Marsha Berman

Lung Cancer Patient Stories

Marsha Berman

Although no one expects to be diagnosed with cancer, it didn't come as a complete surprise to Marsha Berman. Both of her parents fought the disease, which eventually claimed her father's life. She was first diagnosed and treated for lung cancer in 1981.

Marsha was looking for an alternative to surgery.

In November 2010, at the age of 72, Marsha Berman sat in her oncologist's office to hear those words again, "We found a small spot on your lung." She had already undergone three separate surgeries. But this time, she felt the need to find an alternative treatment. Her lungs couldn't take one more surgery.

Her oncologist suggested that Marsha make an appointment with radiation oncologist, Shelly Hayes, MD, director of Fox Chase Cancer Center Buckingham. Dr. Hayes and her team specialize in using CyberKnife to treat cancer in difficult to reach areas, such as the lung and brain. Cyberknife is a minimally invasive targeted radiation technique that delivers radiation with sub-millimeter accuracy using image-guidance technology and computer-controlled robotics.

"Dr. Hayes was terrific from the start."

In January 2011, Marsha met Dr. Hayes, who agreed that she was an excellent candidate for CyberKnife. "Dr. Hayes was terrific from the start," said Marsha. "She is thorough and professional, and very empathetic. I have met other doctors in the field who can be cut and dry, but not Dr. Hayes. She spent a lot of time with me, answering all of my questions without rushing. She made me feel very optimistic."

Marsha described Cyberknife as "an interesting process." She went to Fox Chase for the initial computer mapping technology. Then she had four treatments to remove the spot on her lung with CyberKnife radiation. Other than feeling a little tired, Marsha had no adverse reaction to the procedure. "It was completely painless, I even went out for dinner afterward," she said.

To play it safe, her oncologist suggested a mild regime of four chemotherapy treatments as a follow-up. Marsha is hopeful that her lungs responded well to the procedure, and will know more after her next PET Scan in the fall 2011.

"I would absolutely recommend CyberKnife and Dr. Hayes to anyone in need of treatment."

"From the first phone call to set up the appointment through every stage of the treatment, the staff at Buckingham were very caring and warm," said Marsha. "Dr. Hayes' entire staff is professional and compassionate. I would absolutely recommend CyberKnife and Dr. Hayes to anyone in need of treatment."