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Publications

A yearly date ... A scary diagnosis ... A happy ending

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Every year it went like clockwork: Susanne Funaro and her cousin had their annual mammograms together, then went for a girl’s lunch out.

But this year, things did not go so smoothly. Susanne explains: “The radiologist noted an abnormality on my mammogram and recommended that I make an appointment with Virtua breast surgeon Eric Miller, MD, for further examination.

“I’m the kind of person who faces situations head on, so I immediately contacted Dr. Miller. Barbara Francks, RN, BSN, CBCN, Virtua nurse navigator, helped coordinate my appointments.”

An in-office needle biopsy by Dr. Miller confirmed early stage breast cancer. Susanne had a lumpectomy performed by Dr. Miller, then met with Virtua radiation oncologist Lemuel Ariaratnam, MD.

Susanne says: “It sounds funny to say, but after surgery, radiation treatment was not only a lifeline for me, it was also a great experience. I was cared for by a wonderful team and met some amazing women also going through treatment.”

Dr. Ariaratnam says: “Susanne had stage one breast cancer with a very low risk for recurrence, so radiation therapy alone was the optimal treatment recommendation.”

Susanne notes: “Dr. Ariaratnam’s scheduling staff made sure I had the very first appointment in the morning, so I always got to work on time. Two weeks after I finished radiation, I went on a trip to Las Vegas that had been planned for a long time. It was a trip I will remember for a lifetime."

Work with a Virtua registered dietitian to address health concerns and food preferences during and after cancer treatment.
Call 1-855-VIRTUA-8 for an appointment.