From OHC, Specialists in the Treatment of Adult Cancers and Blood Disorders

October 7, 2021

Like 90% of women who receive a normal mammogram result each year, Cheryl Wilde breathed a huge sigh of relief when she was told her results were clear. Yet, although she received what she thought was excellent news that day in 1994, her breast surgeon told her she felt a lump in her breast that required a needle biopsy. The biopsy revealed invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), the second most common type of breast cancer in the U.S. After a mastectomy to remove the affected breast and 10 lymph nodes, Cheryl would begin treatment with OHC’s David M. Waterhouse, MD, MPH, a medical oncologist, hematologist and Co-Director of OHC’s Cancer Research Department.

ILC begins in the milk producing glands of the breast and spreads to surrounding tissue. “This type of cancer isn’t always seen on mammograms because the cancer cells typically grow in a linear fashion rather than forming a lump,” said Dr. Waterhouse. “It’s important to remember that mammograms are the best breast cancer screening tests we have, but they are not always totally accurate,” added Dr. Waterhouse. “According to the American Cancer Society, screening mammograms do not detect about one in five breast cancers.”

“I felt comfortable with Dr. Waterhouse, and I was touched when he said that we’d grow old together and that I could call him 24-7,” said Cheryl. “I knew I would be taken care of with Dr. Waterhouse.” Cheryl received chemotherapy once a week for six months.

“I slept a lot during treatment,” said Cheryl. “I had a great support system, including my husband, Jim, who was my caretaker and cheerleader.” Cheryl and Jim own Wilde Nursery on 18 acres on Cincinnati’s West Side. They’ve been in the landscaping business since 1971.

Following chemotherapy, Cheryl had regular follow-up scans with Dr. Waterhouse. Every scan has been clear. Cheryl’s road to survivorship taught her many lessons. “I was struggling when I was initially diagnosed,” said Cheryl. “Both my son and daughter had recently had babies. My husband had to motivate me, and my sister told me to keep my mind positive in order to beat it. I kept positive by staying busy.”

Cheryl got involved with American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events, fundraisers dedicated to saving lives from cancer. “Before cancer, I wasn’t strong,” said Cheryl. “Going through it made me strong. I can do more than I thought I could. I would have never asked people for donations, ran a relay, or made a speech in front of people.”

Now a 27-year cancer survivor, Cheryl still makes her annual visits to OHC. “Dr. Waterhouse suggested no further follow-up at OHC, but I come in just to feel good and see Dr. Waterhouse,” she said. “Everybody at OHC is so nice. They got me through a bad time. They never made me feel like a patient. I felt like a friend.”

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, OHC’s cancer specialists remind women to be aware of the types of breast cancer screenings and mammogram guidelines. For the latest recommendations, follow this link. For more information on treatment advances for breast cancer or to request a second opinion, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit ohcare.com.

Top picture: OHC patient and breast cancer survivor Cheryl Wilde with her husband Jim (center) and their children, Jeff Wilde (left) and Missy Wilde Wittich (right)

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