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"I'm not supposed to have breast cancer," said Marlene Nyiri. This Spencerport resident was treated for breast cancer twice at Unity Hospital.

Marlene had no family history of cancer and was very health conscious – eating healthy and getting regular exercise. But in December 2002, Marlene was diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ: a cluster of malignant cells in the mammary ducts). DCIS in its early stage can be diagnosed through the use of mammography. 

Marlene had a lumpectomy and six weeks of radiation therapy. She continued to follow up with Dr. Nagendra Nadaraja, chief of the Department of Surgery at Unity Hospital, every six months. Five years to the week of Marlene’s first breast cancer diagnosis, she went for a routine MRI breast screening. Marlene had breast cancer again, the same type, DCIS.

This time, Marlene had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery at Unity Hospital. “This place is incredible…from pre-testing to recovery, I had such a feeling of family,” she said.

Marlene has this advice for all women, “If you find yourself facing a necessary mastectomy, follow the advice of your physician, and stay away from the internet.” She explained that when she was facing her surgery, she looked up pictures on the internet and it was the scariest thing she had ever seen. 

“My reconstruction doesn’t look anything like the pictures I saw on the internet,” said Marlene. 

“Don’t put off scheduling your mammogram,” advised Marlene. “I had put off scheduling mine in 2003 and thank goodness, the day I called they had a cancellation and I got in the next week. I had a better outcome because of early detection and close follow up with my physician.”