Breast Cancer Survivor Reflects on Life-Saving Treatment After Delivering Baby
Sue Swiger's second pregnancy was tinged with anxiety. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer and began treatment days after delivering her daughter, Audrey. After successful treatment at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, she is cancer-free, enjoying her children and her good health.
Swiger had a rapidly growing cancerous tumor that required chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and a year of treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin), a drug that targets the specific type of breast cancer Swiger had. Her response to chemotherapy was good, and her medical team was able to spare her breast.
Today, Swiger is enrolled in a clinical trial at UH Seidman Cancer Center for a new drug that targets cells that Herceptin does not. By participating in a clinical trial, Swiger could be not only helping her own health but could also be helping other women who will develop breast cancer in the future.
“The drugs we investigate in clinical trials could become the standard of care in the future,” said Janice Lyons, MD, director of Breast Cancer Services at UH Seidman Cancer Center.
Swiger is reflective and appreciative. “I had a new baby, a little boy, a phenomenal husband, and I did not want to die,” she said. “Dr. Lyons told me the goal was cure, and that was what I needed to hear. It gave me hope.
“The breast oncology team at Seidman saved my life. To every person along the way, every nice receptionist, everyone who smiled at me and everyone who took the time to make it a better day, thank you.”