Bruna Cassatta

Gallbladder Cancer Patient Stories

Lymph-Node Positive Gallbladder Cancer
Bruna Cassatta

"Meraviglioso! Wonderful! The doctors at Fox Chase Cancer Center are meraviglioso!" said Bruna Cassatta, who turned 72 in 2010. Born in Italy, Bruna speaks English with a heavy Italian accent, but the meaning of her words come across crystal clear - she loves Fox Chase Cancer Center.

"Everyone at Fox Chase made me feel so comfortable and was so nice."

"Everyone at Fox Chase made me feel so comfortable and was so nice," shared Bruna. "I tell everyone what a good job they do, and that they should go to Fox Chase if they have cancer."

Fox Chase pathologists and doctors helped solve Bruna's mysterious case. Her story began in 2003. For many years prior, she suffered from bad pain in her stomach. It would get so bad that sometimes she would have to spend days in the hospital. Doctors would order a battery of tests each time, but would come up with no answers for her pain.

Finally, one of her doctors suggested that some of her pain might be being caused by her gallbladder, and that perhaps she would find some relief if he removed it. She said, "Fine, take it out."

While the surgeon from her local hospital was removing her gallbladder he noticed there was something suspicious about her liver. After her operation, Bruna was told that the surgeon had found some cancerous cells. But follow-up testing on the gallbladder and CAT scans and MRIs showed nothing - there was no cancer. It was a mystery.

Expert pathologists at Fox Chase uncovered Bruna's cancer mystery.

But additional testing of tissue samples at Fox Chase Cancer Center uncovered cancerous cells.

Dr. James Watson was the surgeon who reviewed Bruna's case and he suggested that she undergo another surgery to remove a portion of her liver that was affected by the cancer. The surgery, which took place in March of 2007 was a success and Bruna's follow-up treatment consisted of 5 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation.

More than 4 years later Bruna is happy to be doing all the things she loves. "I love to cook, garden and clean, and I enjoy shopping," added Bruna. "Because of meraviglioso Dr. Watson I am able to do all of these things. I am truly happy with him and everyone at Fox Chase Cancer Center."