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Posted 2018-07-31T16:39:00Z

The Diagnosis ...

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA, USA

Click here for driving directions.

Hello, Rhonda here! Faith will likely take these over, but today I'm posting!

Faith's surgeon is Dr. Claire Cronin (I Googled her after Faith's 13 July 18 visit; check these websites for info on her training and areas of expertise: and Dr. Claire shared that she writes creative non-fiction, particularly essays and memoirs on health. She studied creative writing at Lesley University and is friends with Rachel Manley!

Faith's 2018 mammogram showed spots in her left breast that Dr. Cronin diagnosed as Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCS). Apparently, a selection of mammograms from local hospitals undergo a group screening process: a team of diverse medical professionals (surgeons, radiologists, oncologists) from different Boston institutions get together to view and assess mammograms. Dr. Claire said that this pre-screening process is common in big cities and reduces the need for second opinions.

Faith's mammogram showed calcified deposits in her left breast; these deposits were too small to detect by touch. The calcified deposits are inert, but the doctors assess what caused the deposits to form. They form for a number of reasons, like time, trauma, breast milk (I'm not so sure about this last one ...), but they found that the deposits in Faith's breast are DCS. There are 3 of the calcified spots in her breast, but nothing has spread to her lymph nodes and estrogen receptors in the cells of the breast ducts are still present (this is important for treatment).

Breast cancer is measured in stages, from one (least invasive, early detection) to four (most invasive, late detection). Faith’s cancer is Stage Zero (Dr. Cronin says this is comparable to early detected skin cancer or an abnormal pap smear). For a cancer diagnosis, this is the best news ever!

Today, Faith's treatment is in two steps: Step One -- Radiology: insertion of markers that will direct Dr. Claire to remove appropriate tissue (calcified deposits and surrounding tissue). Step Two -- Surgery: removal of marked calcified deposits and surrounding tissue; calcified deposits at center of removed tissue; removed tissue sent to pathology.

Step One started at about 11:00am; Step Two will begin about 2:30pm.

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Comments (2)

  • Annie Paul
    Annie Paul

    Thanks Rhoda, so glad to be kept in the know like this. this is very cool, it sounds like Faith has a gr8 doctor and this was detected early which is fantastic. so glad :) thanks for keeping us posted.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Dawn Skorczewski
    Dawn Skorczewski

    I really appreciate being part of Faith's circle and also the updates! many thanks, Rhonda!

    one year ago · Reply
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