May 29, 2024

Patient Credits UConn Health for Saving Her from Breast Cancer and then Giving Her Life Back with New Technology

Patient Credits UConn Health for Saving Her from Breast Cancer and then Giving Her Life Back with New Technology

It was 2016 and Jan Figueroa realized some thing wasn’t ideal when she felt a lump in her breast, but she considered or hoped it would just go away. The tumor ongoing to increase and she could see discoloration on the pores and skin. She knew it was time to get it checked out.

Pursuing a mammogram, scans and screening that confirmed Figueroa experienced breast most cancers, she noticed Dr. Peter Deckers, now retired from follow as a surgical oncologist, Dean Emeritus, and former Executive Vice President for Health Affairs at UConn Health and fitness and Dr. Susan Tannenbaum, chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology in the Office of Medication and the scientific director of the Carole and Ray Neag Extensive Cancer Center at UConn Wellness.

“When I obtained the diagnosis, it brought me to my knees,” suggests Figueroa.

While Figueroa did not want to know the stage of her breast most cancers, her little ones have been informed and she was in late Phase 3. She underwent many distinct chemotherapy remedies that commenced on March 16 and completed on August 16.  On her next leg of chemotherapy that Might, at the time the chemo started out heading by her port she received term that her grandson was born. She now calls him her good luck attraction.

She experienced medical procedures that October for a unilateral mastectomy to clear away the breast.

Figueroa was termed in a 7 days early for her comply with-up appointment.  She wasn’t guaranteed what was taking place as the nurses were being all there crying, her son was in the waiting around area and Deckers seemed pensive.  She assumed the worst but discovered that the cancer was gone and had not spread. She could not consider it or how fortunate she was.

“They saved my lifetime,” Figueroa says of Deckers and Tannenbaum.

When Figueroa was fortunate her most cancers was handled at these types of a late stage, her end result is not generally the case, which is why the ideal success appear from early detection through screenings that should be finished on a yearly basis.

She is now on a servicing remedy and has a scan annually.

“I was joyful with the remedy I had acquired but did not want reconstructive surgical procedure,” states Figueroa. “There had been just also several challenges with implants at the time.”

Figueroa never ever deemed herself vain and even when she misplaced her eyebrows, lashes, and hair during chemo, the just one thing that definitely bothered her was she just preferred her outfits to suit her ideal.

When Figueroa went to get a prosthetic just after her 2016 mastectomy, she didn’t truly feel like she was taken care of very well and the prosthetics were not comfortable, heavy, and sweaty.  She was sent dwelling with a prosthetic that was way much too large for her and a bra that was much too little being explained to this is how it is meant to be. The bra was so tight she couldn’t breathe and was acquiring blood blisters.  So she stopped putting on it all with each other.

As luck would have it, her pal and colleague, Dr. Liisa Kuhn, a biomedical engineer at UConn Overall health, heard her problem and got to work getting a solution.

Kuhn has developed a 3-D printed prosthetic and performs with feminine engineering pupils at the UConn College of Engineering on the challenge. The prosthetics are light-weight and breathable and give a symmetrical visual appeal.  The prosthetic is contoured to match every single patient’s body condition as a result of a scan, which include any tissue taken out underneath the arm all through surgery.

“It’s been a require for lots of years and I discuss this probability with any of my sufferers who have experienced a mastectomy,” states Tannenbaum.

“I just wanted to glance really,” states Figueroa. “Dr. Kuhn is assisting not just make you glimpse better, she is providing you back again your self-esteem, anything no a person else understands.”

Early detection saves lives and mammograms and screening exams are employed to come across most cancers just before a man or woman has any signs or symptoms. It’s vital to discuss when you ought to start off typical mammography screenings with your health care provider.

UConn Well being delivers 3D mammography or tomosynthesis that supplies physicians with a clearer, more thorough see of breast tissue and can guide to less complicated and earlier breast most cancers detection. The point out-of-the-artwork technological innovation requires images of the breast from various angles and will help radiologists pinpoint the sizing, form, and place of abnormalities.

If you are identified with breast most cancers, the Carole and Ray Neag Complete Cancer Heart at UConn Overall health has assembled an remarkable workforce of seasoned and compassionate professionals who will get the job done together to supply comprehensive, extensive, and cohesive care.

Kuhn is still functioning to make improvements to her prosthetics and continues to request volunteers intrigued in owning a single tailor made produced for them. To volunteer, e-mail Kuhn at [email protected] or contact the Carole and Ray Neag In depth Most cancers Center at 800-579-7822.