Cancer - Tina's Story

Tina PilotExceptional Cancer Care in the Neighborhood

By looking at 49-year-old Tina Pilot, she seemed to be the picture of good health. The star softball player in high school was in the best shape of her life and rarely ever got sick. But, her active lifestyle kept her busy, and it had been nine years since she had a mammogram.

After listening to friends who were giving her a hard time about her lapse in screening and volunteering at a Bras for Cause fundraising event in support of breast and cervical cancer, Tina scheduled her mammogram at Community Medical Center’s Women’s Imaging Center.

Upon reviewing Tina’s test results, Jorge Pardes, MD, diagnostic radiologist, was concerned, and he recommended she have a biopsy for further testing. The biopsy results showed positive - Tina had triple positive breast cancer.

On December 21, 2015 – two months to the day of her biopsy – Tina underwent a lumpectomy at Community Medical Center performed by Sumy Chang, MD, a board-certified breast surgeon, affiliated with Monmouth Medical Center and Community Medical Center. During the procedure, which is less invasive than a mastectomy, Dr. Chang removed the lump in Tina’s breast and some of the healthy tissue surrounding it.

Because of the type of breast cancer Tina was diagnosed with, her course of treatment required chemotherapy. Initially, Tina saw Seth Cohen, MD, board-certified medical oncologist and regional medical director of oncology clinical research for the Outpatient Infusion Center at Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus (MMCSC), but she wanted a second opinion.

So, Tina made the trek to New York City for an appointment with an acclaimed breast surgeon. Much to Tina’s peace of mind, she was told to continue with her course of treatment and her team of Drs. Pardes, Chang and Cohen – they were smart, impressive physicians who would take good care of her.

Tina was at ease. “Every time another procedure needed to be done, I felt like I was with the right person and in the right hands,” she says.

Although she was concerned about continuing treatment with renowned facilities nearby in New York, Tina ultimately found comfort at Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus for her chemotherapy treatments.

“There is a reason people go running to Dr. Cohen,” says Tina. “He is simply the best. After using Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus for outpatient infusion, I would recommend any friend or family member come here before going anywhere else.”

Susan, a close friend of Tina’s who supported her through her breast cancer journey, echoed Tina’s sentiments. “After seeing the level of care provided to Tina, my perception of Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus has totally changed. This would be my first choice.”

With her last chemotherapy treatment behind her, the now 50-year-old is beyond grateful for the care she received during her visits to the Outpatient Infusion Center. “I can’t explain how good the nurses and Dr. Cohen were to me,” says Tina. “Everyone was so compassionate and made my life easy during one of my darkest hours. From the moment I walked into my first chemo, the nurses made me feel as if I would get through this with ease. They feel like part of my family now.”

For more information on MMCSC’s Cancer Services and Outpatient Infusion Unit, call 732.961.2396.