Topics in This Section
In 2002, just after her 40th birthday, Jamie Rosati’s gynecologist handed her a prescription for her first mammogram. Upon returning to work at Merck, she propped it up next to her computer to remind her to schedule the test. Almost 11 months later, the piece of paper still sat in its original spot. That day, Jamie received an email at work letting her know that the Fox Chase Cancer Center mobile mammography van was scheduled to be at Merck the following week. It seemed too perfect. As a mother to two daughters, Jamie made numerous doctor appointments during the previous year, but none for herself. She realized it was almost time for her annual gyn check up and was dreading telling her doctor that she didn’t get her mammogram so Jamie decided to schedule the test right then and there.
“I did it,” shared Jamie. “The mammogram fit right in to my schedule.” With no family history, Jamie returned to her busy life and didn’t give it another thought. Jamie's films were taken to Fox Chase for reading by expert radiologists. After careful review, Kathryn Evers, MD, director of mammography at Fox Chase called Jamie to let her know she identified something suspicious on the mammogram. Jamie figured it was a false positive and didn’t worry. But after a second look, Jamie was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"I am extremely grateful to Fox Chase for sending the mobile mammography van to my office."
“I am extremely grateful to Fox Chase for sending the mobile mammography van to my office,” explained Jamie, who admitted it would likely have been another year until she had the test. By then, the disease might have progressed with a less favorable prognosis.
“I’m one of the lucky ones because my breast cancer was caught early,” Jamie said. “Now I encourage all of my co-workers to schedule their annual mammograms. And Fox Chase makes it so easy by bringing their van to our office.”
"Dr. Boraas is a brilliant surgeon and an amazing and lovely woman."
Marcia Boraas, MD, FACS, who is now a surgical oncologist at Fox Chase who specializes in breast cancer. Dr. Boraas performed Jamie’s surgery. “Dr. Boraas is a brilliant surgeon and an amazing and lovely woman. As soon as I met her, I knew I wanted her to take care of me,” admitted Jamie.
Jamie went on to have a course of chemotherapy and radiation, which was successful. Jamie shared “I don’t think it is too dramatic to say that early detection and Dr. Boraas saved my life. “
Three years after Jamie’s experience with cancer, cancer hit the Rosati family again. Her husband overheard the heartfelt story of a woman who recently lost her husband to colon cancer. The details of this man’s ordeal, relayed on the bleachers at a field hockey game, seemed to be his story. Stephen Rosati realized that he had similar symptoms. He had been writing these off to stress but committed to looking into them.
“If he hadn’t heard their conversation that day, he never would have been tested. Because Stephen was only 44, he still had six years until his doctor would have recommended a colonoscopy. I can’t imagine what would have happened if he waited that long.”
The Rosati’s are big believers in the power of screening.
“If it weren’t for my mammogram and Stephen’s colonoscopy, our cancers would likely have progressed and we may not be here to tell our story,” Jamie explained.
As their daughters grow up, the Rosati’s will make sure they have access to these screening tools at the appropriate time. For instance, their daughters will have their first colonoscopies at the age of 34, which is 10 years earlier than their father was diagnosed.
Today, Jamie is an executive director of US Market Strategy at Merck and has been enjoying watching her daughters blossom into beautiful young women.
“I can’t say enough about Dr. Boraas, the Fox Chase mobile mammography van and the physician who read my first mammogram. If it weren’t for them, I might not be here today.”