Sometimes, a casual conversation can be a lifesaver. Mount Carmel colleague and patient, Joyce, had a quick hallway conversation with Dr. Kristen Terranova, for whom she used to work. Dr. Terranova casually asked her when her last annual gynecological check-up was and she told her it had been a couple of years. Joyce thought a pap smear was the same as an annual check-up. It’s not, but that is a common misunderstanding.

Dr. Terranova encourage Joyce to schedule a check-up and she did. Her annual exam revealed a mass. Joyce underwent surgery within days, and the mass in her ovary was cancerous. The good news…the cancer had been caught early enough that it hadn’t spread. After a three-month regimen of preventative chemotherapy, she is optimistic that she’s cancer-free.

“If I had put that off even six more months, that size of tumor is Stage 4. As women, we take care of everybody else first. If I can stress anything, please, I beg you to take care of yourself," Joyce said.

Lifesaving cancer care and support is ALWAYS a priority for Foundation funding.