Michele Cornfield

Breast Cancer Patient Stories

Michele Cornfield

Michele Cornfield, pictured outside of Jeanes Hospital, where she works as a registrar in the Emergency Room.

When Michele Cornfield received a call following her mammogram, she figured it was not good news. "They only call if something is wrong," she shared. Further testing confirmed that Michele had Stage II B breast cancer, meaning the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.

Working at Jeanes Hospital in Philadelphia at the time, Michele decided to stay there for treatment. "My surgeon at Jeanes recommended surgery, followed by radiation therapy," explained Michele. "She felt that a lumpectomy would have the same results as a mastectomy, so I opted for the less invasive procedure."

"People travel from all over the world for their cancer treatment at Fox Chase."

After recovering from surgery, Michele returned to work as an Emergency Room registrar at Jeanes, which is physically attached by a covered walkway to Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Occasionally, I'll walk a patient over to Fox Chase," Michele said. "I see people who travel from all over the world for their cancer treatment at Fox Chase." She explained that although patients look frightened when they first step into the hospital, their mood quickly changes as the staff offers support and compassion. "Fox Chase is a good place. They are there to help you heal."

When it was time for Michele to begin her radiation therapy, there was no question in her mind. She was going to Fox Chase. Michele met with Gary Freedman, MD, a former radiation oncologist at Fox Chase who specialized in treating patients with breast cancer. "Dr. Freedman is great. After he explained my treatment plan, I knew I was getting the best treatment for me," Michele explained.

"The Fox Chase nurses made my days."

"Radiation treatment can be exhausting - day after day," recalled Michele. The Fox Chase nurses made my days. They helped me stay positive during treatment and had such great attitudes."

Michele Cornfield

Between the staff, her children and her friends, Michele found the support she needed. "All of my friends and relatives prayed for me. Some even stuffed notes in Jerusalem's famous wailing wall. That was powerful," she shared."I feel like I'm part of the club."

Michele thinks back to her diagnosis and is grateful that she had her annual mammography. "So many women say they are too busy to do a self-exam. I did too," Michele admitted. Now she spreads the word about the importance of mammograms. If breast cancer is caught early, it can likely be cured. "I feel like I'm part of the club. Breast cancer bonds women - almost like a sisterhood."