Her faith was strengthened after meeting with her Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute care team – her surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and nurse navigator – at a private multidisciplinary cancer clinic (MDC). An MDC meeting is offered to every newly diagnosed breast cancer patient.
“It was very helpful to see the entire team at once and ask any question I wanted,” Sanchez says. They recommended a three-part plan: chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.
While the plan was clear, Sanchez’s actual path was less straightforward. In late September, she developed a bowel obstruction that required emergency surgery. When recovery from surgery delayed the start of chemotherapy, breast surgeon Lori Alfonse, DO, assured Sanchez that breast surgery, a skin-sparing double mastectomy with reconstruction, could move forward without affecting her prognosis.
Sanchez got through the mastectomy and subsequent chemotherapy and then endured yet another emergency surgery (unrelated to her cancer) in April 2017. Undeterred, she recovered from that procedure before undergoing 34 sessions of radiation to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. She completed her treatment with a breast reconstruction procedure in January 2018.