Beating Breast Cancer: Lisa Finds Support Every Step of the Way
When Steve Maggid, MD, obstetrics and gynecology, Holy Cross Hospital, found a lump in Lisa Reich’s breast during a routine check-up, his patient wasn’t worried.
“Every step of the way, Holy Cross Hospital made me feel very well taken care of. I never felt like ‘just another patient.’”
- Lisa Reich
The Silver Spring resident had lived with fibrocystic breasts, a harmless condition, since her early 20s. Plus, two biopsies over the years ruled out anything more serious.
But she was a little surprised when her doctor of nearly a decade—who had delivered her baby at Holy Cross Hospital and was so familiar with her history—insisted she get a sonogram in addition to her regular mammogram.
Thankfully, she did. The mammogram, like others before it, was negative. The sonogram, however, picked up something suspicious, prompting Dr. Maggid to refer Lisa to Eric Oristian, MD, medical director of the Breast Center at Holy Cross Hospital, for a third biopsy.
Dr. Oristian saw Lisa within a few days and scheduled a core biopsy, which removes some breast tissue and a sample from the lump. “Even then, I still fully expected the test to be negative,” says the busy mother and marketing professional.
“But then Dr. Oristian introduced me to a specialized oncology nurse—a nurse navigator from the hospital’s Breast Center. And it finally dawned on me that, this time, I might be looking at something more serious.” She was right.
Cancer Care Experts
Back at Holy Cross Hospital, Dr. Oristian was busy conferring with other specialists to decide the best way to treat Lisa’s now-confirmed cancer—standard operating procedure for the hospital’s Breast Center.
“We follow a multidisciplinary team approach—with surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and other specialists reviewing each case—so that patients benefit from the expertise and experience of physicians from different specialties,” he explains.
That approach is one of many positive factors that recently earned the hospital accreditation for excellence by the American College of Surgeons National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. In fact, Holy Cross Hospital was the first accredited breast center in our area.
The Latest Treatment Options
Another factor in Lisa’s favor was the hospital’s nurse navigator who helps patients understand their diagnosis and treatment options, and serves as an advocate, educator and guide through the cancer experience. Combined with state-of-the-art technology, access to clinical trials, a full range of services, support groups and other resources, Holy Cross Hospital has emerged as a regional leader in cancer care.
For Lisa, that comprehensive care meant a lumpectomy, followed by chemotherapy and then radiation therapy.
In late October 2011, less than two weeks after diagnosis, Lisa underwent a lumpectomy with Dr. Oristian at Holy Cross Hospital.
“Right before I went in, both he and Dr. Maggid came by to visit, which was so kind and reassuring,” she says.
She then started five months of chemotherapy with Linda Burrell, MD, an oncologist at Holy Cross Hospital, followed by 36 radiation treatments. With the exception of her year-long drug regimen, Lisa’s treatment was completed nearly seven months to the day of her diagnosis.
Support Along the Way
Lisa has always viewed Holy Cross Hospital as “her hospital,” a sentiment that grew stronger after her good experience as a breast cancer patient.
“Every step of the way, Holy Cross Hospital made me feel very well taken care of,” she says of the experience. “I never felt like ‘just another patient.’