure. That goes for all subtypes of breast cancer regardless of whether it’s hormone positive, triple negative, HER2 positive,” Dr. Chan, a member of the faculty in the Department of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, tells the TODAY show. “That is why the mammography screening program that most women are on with their primary care doctor is very important.”
Dr. Axelrod notes that a positive attitude was helpful during their treatment.
“Diane, I feel like she had a coping strategy right away that she probably has used in other situations,” says Dr. Axelrod, also a professor in the Department of Surgery at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “They like to travel. They’re very active people, and they’re very committed to one another.”
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