Doreen Benedict

Breast Cancer Patient Stories

Doreen Benedict

Doreen, pictured with her surgeon, Dr. Richard Bleicher.

The early part of 2008 was supposed to be filled with all sorts of positive milestones for 68 year old Doreen Benedict. She had been blessed with a great-granddaughter in November of 2007, her husband was retiring at the end of February, and in March she and her husband were scheduled to travel to her native England to visit family and friends. When a routine mammogram detected Stage 2 breast cancer in February, Doreen's plans were changed, but thanks to the doctors at Fox Chase Cancer Center, the trip was not cancelled, only postponed.

When Doreen's biopsy results revealed Stage 2 aggressive cancer, she and her husband decided that she needed to seek treatment at Fox Chase Cancer Center even though there were regional hospitals with good reputations closer to her home. Fox Chase was over an hour away.

"We had heard great things about Fox Chase and all they do is specialize in cancer."

Facing cancer, Doreen and her husband felt they needed to go to a hospital that had the most experience with her type of cancer. "I was comforted by the team of doctors who reviewed my case," she shared. Dr. Richard Bleicher, a breast surgeon at Fox Chase, served as the team leader, and after reviewing Doreen's case with a radiation oncologist (Dr. Penny Anderson), a medical oncologist (Dr. Crystal Denlinger), and two Fellows, he presented Doreen and her husband with their recommended treatment plan.

"I bonded right away with Dr. Bleicher."

Doreen Benedict

Doreen and her husband, Leigh.

"I had a really good feeling about Dr. Bleicher," recalled Doreen. "He always made me feel comfortable and well taken care of, and he shared the treatment recommendation in a way that was understandable, thorough and comforting."

Doreen's advanced disease required aggressive treatment. In early March, Dr. Bleicher performed a lumpectomy on her left breast, and also removed three of her lymph nodes.

In April, Doreen began a course of chemotherapy which was administered over a 5 hour period of time, every 3 weeks, for 5 months. The chemo took its toll on Doreen; she was very tired and weak and lost all of her hair. Following her chemotherapy, she received daily radiation treatments for the next 7 weeks, and at the same time continued with another form of anti-cancer therapy called Herceptin.

"I am truly grateful to be alive."

"It has taken me a while to fully recover from the treatment, but I know it was what needed to be done to ensure the cancer was eradicated. I can honestly say that now, just in the past few months, I have begun to feel like my old self," said Doreen.

"Everybody at Fox Chase Cancer Center was warm, concerned, caring and supportive."

Doreen continues to see her team of doctors several times a year for check ups. "I really can't say enough about my group of doctors at Fox Chase," said Doreen. "Everybody at Fox Chase Cancer Center was warm, concerned, caring and supportive."

"I am so thankful to the doctors and to my husband who encouraged me to seek treatment at Fox Chase and made sure I got to every appointment," concluded Doreen.

So what about the trip to England? It's on the books and the details are being sorted out, but that isn't the only travel that is in Doreen's future. Her 4 children pulled together to give their parents a dream trip. Doreen always wanted to travel to Bermuda, but raising a large family left little time for a vacation of that nature, but now that dream is becoming a reality.