South Shore Hospital’s Breast Care Center
Gives Marlene Lopes Reason to “Celebrate Living”
The summer of 2011 was unusual for Marlene Lopes. Normally spirited and full of life, the 42-year old teacher from Duxbury felt sluggish and miserable. “I started going down a list with my doctor, ruling out everything from acid reflux to thyroid disorder, to no avail,” Marlene said. Still not feeling like herself in the fall, she noticed a lump in her breast. “At this point I thought I must be going crazy — now imagining breast cancer.”
A scheduled mammogram, followed by a biopsy to examine the lump revealed Marlene’s fear — breast cancer. “I remember getting the call at my work Christmas party, confirming the results,” she said. “A million emotions challenged me at that moment, but my immediate goal was survival.”
In the midst of uncertainty, Marlene sought the best breast cancer care available. “I realized how very fortunate I was to have world-leading care right in my backyard on the south shore — without a long commute,” Marlene remarked. “Dealing with Boston traffic can be excruciating, especially with my mind being so distracted,” she continued.
Suniti Nimbkar, MD, medical director of the Breast Care Center at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in clinical affiliation with South Shore Hospital consulted with Marlene and thoughtfully walked her through the treatment plan necessary for her, which involved having a bilateral mastectomy. “Dr. Nimbkar was amazing. I knew from the second I met her that she was on my side, always lifting me with encouragement,” Marlene noted.
The support of family and friends coupled with the care she received at the Center helped Marlene get through this unexpected journey. She wanted to give something back so through a fundraising event in her honor, “Celebrate Living,” she helped raise more than $3,000 for the Breast Care Center. “I am so grateful to be cancer-free today. I don’t know how I would have gotten through the challenging year from diagnosis to surgery and recovery without the Cancer Center,” she admitted.
South Shore Hospital’s Breast Care Center provides advanced care to patients with surgical breast care needs, elevated risk of developing breast cancer, and/or a new or past diagnosis of breast cancer.