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Breast Cancer Specialist Joins Fox Chase Cancer Center

PHILADELPHIA (November 17, 1999) -- Dr. Mary Elizabeth Cianfrocca of Center City Philadelphia has joined Fox Chase Cancer Center as an attending physician in the department of medical oncology. She specializes in the treatment of breast cancer.

Cianfrocca comes to Fox Chase from Northwestern University in Chicago, Ill. Since 1996, she had been a senior fellow in Northwestern's combined hematology-medical oncology fellowship program.

While treating women with breast cancer at Fox Chase, Cianfrocca is also looking forward to contributing to clinical cancer research programs. At Northwestern, she worked on clinical trials focusing on HIV-related malignancies. She also focused on Northwestern's clinical breast cancer program.

"We can provide breast-cancer patients with many options that may prolong their lives," said Cianfrocca, when asked why she chose to specialize in breast cancer. "I enjoy working with patients, educating them and helping them to make decisions about the best options for them.

"In addition to medical therapy, I enjoy working with patients on psychosocial issues." Cianfrocca has a dual undergraduate degree in biology and psychology.

"Patients with cancer have many social issues confronting them," Cianfrocca added. "They may need counseling on how to take care of themselves after a cancer diagnosis, dealing with the side effects of treatments, coping with going back to work during or after treatments, talking to their children about cancer and assessing the level of support that can be expected from family and friends."

Cianfrocca received her medical degree in 1989 from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove, Ill, where she graduated as valedictorian of her class. She completed her internship and residency from 1990 to 1994 at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago. In 1991, she received the Intern of the Year award and the Robert Slayton Award for Outstanding Performance in Medical Oncology.

Cianfrocca was clinical instructor in the department of internal medicine at Rush-Presbyterian from 1994 to 1996. Her most recent teaching experience includes a lecture she gave at Northwestern University on breast cancer prevention, focusing on the drugs tamoxifen, raloxifene and prophylactic mastectomy for women who have a high risk of developing breast cancer.

Fox Chase Cancer Center is one of 36 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation. The Center's activities include basic and clinical research, prevention, detection and treatment of cancer and community outreach programs.


Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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