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Eileen Lampert: It Took a Back Seat

Eileen Lampert initially was diligent about getting a mammogram, but as happens far too often, mammograms took a back seat to other things in life. She had just moved to Dayton from Florida to be with her daughters. After contending with hurricanes, her younger daughter's marriage, and the birth of a grandchild, it had been five years since Eileen had a mammogram.

After discovering a lump in her left breast, Eileen ignored it, thinking it was a blocked milk duct. But the lump began to grow. She went to see Dr. Stanley Jenkins of the Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) Cancer Center. A biopsy confirmed that Eileen had a malignant tumor that had been growing for two years.

Suddenly panic set in. Eileen's mother and sister both had been through breast cancer. Her mother's was not diagnosed for two years and she died soon after starting treatment. And now Eileen, still in her 50s, found herself in what appeared to be the same place.

Dr. Jenkins immediately referred Eileen to a team of cancer care specialists including a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, and in particular, Amy McKenna, one of MVH's breast cancer navigators. In addition to helping MVH oncology patients plan their care and getting all the information needed to make decisions, Amy helps patients deal with the emotional aspects of cancer.

Eileen's father had died of lung cancer and his experience with chemotherapy had been horrible. Amy went over options, including new drugs with fewer side effects. After treatment, Eileen's tumor began shrinking and she had only felt sick twice.

After the tumor shrunk, Eileen had a double mastectomy. She credits Amy with her new attitude. Eileen has the support of daughters and a granddaughter living nearby.

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