Manuel A. Torres-Salichs MD,FACS Surgical Oncology, Breast Surgeon

Edileidis Tarrio, ARNP-BC, OCN





Barbara S. (Breast Cancer Survivor)

“I was touched by the rather quick death of my husband, who was the victim of lung cancer, and a man who was always diligent about his health. This seemed to be a loss for me that was impossible to accept. With this in mind, I discovered a small lump on my left breast sometime in 2005, and I was scared. I let it go for few months until I sought advice from my family doctor. I was advised to get a mammogram, but cancelled thinking it was nothing to worry about.

The breast lump continued to grow until it broke through my skin in September of 2008. At that time, I was faced with the reality of cancer. I have never been so frightened in my life.

I made an appointment immediately with Dr. Torres- Salichs and was diagnosed with a Stage IIIB breast cancer. A breast biopsy was done right away and he referred me to Dr. Sara Garrido, a medical oncologist, who would start my chemotherapy treatment.

At this point, I thanked God for the wonderful life and family I was given and asked for the strength to endure whatever was to be. I relied on God to help me understand that it is really the fear of the unknown that I was afraid of. I realized that I had my head in the sand and ignored the fact that modern medicine has changed, and that side effects could now be treated. The chemotherapy made my tumor disappear. I now know that if I had the mammogram in 2005 and taken care of myself, so much could have been avoided. Breast cancer has not been as bad as people make it out to be, but it has also not been a day at the beach either, however it is a part of my life! I am eternally grateful to my children, daughter-in-law, surgical nurse Rosario, Dr. Torres-Salichs and Dr.Garrido, who have truly saved my life. Thank you!”

Christiane L. (Breast Cancer Survivor)

“I am 39 years old, exercise regularly, have always followed a healthy diet, and enjoyed excellent health. My gynecologist recommended a routine bilateral mammogram, since I was close to the age of 40. The mammogram showed an area of abnormal microcalcifications.

A stereotactic biopsy was recommended showing a very early low grade infiltrating ductal carcinoma. The news took me by surprise. I did not have a lot of knowledge about breast cancer at my young age, and the fact that I didn't have a family history; I thought I was not supposed to get breast cancer. I took the news like a death sentence until I saw my breast surgeon.

I underwent genetic testing since I had been diagnosed at an early age. The BRCA genetic test came back negative. Dr. Torres- Salichs answered all my questions and eased most of my fears. He explained that this was an early stage tumor with a very good prognosis. I was given the options of a lumpectomy versus a mastectomy with reconstruction. I decided to undergo a mastectomy in the affected side as well as a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy with reconstruction. My sentinel node was negative. I am aware that my prognosis is excellent and am very happy with my decision. My gynecologist was diligent about getting a mammogram even though I had no symptoms and was young. I am the perfect example that mammograms can catch tumors at an early stage and SAVE LIVES!”

Robert I. (Breast Cancer Survivior)

“I always had a healthy lifestyle... ate a lot of vegetables, fresh fruits, exercised and played sports. When I felt a lump in my upper left chest I thought this cannot be happening to me!... Well it did. Male breast cancer is a reality. My doctors were fast and expeditious. In a matter of two weeks I was in and out of surgery and thanks to catching it early, the prognosis is good.”