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Interview with Bonnie Zolo, Breast Cancer patient at Mount Nittany Medical Center

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Length 4:18

"Announcer: The 3wz Medical Minute is brought to by Mount Nittany Medical Center. Mount Nittany life forward! Our topic this week is breast cancer. We’re going in a slightly different direction this week. We usually have a physician or medical professional as our guest, but today our guest is Bonnie Zolo who is a breast cancer patient at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

Announcer: Bonnie you were diagnosed with breast cancer three times describe your experiences each time that you were diagnosed.

Bonnie Zolo: Okay well in the last 20 years I logged in two and a half mastectomies, six lumpectomies, four doses of adriamycin cytoxan, one hospitalization for neutropenic fever, two doses of paxataxol and trastuzamab. That is Herceptin for a year, seven plus weeks of radiation and daily arimidex. Many of those treatments were given at Mount Nittany Medical Center. I am currently very healthy, and happy, and thankful.

Announcer: That’s good to hear!

Bonnie Zolo: The first time was when I was forty-one and a lump was identified in the left breast at a yearly exam. And the year before the physician said I hope you don’t ever have breast cancer because these are the lumpiest, bumpiest breast I have ever examined. I guess this particular year one of the lumps were disturbing more so to her. I did have the lump removed it was not cancerous but on the operating table the skilled surgeon found eight millimeter piece of ductal carcinoma in situ. And when I was forty years old I had six suspicious spots of cancer identified on a mammogram and so I really am a strong proponent of mammograms. And then at fifty-seven I myself in a breast self exam found a lump and it was followed up by a mammogram that lead to a lumpectomy that showed one point three centimeters of aggressive invasive cancer with rare foci that was suspicious of possible lymphatic lymphovascular invasion. Because I had had lymph nodes removed early when I was forty-three there were no lymph nodes to actually stage it. But that one diagnosis lead to me having radiation at Mount Nittany Medical Center. So those were the three times that I were diagnosed.

Announcer: What were your treatment options?

Bonnie Zolo: When I forty-one that was about twenty years ago there was really less knowledge than there is now about ductal carcinoma in situ. That is when the cancer is still in the milk ducts hasn’t spread. I was actually given three treatment options. I could have removal of both breast, removal of the left breast, another lumpectomy or another scoop of breast tissue. I could have radiation, I could offer a clinical trial or I could just do watchful waiting. And they were pretty much equally waited by my surgeon.

Announcer: How has Mount Nittany Breast Cancer Support Group supported you during and after your treatment?

Bonnie Zolo: The first time with left mastectomy and then a right mastectomy and then with instu carcinoma you’re supposed to have like a 99% cure rate. In fact it says you’ll never have to worry about it on the John Hopkins website. But I was in that 1% where later when I was fifty-seven I did have cancer discovered in the translab reconstruction. But in all those different stages of diagnoses I did involve myself with a support group. It was very helpful in that you found other women that were going through the same kinds of treatments. They have also informational meetings which were important and just sometimes it was fun things like they had Look Good Feel Better or they gave you lots of make-up and you got together with other people and had an enjoyable evening or met later with someone for lunch. That’s the support group experience which was positive!

Announcer: Where can community members find more information on breast cancer treatment at Mount Nittany Medical Center and The Mount Nittany Breast Cancer Support Group?

Bonnie Zolo: They can visit MountNittany.org on the web or they can call the facilitator who is Christen Sides at 814-234-6175.

Announcer: Bonnie Zolo has been our guest on this addition of the Medical Minute. Thank you for your time!

Bonnie Zolo: You’re welcome!

Announcer: The 3wz Medical Minute is brought to by Mount Nittany Medical Center. Mount Nittany life forward!"  


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