When exercise is the best medicine

When exercise is the best medicine

When Diane Peterson was diagnosed with breast cancer in late May 2016, she became very active in making decisions about her treatment.

She conducted her own research, attended classes and support groups, asked a lot of questions of her doctors and was concerned about the impact her cancer would have on her family and her passion for competitive sports.

Together, Diane and her team of physicians, led by Dr. Barry Rosen, breast surgeon at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill., decided a lumpectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation, would be her course of treatment, which she completed in November 2016.

An avid triathlete, she continued to exercise during treatment and recovery and has finished a marathon, half iron man and two full iron man competitions. Diane earned her second best Ironman record during this time.

In all, she has completed nine ironman competitions.

Diane was also one of the first Chicago-area patients to have a BioZorb device implanted during surgery. This consists of permanent titanium clips embedded in a slowly-absorbed matrix. Dr. Rosen is the first Chicago-area surgeon to use the device.

Benefits to breast cancer patients include:

  • Stable, more accurate targeting for radiation treatment
  • Reduced radiation exposure of healthy breast and surrounding tissue by approximately 65%
  • Improved cosmetic outcomes by providing a scaffold for tissue growth, supporting contours of the breast post-operatively; useful with “reconstructive lumpectomy”

Dr. Rosen notes, “Diane’s cancer was located in the upper, inner aspect of her breast, an area prone to cosmetic deformities with traditional cancer surgery. By placing this absorbable prosthesis, I was able to restore the breast to its natural shape and hide the scar well away from where the tumor was located.”

Today, Diane is doing well and remains very willing to help educate others who may gain support from her story of perseverance.

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About the Author

Chris Vicik
Chris Vicik

Chris Vicik, health enews contributor, is the director of public affairs for Advocate Health Care's north region, which includes Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Good Sheperd Hospital in Barrington, and Sherman Hospital in Elgin. She has more than 20 years of health care marketing and public affairs experience with hospitals in the Chicagoland area. Chris has two college-age kids who have made her an empty nester. She enjoys playing racquetball, biking and running. Chris is a dog lover and spends a lot of time playing with her clever beagle, Zoey.