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Gem City Surgeons

Patient Stories

Anna's Story

When Anna Yost went for a regular screening mammogram, something showed up that was out of the ordinary. The technician recommended Anna return for a diagnostic mammogram. When the diagnostic mammogram showed something as well, an ultrasound of her right breast was done immediately.  

“Any time that we see an abnormality, our Breast Center calls the physician and within a day or two the patient is seen and biopsied,” says Diane Anderson, D.O. “The process is usually very fast.”

Within 24 hours, the pathology results showed that unfortunately, it was breast cancer. Understandably, Anna was scared – people are afraid to hear the word “cancer.” But for Anna, this diagnosis meant something more. Her mother died of breast cancer when she was in her 40s. “I just was hurt so badly when she died,” Anna recalls. “I felt so badly that I promised myself I would never put my kids through that.”

Following the pathology results, Anna went back to the Samaritan Breast Center and had a very thorough discussion with Dr. Thomas A. Heck, FACS, about her diagnosis, surgical options and everything her treatment would involve. Anna was found to have HER2 breast cancer, and although it was an early stage cancer, it showed signs of aggressiveness. “Only about 20 percent of all breast cancers are HER2 positive,” explains Ann Lensch, BSN, MS, RN. “The good thing is that there is a very good treatment for it.”

Due to the size of the cancer, Anna was given the option of a lumpectomy, which she chose to do. Her treatment also included chemotherapy and Herceptin. “The diagnostic studies were done right here. I examined her and did the biopsy right here. We had our discussion right here. The surgery was done here, and then we also had the medical oncologist here…all within this building,” says Dr. Heck.

“I didn’t go anywhere for anything except Samaritan North,” Anna says. “I went there for everything. It takes a very special person to take care of cancer patients, and they really have their share at Good Sam.”