We believe patients can be our teachers and trusted advisers, benefiting from their unique experiences.
Dick's skin cancer journey
Richard (“Dick”) is a retired army officer who has struggled with skin cancer for many years. After being treated from “head to nearly toes,” Dick’s dermatologist recommended he contact GenesisCare to see if Radiation Therapy was an option for him. Watch him talk about his treatment experience and the world of difference it made for his skin cancer journey.
Nia's breast cancer journey
"Cancer helped me heal”
After several years in an abusive relationship, Nia Williams says it took years for her to try to heal. But it wasn’t until a rare and life-changing diagnosis, and the vision to see stress as an opportunity for growth, that she truly felt she got her life back.
Two days after she’d turned 25, Nia was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer usually found in women over 50: Stage 3 Triple Negative Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (w/BRCA mutation). “I hadn’t been feeling great but attributed that to my pregnancy. Then I had some pain and thought my milk was trying to come in,” she says. It was cancer. Doctors advised Nia that chemotherapy couldn’t wait. Her son Vincenzo completed her four strongest rounds of chemotherapy right along with her.
Nia’s 6-year-old Ava accompanied Nia to every one of her radiation treatments and even shaved the hair off her brand-new barbie doll’s head to look just like mommy. Baby Vincenzo was born months early via emergency C-section due to the effects of chemotherapy on his heart.
After chemotherapy, an emergency C-section, radiation therapy, a double mastectomy and a prophylactic hysterectomy and oophorectomy all within the course of a year, Nia still has side effects of treatment but remains positive and credits her exceptional care team - including her Radiation Oncologist, Niraj Mehta, MD - and her experience with cancer for helping her heal. “I consider myself cancer free. That’s how I’m living.”
Nia’s advice to others:
- Know and listen to your body. If you think something is wrong, get checked out.
- Be your own advocate; make the doctors listen to you, make them take you seriously.
- If you find yourself on a cancer journey, cut out the negativity, focus on the positives and your healing.
“With cancer, people say it ruins your life, but a lot of things make life difficult and scary. Domestic abuse broke me…. some people don’t come back from that. It took getting cancer for me to fully get my life back. It felt like it was slipping through my fingers, but cancer felt like a complete rebirth to me, as if I’ve gone through my cocoon and now this is my caterpillar stage. Cancer healed me. That sounds crazy but it did,” she says.
Cassandra's breast cancer experience
Due to a family history of cancer, GenesisCare patient Cassandra was always conscientious when it came to getting her annual breast screenings. That's how her cancer was discovered. Cassandra recently shared her story about why she traveled from Alabama to South Florida to receive treatment for breast cancer. Her breast surgeon Dr. Kathleen Minnick and her radiation oncologist Dr. Alicia Gittleman worked together to utilize intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) as part of Cassandra's treatment plan.
"When Dr. Gittleman described the options, she told me about this procedure, the intraoperative radiation, and it was a one-time thing of radiation. It was going to be helpful because it was going to go right on that tumor and that is why I chose it," says Cassandra.
Early detection was key for Dennis's prostate cancer
When it comes to prostate cancer, early detection is key. Listen to Dennis’s story on how he got diagnosed with prostate cancer after proactively getting a PSA test without having any symptoms. Dennis describes his care at GenesisCare as ‘extremely personal and extremely close’ and shares his newfound philosophy on life after GenesisCare.
Christina's personalized breast cancer treatment
Having someone explain a cancer diagnosis and treatment options in a personalized and compassionate way can make all the difference. Watch Christina share how this approach at GenesisCare helped her in her breast cancer journey.
Elizabeth's breast cancer journey
As a 35-year-old oncology nurse, Elizabeth unexpectedly found herself in the shoes of a patient after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Watch Elizabeth express how the GenesisCare team ‘brightened her day’ throughout her six weeks of radiation treatment.
Paul's reflection on lung cancer
Listen to Paul as he shares his experience about being diagnosed with lung cancer after suffering a stroke, and his cancer treatment journey at GenesisCare. Paul feels that radiation therapy has helped him in his fight against cancer, allowing him to ‘make his mark on his life.’
Managing Grace’s non-melanoma skin cancer
Grace was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma on her nose and went through several dermatologic surgery procedures. Eventually, it was determined that she would need a much more invasive surgery or radiation therapy to fight the cancer.
After much consideration, Grace determined radiation was best for her. Hear her story to hear how she responded to radiation at GenesisCare, and her recommendation for others fighting skin cancer.