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Moments That Matter: Shelly's Story

Moments That Matter: Shelly's Story

Shelly, a 44-year-old mom, was surprised when she was asked to come in to be retested following her yearly mammogram last November. Breast calcifications were found. Shelly knew that breast cancer didn’t run in her family, so she took the news in stride. 

After her second test, however, Shelly was told she needed to get a biopsy. She was shocked to find out that she had DCIS Stage 0 cancer, the stage before breast cancer becomes invasive. 

Shelly wanted to be treated at Atlantic Health, and contacted Marcella Fornari, DO at Morristown Medical Center. An MRI revealed that she needed to get an additional biopsy, this time on her other breast. Shelly had genetic testing done to rule out the BRCA gene and was relieved when the results were negative.

Dr. Fornari performed Shelly’s lumpectomy and lymph node removal, and since Shelly had prior breast implants, Dr. Mehul Kamdar performed reconstruction surgery immediately afterward.

At first, I sought out medical centers in New York City for my care, but I quickly learned that both Morristown and Hackettstown medical centers had the latest technology and options.

Shelly, Breast cancer patient

 

Shelly received radiation treatment by Mona Karim, MD, vice chair of the radiation oncology department of Morristown Medical Center, who also sees patients at Hackettstown Medical Center.

“At first, I sought out medical centers in New York City for my care, but I quickly learned that both Morristown and Hackettstown medical centers had the latest technology and options to offer me,” said Shelly. 

Dr. Karim used the AlignRT® radiation system, which uses 3D camera units to monitor a patient’s skin surface in real-time and compare it to the ideal position with no loss in accuracy when compared to tattoos and marks. This technique is called Surface Guided Radiation Therapy (SGRT) and it ensures that radiation is delivered only when a patient is correctly positioned, enhancing their safety and comfort. AlignRT is non-invasive and completely non-contact, an increasingly important consideration for cancer patients, who often have weakened immune systems.

“Dr. Karim’s positivity, kind bedside manner, and straightforward way of explaining my treatment put me at ease and helped me through a very difficult time in my life,” added Shelly. “Everyone with whom I came in contact truly became my friends throughout my treatment, and made me feel safe, cared for, and optimistic about my health outcome.”

Shelly has completed her radiation treatments, is healthy, and as a precaution receives an MRI every six months.